U.S. Congressman Harry Mitchell’s

Foreclosure Survival and Prevention

Workshop for Families

Saturday, May 2, 2009

8:30 - 11:30am

Granite Reef Senior Center

1700 North Granite Reef - Scottsdale, AZ 85257

There will be an opportunity to receive FREE one-on-one counseling with a HUD certified counselor and/or lender representative on-site. Se habla Español.

We encourage participants to bring as many documents as possible: the closing packet for your mortgage, recent bank statements and mortgage bills, federal tax returns for 2 years and pay stubs and/or unemployment documentation for the last month.


8:30 a.m. Registration and time to visit information tables

9:00 a.m. Welcome by U.S. Congressman Harry Mitchell

On-going presentations will be done by the Arizona Foreclosure Prevention Task Force while waiting for one-on-one counseling sessions:

9:15 a.m. “Foreclosure Timeline & Scams to Look Out For”

10:00 a.m. “Creating a Crisis Budget”

10:45 a.m. “Rebuilding after Foreclosure and Building Your Home’s Value”

11:30 a.m. Thank Yous & Adjourn

If you have any questions about home foreclosures or any other issue, please don’t hesitate to call Congressman Mitchell’s District Office at 480-946-2411.

Numbers to call if you or someone you know needs help:

HUD-approved agency: 1-888-995-HOPE, Arizona Foreclosure Helpline: 1-877-448-1211

Foreclosure Scams

Consumers Can Avoid Fraudulent Foreclosure Scams by Following Tips

Reports of mortgage foreclosure scams are on the rise.  Knowing what to watch for and where to turn for help is vital for families who are struggling to remain in their homes.  March 1 to 9 is National Consumer Protection Week, and the Federal Reserve Board has compiled some tips to help protect consumers from becoming victims of foreclosure avoidance scams.  Its important for consumers to know that housing counselors and other resources are available at no or low cost to assist homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments.

Saving a home from foreclosure requires fast and informed action but the solution doesnt have to be costly, said Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth A Duke.  It shouldnt hurt to get help.

Solicitors of foreclosure schemes reach out to potential victims by a variety of means using the Internet, the telephone, and direct mailings.  Some solicitors go door-to-door or approach homeowners at events related to home preservation.  The information the Federal Reserve is providing, which is part of its 5 Tips series, is intended to give consumers the basic information they need to recognize and avoid foreclosure avoidance scams.  Consumers are urged to check the credentials of counselors and to avoid working with someone who collects a fee before providing any services or accepts payment only by cashiers check or wire transfer.  Consumers should not pay for a service without knowing exactly what they are buying.

Avoiding foreclosure cannot be guaranteedregardless of the circumstances.  Working with a legitimate counselor can increase the chances of keeping a home, but consumers should be wary of people who tell them its a sure thing.  Details of the transaction, along with any promises, should be provided up front and in writing.

The tips to follow will help consumers select a reputable counselor and avoid fraudulent foreclosure scams.

  • Work only with a non-profit HUD-approved counselor.  For a list of certified counselors visit or call 877-HUD-1515 (877-483-1515).  If the name of the organization you are working with isnt on the list, then switch to one that is.
  • Dont pay an arm and a leg.  Most housing counselors provide no- or low-cost counseling services.  You should not have to pay hundreds, or thousands, of dollars for assistance.
  • Be wary of guarantees.  No one can ensure you good results.
  • Know what you are signing. Dont let a counselor pressure you into signing paperwork you havent had a chance to read thoroughly or that you dont understand.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • If you feel you are a victim of foreclosure fraud, trust your instincts and ask for help. Report suspicious schemes to your state and local consumer protection agencies, which you can find on the Consumer Action Website.

Additional information about avoiding foreclosure scams may be found on the Boards website:

5 Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure Scams

Freddie Mac Online Guide to Avoiding Foreclosure

Foreclosure Survival for Families and Neighborhoods

The Leadership Centre, will be providing two foreclosure survival workshops in the Town of Gilbert and the City of Mesa during December and January.  These events are Co-sponsored by the Arizona Foreclosure Prevention Task Force and will be held in partnership with the City of Mesa, City of Chandler, Town of Fountain Hills, Town of Gilbert, Town of Queen Creek and City of Apache Junction.

Download the Foreclosure Survival Flier

December 13, 20089:00AM-Noon
Gilbert Town Hall
50 E. Civic Center Drive, Gilbert, AZ 85296

January 10, 20099:00AM-Noon
City of Mesa Utilities Building
640 N. Mesa Drive, Mesa AZ 85201

Topics to be covered include:
What are foreclosures & what can we do about them?,
Creating a Crisis Budget,and Neighborhood Solutions.

**The opportunity to receive one-on-one counseling will be available. Se habla Español.**

Numbers to call if you or someone you know needs help:

1-888-995-HOPE to connect to a HUD-approved agency
1-877-448-1211 to connect to the Arizona Foreclosure Helpline
Brought to you by The Leadership Centre, in partnership with the City of Mesa, City of Chandler, Town of Fountain Hills, Town of  Gilbert, Town of Queen Creek and City of Apache Junction. Co-sponsored by the Arizona Foreclosure Prevention Task Force.

The Arizona Foreclosure Prevention Task Force has arranged with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and Wells Fargo Bank to provide
Foreclosure Prevention/Loss Mitigation Training for

Faith-Based Organizations and Other Interested Social Workers

This highly informative session highlights foreclosure prevention and related topics including:

  • Overview of local foreclosures and foreclosure prevention efforts
  • The basics of loss mitigation
  • The lender/investor/servicer relationship
  • General mortgage loan servicing requirements
  • Loss mitigation options
  • Loss Mitigation and Foreclosure Prevention resources for consumer
  • Best Practices in consumer education and outreach

Who should attend?
Faith-Based Organizations
Public officials involved in foreclosures
Social workers
Housing counselors*
Anyone who has occasion to work with homeowners at risk of a potential foreclosure
This training, supported by the Arizona Foreclosure Prevention Task Force provides important information on foreclosure prevention and loss mitigation resources for sustaining homeownership in your community. You are encouraged to share this announcement with others that may have an interest.

*This session is a non-certification training that provides an introduction to foreclosure issues and loss mitigation resources.

Date/Time: Thursday, November 13, 2008
Noon to 4:00 p.m. Training (lunch will be provided)

Location: United Way of Southern Arizona Boardroom
330 N. Commerce Park Loop, Suite 200, Tucson, AZ

Directions: Check in at the front desk of United Way.

There is no charge, but ADVANCE registration is required. Space is limited.

Register online for this event at:

Directions: Check in at the front desk of United Way.

There is no charge, but ADVANCE registration is required. Space is limited.

Register online for this event at:

Cheri Horbacz
Dont Borrow Trouble ® Pima County
Project Manager
2030 E Broadway #106
Tucson, Az  85719
Phone 520.792-3087

Mortgage Modification & Mortgage Loan Modification

There is a lot of questionable information floating around with regard to mortgage modification.  Most of this information is being provided by people and companies who hope to profit from the current mortgage loan crisis and want to charge people large fees to negotiate modification of their mortgages.

Talk to your lender and ask for the loss mitigation department.

Look in your local area for Foreclosure Prevention Seminars or Foreclosure Prevention Workshops.

You want to look at events that are involved with the HOPE program and Hope for Homeowners and similar programs.

Community Information & Referral runs a state-wide foreclosure prevention hotline in Arizona under the sponsorship of the Arizona Department of Housing. Callers are put in touch with a HUD Certified Foreclosure Counselor.

In Arizona, the number to call is 877-448-1211.  Outside of Arizona call 888-995-HOPE. provides news about foreclosure prevention efforts in the state of Arizona. This is the website of Governor Janet Napolitanos Arizona Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, and is sponsored and supported by two of my companies.

Thursday night, there was a foreclosure prevention workshop in Glendale Arizona and hundreds of people were helped. I heard one of the 20+ lenders who had a team there say that she had helped over 90 people begin the process of modifying their loans that night.

Loan Modification - Frequently Asked Questions from the Department of Housing and Urban Development - HUD

A Loan Modification is a permanent change in one or more of the terms of a mortgagors loan, allows the loan to be reinstated, and results in a payment the mortgagor can afford.

Loan Modification Frequently Asked Questions - HUD

Bill Austin
Source: Mortgage Loan Modification

The Tucson Money Faire is a special event designed to provide low to moderate income consumers with direct access to affordable, friendly and fair financial products, services and information. This year we are adding foreclosure workshops to the event as well.   Attached is the TMF Flyer and registration form

Participation in the event could include any combination of the following: staffing an information table, showcasing your specific products, programs and/or services, highlighting alternatives to and/or information on alternative options to high cost loans.

The fee to participate in the Tucson Money Faire community event is $375.00 to offset costs associated with planning a community event. In-kind contributions such as printing, event outreach, participation in planning and steering committee meetings can cover the participation fee. In addition, scholarships are available for nonprofit service organizations upon request. Just fill out the form and return by email, mail or fax. Participation Deadline: Monday November 3rd 2008

The Tucson Money Faire is a fun, exciting and extremely important community event. In the previous two years the following organizations have stepped forward to offer up fair, friendly financial services, products and information to modest income working families in our community.

Alliance Bank of Arizona , Access Tucson, Arizona Attorney General Office of Consumer Fraud,

Wells Fargo, Compass Bank, Arizona Center for Consumer Education, Arizona Federal Credit Union, Arizona Saves, Better Business Bureau of Tucson, Don’t Borrow Trouble® Pima County, Chicanos Por La Causa, Family Housing Resources, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, HUD, Hughes Federal Credit Union, Pio Decimo, Access Tucson, Southwest Center for Economic Integrity, Southwest Fair Housing Council,Southwest Gas,  Tucson Electric Power, TMM Family Services,Tucson Weed & Seed Neighborhood Coalitions, YWCA of Tucson women & money, United Way of Tucson & Southern Arizona

Let me know if you have any questions and Please join us on Saturday November 15th.

Thank you, Tucson Money Faire  Steering Committee

Cheri Horbacz
Dont Borrow Trouble ® Pima County
Project Manager
2030 E Broadway #106
Tucson, Az  85719
Phone 520.792-3087

An article by Laura T. Coffey on MSNBC about tips for preventing foreclosure.

If youre struggling to stay afloat, heres some help — and resources

There’s almost nothing more stressful – and more soul-crushing – than the specter of losing your home because you can no longer keep up with your mortgage payments. Thousands of homeowners across the United States are living with this fear, and many of them are convinced that it’s too late to avoid the worst.

That, however, might not be the case.

No matter how bleak your financial situation may seem, you still may be able to avoid having your loan servicer foreclose on your property. And foreclosure is something you absolutely want to avoid. With a foreclosure on your credit report, your credit rating will be severely damaged – so much so that it may be difficult for you to find landlords who will let you rent from them.
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If you’re struggling to stay afloat – possibly because a real estate agent encouraged you to buy more house than you could afford, or because you got funneled into a toxic mortgage loan that has ballooned exponentially on you – consider the following tips, and also check out the helpful resources listed at the end of this column.

1. Face the problem head-on.
2. Contact your lender and explain your situation.
3. Understand your mortgage rights.
4. Consider selling your home.

More here:

Stabilizing Communities: Addressing the Negative Impacts of Foreclosure

July 15-16, 2008

Hollywood Renaissance Hotel

Los Angeles, California

Hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Stabilizing Communities symposium is designed to bring together national experts to share best practices for mitigating the negative impacts of foreclosure on borrowers and neighborhoods. The objective is to provide local leaders and practitioners with tangible examples of how to address the foreclosure crisis within their communities, with a special emphasis on the issues facing high-cost markets such as those in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Over the two days, plenary panels and concurrent workshops will answer the following questions:

* What models and strategies are available to both help borrowers and convert REO properties into affordable homeownership or rental units?

* How might these strategies need to be adapted for high-cost real estate markets?

* What are the challenges that governments and nonprofits face in acquiring, rehabilitating, and managing foreclosed properties?

* And how can governments and nonprofits work with servicers and lenders to successfully convert foreclosed properties into community assets?

This symposium is part of a broader Federal Reserve System series, RecoveryRenewalRebuilding, that seeks to develop and disseminate innovative strategies and policies that can help to address the broad range of challenges related to the rise in mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures.

We hope that you will be able join us in Los Angeles on July 15th and 16th. Space is limited, so please register by June 30, 2008. Registration information, lodging details, and the agenda can be found at


(602) 542-1342

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Governor announces local toll-free help line

PHOENIX - Governor Janet Napolitano announced today the latest effort in a series of state initiatives to better serve Arizona families facing foreclosure. Homeowners who are either delinquent on their mortgage or face foreclosure now have a new, dedicated 24/7 toll-free help line to reach a local Arizona foreclosure counselor: 1-877-448-1211.

“In response to a problem that is increasingly affecting so many Arizona families we are launching this new toll free number in an effort to urge homeowners to not delay – to call today,” said Governor Janet Napolitano. “Troubled Arizona homeowners now have a phone number that will connect them to specialized services right here in Arizona. We urge anyone who may be at risk of foreclosure to call a local foreclosure counselor today.”

The Arizona foreclosure help line, made available through a $1.3 million federal grant, will be a vital link between families facing a housing crisis and access to free foreclosure counseling appointments. The Arizona Department of Housing is contracting with Community Information and Referral Services to staff the call center which will connect homeowners to a local, certified foreclosure counselor.

Other state efforts to address the mortgage foreclosure crisis in Arizona include:
• Expanding the Arizona Department of Housing’s Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention program (from $2.75 million to $4.2 million) and providing an additional $500,000 to support additional outreach in highly-impacted areas
• Additional foreclosure counselors being trained across the state
• Foreclosure Prevention Workshops for at-risk homeowners throughout Arizona
• Leadership in the Arizona Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, which brings together 200 organizations, lenders, community leaders and government representatives to coordinate outreach and education efforts to assist homeowners facing foreclosure

Tips on helping to avoid foreclosure can be found at

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