Help for Homeowners
Help For Colorado Homeowners:
Although we've begun to see signs of recovery for our economy, many homeowners here in Colorado are still struggling to make ends meet and stay in their homes. That’s why it’s important that homeowners have access to resources that can help them avoid foreclosure.
Below are resources that can help arm homeowners with information about their rights as well as direct them to resources that may help them avoid foreclosure.
Taking to the phones:
I recently visited The Colorado Foreclosure Hotline, one of the groups doing great work in Colorado, where I spoke with a homeowner hoping to stave off foreclosure. I also heard from counselors on the ongoing challenges the organization faces as a leader in helping Coloradans stay in their homes. They do great work helping Coloradans navigate the huge bank bureaucracies that have kept so many homeowners from getting answers on what their options are when facing home foreclosure. I look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure homeowners have the resources and support they need to make it through this difficult recession and keep their homes.
Our work so far:
• I have called on Senate Appropriations leaders to increase funding for housing counseling programs, which will help address the shortage of housing counselors in Colorado and across the country even as demand continues to rise. My call for more counselors came on the heels of an Urban Institute analysis concluding that the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program was effective in reducing the likelihood that counseled homeowners would end up in foreclosure. On average, NFMC clients were able to reduce their monthly payments by $336 more than they would have without the program's counseling.
• I have encouraged the U.S. Treasury Department to make common-sense improvements to its mortgage loan modification program that would help keep Coloradans from losing their homes to foreclosure. I requested that the Department provide more transparency for families applying for modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and create an independent appeals process for homeowners who have been turned down for a modification.
• I sent a letter urging the Treasury Department to forbid mortgage providers from initiating or continuing the foreclosure process until they determine whether a homeowner is eligible for mortgage loan assistance through HAMP. I was successful in getting the Department to incorporate that change into its guidelines.
• I introduced a bill to stabilize funding for Rural Housing Service loan programs. The USDA's Rural Development's loan guarantee program has helped families across Colorado buy homes in rural communities. This bill provides a common-sense solution that will strengthen the program, make it self-sufficient, and make sure it can continue to help families and the housing sector recover in the long-term.