Bennet Takes to the Phones, Hears Concerns from Housing Counselors at Foreclosure Prevention Hotline

Denver, CO - Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, spoke with a homeowner hoping to stave off foreclosure while answering calls at the Colorado Foreclosure Prevention Hotline today. Bennet also heard from counselors on the ongoing challenges the organization faces as a leader in helping Coloradans stave off foreclosures and stay in their homes.

Bennet also met with a Colorado small business owner who was recently able to stay in her home as a result of the hotline's efforts.

"Although we've begun to see signs of recovery for our economy, many homeowners here in Colorado are still struggling to stay in their homes," Bennet said. "The Colorado Foreclosure Hotline does 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."

The Colorado Foreclosure Hotline connects borrowers with non-profit housing counselors who can provide information on a borrower's options when facing foreclosure. Counselors can also act as facilitators for communication between lenders and borrowers. Homeowners facing foreclosure can reach the hotline for information and assistance by calling 1-877-601-HOPE.

Bennet's visit to the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline is the latest in a series of efforts he has undertaken to provide assistance to struggling homeowners.

Last month, Bennet sent a letter to Senate Appropriations leaders asking them to address a funding shortfall that has led to a shortage of housing counselors in Colorado and across the country even as demand continues to rise. Bennet's 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.

Earlier in April, Bennet wrote to the U.S. Treasury Department encouraging it to make common-sense improvements to its mortgage loan modification program that would help keep Coloradans from losing their homes to foreclosure. Bennet 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.

In February, Bennet 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. He was successful in getting the Department to incorporate that change into its guidelines.