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Homeowners need to reach out for help and participate actively in their foreclosure defense… has a pertinent blog post here which I found (Coalition wins foreclosure victories).

I think it highlights number one the importance of homeowners searching out help.  In one example a homeowner battled along with Michigan Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs and neighborhood activists to delay foreclosure and to modify her loan.  Together they picketed the aggressing lender, held rallies at the homeowners home and launched a massive telephone and email campaign to the lender CEO.

A word to homeowners… this type of thing doesn’t happen for homeowners that don’t reach out for help… you need to be active in defending the things you feel are important.

The Michigan Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs also had the following success:

“Attorneys who work with the coalition won a significant court victory on an appeal in a foreclosure eviction case. The Macomb County Circuit Court held that a lender’s failure to modify a loan in accordance with the federal Home Affordable Modification Program can be asserted as a defense to void a foreclosure, and that this defense can be raised by homeowners in an eviction proceeding stemming from the foreclosure. This is one of the first cases in the country to affirm this right.”

This is truly landmark IMHO.  I have never heard of this happening in Cuyahoga County or anywhere else for that matter.  I actually didn’t know that HAMP was a right for all borrowers however it makes sense that seeing most loans are federally insured or in some way subsidized these days that they should fall in line with HAMP and home owners should have a right to all of the privileges of HAMP.  I will definately keep my I out for this and hope to hear about similar cases in North Eastern Ohio.

On Wed 11/19/2009 I attended a community foreclosure help training for people in foreclosure hosted by the City of Brook Park.  I walked in and there was a room with about 80 seats there at the Brook Park City hall.  I was literally the only visitor who was not scheduled to speak that evening or was a seminar support person. I know that this seminar was promoted both in the newspaper and I believe in a comunity newsletter.  Yet for some reason no one showed up… which is very sad because the speakers all had resources in the form of knowledge and connections that woud have massively helped any person in foreclosure that might have showed up.  Previous similar seminars hosted by the City Of Brook Park were quite successful and many homeowners had showed up for help.

On the upside I personally got to network with the other proffesionals and government officials there and feel confident that I have made some beneficial connections that I can provide to the people that I run into that need help.  I specifically got to talk with Paul Bellamy who is director of the Cuyahoga County Foreclosure Prevention Program as well as several other people.

I asked Mr. Bellamy for further details about what kind of resources I should expect to be provided if I directed clients or homeowners in need to the Cuyahoga County Foreclosure Prevention program.  In addition to them working with some local non profits he said that they have the ability to make small loans to homeowners in need to help cure the foreclosure or meet the requirements to start a loan modification program with a lender.  He also said that not to many people know this but in certain short sale situations homeowners who are doing short sales and end up needing to bring some cash to close because how the bank is working may be eligible for those loans.  I found that very intersting and helpful.

I inquired about which comunity orginizations his office worked with and which he recomended.  He told me that he worked with ESOP, Neighborhood Housing Services, The Cleveland Housing Network and Community Housing Solutions (Here is a link to some of the partnerships The Foreclosure Prevention Program has made).   He told me that ESOP was leading the way with forming special relationships with lenders that give their loan modification and loan work out proposals extra preferance with lenders.  He said that the other three agencies were more specialized around offering a helping hand and counseling services which homeowners in foreclosure typically really need but often don’t realize their need.

BTW: I know ESOP has gained nationwide attention for their foreclosure advocacy. Many other local homeowner advocacy groups have modeled themselves after ESOP.  Also it is little known that ESOP is willing to help with short sales.  I have a feeling that working with ESOP could make short sale quicker but I have never tried working in partnership with ESOP to do a short sale with a homeowner.  If any homeowner would like to do a short sale with me and partnership with ESOP call me up at 888-4-STOP-IT.

Andy Morris is an Ohio real estate broker with an expertise in selling homes on a short sale. If your Ohio home is heading towards foreclosure or you owe more than your property is worth, please call Andy at 888-4-STOP-IT to see if you qualify for a short sale with your lender.

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