Mobile center provides information to homeowners facing foreclosure

When organizers arrived 40 minutes early to set up the Mobile Resource Center in Minden on Tuesday, people were already waiting at the door for them to start.

"People were here before we even got here," said Yolanda Garcia-Banuelos, regional representative for U.S. Sen. Harry Reid.

Reid decided to offer the center to Douglas County residents because of the spike in foreclosures in the area. According to RealtyTrac, 40 properties in Douglas County are in foreclosure and 52 more have started the process.

"It's putting the pinch on borrowers and banks alike," said Christopher Oswald, Mortgage Bankers Association director of state government affairs.

More than 30 residents attended the event.

Representatives from the Credit Counseling Affiliates, Wells Fargo, Countrywide, JP Morgan Chase, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Mortgage Banker Association were at the center to talk to individuals.

What most people don't know is mortgage lenders don't profit on foreclosures, Oswald said.

The average loss for a lender on a foreclosure is 40 percent, Oswald said.

"What's the bank going to do with a bunch of houses?" he said.

Lenders want a person living in their home, making payments rather than taking his or her house away, Oswald said.

Ray Ward, the operational analyst for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said the department is offering new options for people who are defaulting on their loan through the Federal Housing Administration Secure loan (FHA Secure).

FHA Secure is an option that gives people who have an adjustable-rate mortgage the opportunity to refinance their loan into a fixed-rate FHA insured loan. The people who qualify for the FHA Secure are those who make timely payments on their mortgage and have their interest rates reset between June 2005 and December 2008. Other criteria is also taken into account.

The design is for people who are good borrowers, but can't make payments after the high-interest loans reset.

The advice all the representatives gave to people coming in was to talk to their lender.

A borrower has more options the sooner they contact their mortgage lender, Oswald said. The longer a person waits, the more limited his or her options become.

Foreclosure help

Homeownership Preservation Foundation

(888) 995-HOPE

Mortgage Bankers Assoc. (800) 348-8653

Consumer Credit Counseling Affiliates

(775) 337-6363


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