Arizona Foreclosure Prevention Task Force Taskforce Helping Reduce and Prevent Residential Foreclosures in Arizona Wed, 13 May 2009 01:05:31 +0000 en hourly 1 33.617504-111.954167arizonaforeclosure with My Yahoo!Subscribe with NewsGatorSubscribe with My AOLSubscribe with BloglinesSubscribe with NetvibesSubscribe with GoogleSubscribe with PageflakesSubscribe with FeedLoungeSubscribe with Live.comSubscribe with Excite MIXSubscribe with Daily RotationAdd to Any Feed Reader Arizona Foreclosure Information Workbook Tue, 12 May 2009 23:48:19 +0000 Bill Austin The Arizona Foreclosure Information Workbook is available for download now.

Click the link below to download the Foreclosure Information workbook

Arizona Foreclosure Information Workbook

Foreclosure Prevention Workshop Thu, 02 Apr 2009 05:38:53 +0000 Bill Austin Foreclosure Prevention Workshop

Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church
226 East Lester Street, Tucson, AZ 85705
Ph: 624-3813 Website:

SATURDAY, April 25, 2009
8 A.M. to 1 P.M.
Registration Begins at 7:30 a.m.
Opening Remarks
Richard Elías, Chairman, Pima County Board of Supervisors
Karen Uhlich, Vice Mayor, Ward 3, City of Tucson Council
BC Robinson, Housing Counselor, Tucson urban League
Jan Bontrager, regional manager (AZ, UT, NV),
Community Development,
Federal reserve Bank of san Francisco

Help is here!
Learn how you can:
Manage your Money
Work with your Mortgage Lenders
Spot Frauds and Scams
Take Control of Your Situation

Space is limited!

Please call Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church at 624-3813 to register. Seating and workbooks are limited so call soon! Spanish translation services will be available. Attendees will receive a free workbook, handouts and refreshments.

Presented by Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church In partnership with Pima County Foreclosure Prevention Coalition Arizona Foreclosure Prevention Task Force Don’t Borrow Trouble® Pima County

May 2nd-Scottsdale Prevention Event Wed, 01 Apr 2009 21:24:50 +0000 Bill Austin 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

Federal Reserve Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure Scams Fri, 06 Mar 2009 19:17:36 +0000 Bill Austin 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.  It’s 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 doesn’t have to be costly,” said Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth A Duke.  “It shouldn’t 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 cashier’s check or wire transfer.  Consumers should not pay for a service without knowing exactly what they are buying.

Avoiding foreclosure cannot be guaranteed–regardless 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 it’s 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 isn’t on the list, then switch to one that is.
  • Don’t 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. Don’t let a counselor pressure you into signing paperwork you haven’t had a chance to read thoroughly or that you don’t 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 Board’s website:

5 Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure Scams

Avoiding Foreclosure Fri, 13 Feb 2009 05:44:55 +0000 Bill Austin Freddie Mac Online Guide to Avoiding Foreclosure
Foreclosure Rescue Scams Thu, 05 Feb 2009 09:00:07 +0000 Bill Austin Foreclosure Rescue Scams:

Another Potential Stress for Homeowners in Distress

Brochure: Foreclosure Scams - English

Brochure: Foreclosure Scams - Spanish

The possibility of losing your home to foreclosure can be terrifying. The reality that scam artists are preying on the vulnerability of desperate homeowners is equally frightening. Many so-called foreclosure rescue companies or foreclosure assistance firms claim they can help you save your home. Some are brazen enough to offer a money-back guarantee. Unfortunately, once most of these foreclosure fraudsters take your money, they leave you much the worse for wear.

Fraudulent foreclosure “rescue” professionals use half truths and outright lies to sell services that promise relief and then fail to deliver. Their goal is to make a quick profit through fees or mortgage payments they collect from you, but do not pass on to the lender. Sometimes, they assume ownership of your property by deceiving you, the homeowner. Then, when it’s too late to save your home, they take the property or siphon off the equity. You’ve lost your home to foreclosure despite your best intentions.

If you think you may be facing foreclosure, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, wants you to know how to recognize a foreclosure rescue scam. And even if the foreclosure process has already begun, the FTC and its law enforcement partners want you to know that legitimate options are available to help you save your home.

How the Scams Work

Foreclosure rescue firms use a variety of tactics to find homeowners in distress: Some sift through public foreclosure notices in newspapers and on the Internet or through public files at local government offices, and then send personalized letters to homeowners. Others take a broader approach through ads on the Internet, on television, or in the newspaper, posters on telephone poles, median strips and at bus stops, or flyers or business cards at your front door. The scam artists use simple and straight-forward messages, like:

“Stop Foreclosure Now!”

“We guarantee to stop your foreclosure.”

“Keep Your Home. We know your home is scheduled to be sold. No Problem!”

“We have special relationships within many banks that can speed up case approvals.”

“We Can Save Your Home. Guaranteed. Free Consultation”

“We stop foreclosures everyday. Our team of professionals can stop yours this week!”

Once they have your attention, they use a variety of tactics to get your money:

Phony Counseling or Phantom Help

The scam artist tells you that he can negotiate a deal with your lender to save your house if you pay a fee first. You may be told not to contact your lender, lawyer, or credit counselor, and to let the scam artist handle all the details. Once you pay the fee, the scam artist takes off with your money.

Sometimes, the scam artist insists that you make all mortgage payments directly to him while he negotiates with the lender. In this instance, the scammer may collect a few months of payments before disappearing.


You think you’re signing documents for a new loan to make your existing mortgage current. This is a trick: you’ve signed documents that surrender the title of your house to the scam artist in exchange for a “rescue” loan.

Rent-to-Buy Scheme

You’re told to surrender the title as part of a deal that allows you to remain in your home as a renter, and to buy it back during the next few years. You may be told that surrendering the title will permit a borrower with a better credit rating to secure new financing – and prevent the loss of the home. But the terms of these deals usually are so burdensome that buying back your home becomes impossible. You lose the home, and the scam artist walks off with all or most of your home’s equity. Worse yet, when the new borrower defaults on the loan, you’re evicted.

In a variation, the scam artist raises the rent over time to the point that the former homeowner can’t afford it. After missing several rent payments, the renter – the former homeowner – is evicted, leaving the “rescuer” free to sell the house.

In a similar equity-skimming situation, the scam artist offers to find a buyer for your home, but only if you sign over the deed and move out. The scam artist promises to pay you a portion of the profit when the home sells. Once you transfer the deed, the scam artist simply rents out the home and pockets the proceeds while your lender proceeds with the foreclosure. In the end, you lose your home – and you’re still responsible for the unpaid mortgage. That’s because transferring the deed does nothing to transfer your mortgage obligation.

Fraudulent foreclosure “rescue” professionals use half truths and outright lies to sell services that promise relief and then fail to deliver.

Bankruptcy Foreclosure

The scam artist may promise to negotiate with your lender or to get refinancing on your behalf if you pay a fee up front. Instead of contacting your lender or refinancing your loan, though, the scam artist pockets the fee and files a bankruptcy case in your name – sometimes without your knowledge.

A bankruptcy filing often stops a home foreclosure, but only temporarily. What’s more, the bankruptcy process is complicated, expensive, and unforgiving. For example, if you fail to attend the first meeting with the creditors, the bankruptcy judge will dismiss the case and the foreclosure proceedings will continue.

If this happens, you could lose the money you paid to the scam artist as well as your home. Worse yet, a bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years, and can make it difficult to obtain credit, buy a home, get life insurance, or sometimes get a job.

Where to Find Legitimate Help

If you’re having trouble paying your mortgage or you have gotten a foreclosure notice, contact your lender immediately. You may be able to negotiate a new repayment schedule. Remember that lenders generally don’t want to foreclose; it costs them money.

Other foreclosure prevention options, including reinstatement and forbearance, are explained in Mortgage Payments Sending You Reeling? Here’s What to Do, a publication from the FTC. Find it at

You also may contact a credit counselor through the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF), a nonprofit organization that operates the national 24/7 toll-free hotline (1.888.995.HOPE) with free, bilingual, personalized assistance to help at-risk homeowners avoid foreclosure. HPF is a member of the HOPE NOW Alliance of mortgage servicers, mortgage market participants and counselors. More information about HOPE NOW is at

Red Flags

If you’re looking for foreclosure prevention help, avoid any business that:

  • guarantees to stop the foreclosure process – no matter what your circumstances
  • instructs you not to contact your lender, lawyer, or credit or housing counselor
  • collects a fee before providing you with any services
  • accepts payment only by cashier’s check or wire transfer
  • encourages you to lease your home so you can buy it back over time
  • tells you to make your mortgage payments directly to it, rather than your lender
  • tells you to transfer your property deed or title to it
  • offers to buy your house for cash at a fixed price that is not set by the housing market at the time of sale
  • offers to fill out paperwork for you
  • pressures you to sign paperwork you haven’t had a chance to read thoroughly or that you don’t understand.

If you’re having trouble paying your mortgage or you have gotten a foreclosure notice, contact your lender immediately.

Report Fraud

If you think you’ve been a victim of foreclosure fraud, contact:

  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Your state Attorney General
  • Your local Better Business Bureau

For More Information

To learn more about mortgages and other credit-related issues, visit and, the U.S. government’s portal to financial education.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Foreclosure Survival for Families and Neighborhoods Thu, 04 Dec 2008 16:06:12 +0000 Bill Austin 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, 2008–9:00AM-Noon
Gilbert Town Hall
50 E. Civic Center Drive, Gilbert, AZ 85296

January 10, 2009–9:00AM-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.

Foreclosure Prevention Loss Mitigation Training Tue, 04 Nov 2008 21:48:30 +0000 Bill Austin 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
Don’t Borrow Trouble ® Pima County
Project Manager
2030 E Broadway #106
Tucson, Az  85719
Phone 520.792-3087
Mortgage Modification Sat, 25 Oct 2008 15:23:49 +0000 Bill Austin 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 Napolitano’s 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 mortgagor’s 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

Tucson Money Faire Mon, 20 Oct 2008 21:16:48 +0000 Bill Austin

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
Don’t Borrow Trouble ® Pima County
Project Manager
2030 E Broadway #106
Tucson, Az  85719
Phone 520.792-3087