Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
Last week, over 500 homeowners facing possible foreclosure visited our workshops in Worcester and Springfield. This gave many families an opportunity to stay in their homes, and was just part of the Patrick Administration’s efforts in preserving and improving communities throughout the state.
Foreclosure directly affects one family, but it can also have an impact on communities, as homes stay empty and drain life out of a street or neighborhood. Last week, I joined Governor Patrick in Worcester as he announced the Communities Count initiatives in that city (photo right). Afterward, I went to the Foreclosure Prevention Workshop, which drew nearly 300 homeowners. The next day, over 200 people attended a similar Workshop in Springfield.
I talked to a number of homeowners in both cities, and was glad to hear many of them received good news through on-the-spot modifications, or great progress toward foreclosure solutions. One person told me his mortgage payments were cut by nearly two-thirds. Others expressed optimism that they would get the help they need to stay in their home. My office intends to follow up with the homeowners and lenders who attended to measure the results in terms of actual loan modifications resulting from this effort.
It is gratifying to know that hundreds of families received help last week, but those one-day efforts are just part of the everyday efforts being made by the Patrick Administration and our partners, like NeighborWorks Homeownership Center in Worcester, and HAP Housing in Springfield.
If you think you might be facing foreclosure, don’t wait to get help. Visit our foreclosure homepage, and learn about state and federal programs. Find someone to help you with the process, but be wary. Do not pay a company an upfront fee for them to manage foreclosure. Instead, find an approved housing counselor in your area who can help you.
We have held four foreclosure workshops this year, and have seen about 1,300 homeowners. We know there are thousands more who need help in finding a solution to their foreclosure situation. If you’re one of those homeowners, please don’t wait. Help may be available, but you have to take the first step.