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Relief for Mississippi Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 18 Jul 2012 04:01pm | comments

Thousands of Mississippian's have fallen behind on their mortgage payments and are facing foreclosure. Even though this state’s foreclosure rate is not as high as other states MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports on a new consortium offering free financial and legal counseling to those in need. 

Beverly Foote of Tupelo will always remember October 31st 2007. That's the day she and her family moved into their very own dream home.

"I had five bedrooms and three full baths."

Five years later the dream turned into a nightmare when Foote lost her job and eventually lost her  home to foreclosure.

"They sent me a letter and they told me that I needed to be out of the house ASAP. So all the places I thought would be nice for us to stay, they check your credit and once they check your credit and you got a foreclosure on it , they told me there was nothing they could do for me,"

Foote's family now lives with relatives. The Foote's are part of a growing number of Mississippian's facing home foreclosure.  Beth Orlansky, with the Mississippi Center for Justice represents a six member consortium dedicated to offering free financial and legal counseling to those at risk of losing their home.  Orlansky says utilizing their services can help homeowners avoid foreclosure. 

" Many people just kind of ignore it and then they get farther and farther and farther behind and then the bank will eventually come after them. So if people will come seek assistance from either housing counselors or lawyers before they've  already got their house sold out from under them then we can keep them in their homes."

Last month Realty Trac estimated that there were 418 foreclosure filings in Mississippi. Major General Kathleen Lutz, Commander of the Mississippi Air National Guard says a growing number of those foreclosures involve military families. 

"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  from some of the largest mortgage service companies accused of foreclosure fraud.  Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.

Note: 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.

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





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