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Mississippi Creates Foreclosure Prevention Consortium

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 18 Jul 2012 04:37pm | comments

Help is on the way for thousands of Mississippi homeowners facing foreclosure. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports on a new consortium offering free financial and legal counseling to those in need.

Even though Mississippi's home foreclosure rate is not as high as many other states there are still thousands of Mississippian's who have fallen behind in their mortgage payments.

"Many many months behind."

Ben Mokry, is Executive Vice President of Mississippi Home Corporation.

"People who have gotten behind or are still behind and they are so far behind usually that they can't catch up even if they get re-employed. So are there are challenges there and there is help available and more coming and it you don't know for sure just take a look at it and see if it does meet your needs."

Mississippi Home Corporation is part of a six member consortium dedicated to offering free financial and legal counseling to those facing foreclosure.  Beth Orlansky, Advocacy Directory at the Mississippi Center for Justice says utilizing the services can help homeowners avoid foreclosure.  

"They don't want to face up to the fact that they might lose their homes. Many people just kind of ignore it and then they get farther and farther and farther behind and then the ban

While no one has an exact tally on just how many homes are under foreclosure in Mississippi, Realty Trac estimates that there were 418 foreclosure filings last month alone. Major General Kathleen Lutz, Commander of the Mississippi Air National Guard says a growing number of military families are among those facing foreclosure.

"When you turn your life upside down and you go somewhere and you don't come back for several months up to a year sometimes two years it affects a lot of things. And you've got bills to pay and with the debt and the economic crisis, unemployment rates. People lose their civilian jobs because they deployed because they served their country. You wouldn’t think it happens but it does."

The three year effort to prevent foreclosures  is being funded with Mississippi's  portion of a 25 billion dollar settlement between states from some of the largest mortgage service companies accused of foreclosure fraud  practices. Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.

According to the Attorney Generals Office the Consortium was created through partnerships with non-profit and community action organizations to provide mortgage assistance to homeowners statewide. Partners include Money Management International, Mississippi Home Corporation, Mississippi Center for Justice, Mississippi Center for legal Services, North Mississippi Rural Legal Services and Mississippi Military Department.

These organizations will receive funding to provide services that include:

-a dedicated toll free hotline as the initial point for distressed homeowners.

-Free HUD approved housing counseling and individual counseling

-Mortgage payment assistance to honorable discharge veterans and currently serving members of the Armed Forces who qualify for veterans status.

 

For more information contact the Mississippi Foreclosure Prevention Consortium Hotline at  1-866-530-9572.

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