(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)
Foreclosures have been a constant worry for many who have found themselves unable to make mortgage payments because of the economic downturn or job loss.
But Attorney General Martha Coakley hopes her new “HomeCorps” program, unveiled Wednesday, will help alleviate some of the burden on homeowners.
Coakley’s new program will make not only make the process of refinancing and finding resources easier for residents, but will also provide them with a one-stop resource for everything they need to know about foreclosure and how they can fight it and refinance. According to the AG’s office, more than five-million people across the country have lost their homes to foreclosure, including 45,000 in Massachusetts.
“This comprehensive HomeCorps program will directly assist Massachusetts homeowners with avoiding unnecessary foreclosures and helping to prevent this crisis from deepening further,” Coakley said. “Our office worked hard to ensure the best possible outcome for Massachusetts borrowers from this national settlement. These new programs will now allow us to further assist distressed borrowers and stabilize communities deeply impacted by the foreclosure crisis.”
Coakley, along with Mayor Thomas M. Menino, unveiled the program Wednesday afternoon on Fuller Street in Dorchester, at the home of a resident who almost lost everything when she was unable to make the necessary payments on her loans and her bank was unwilling to refinance her rate.
“It’s not that [home loans] are confusing, but at the time my lender was not willing to help me,” said Jeanette McDaniel, the Fuller Street resident who almost lost her home of 12 years. “I didn’t know what to do, I felt helpless. I went to a lawyer and thought they could help and when that failed I almost gave up.”
McDaniel shared her story Wednesday with Coakley and the Mayor, highlighting the help the Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation provided her with her loan modification. She expressed how important the work they and the AG do and how it helped her retain her home and ensure that she could make the payments.
“Foreclosures are a tragedy for families and neighborhoods and that’s why my team has been working hard on our thre e-pronged approach: prevention, intervention, and recollection,” Menino said. “We’re very proud of the results, our approach has worked in Boston, and we believe it can work throughout the Commonwealth."
The new program, paid for from the State’s $44.5 million share of a national settlement involving five of the largest mortgage services in the United States, takes a two part approach to deal with the crisis, not only helping residents with their mortgages but educating them about good and bad mortgages.
The first part of the program dedicates $16 million to help alleviate the future impacts of foreclosure crisis through assistance to distressed borrowers in Massachusetts.
The second part of the program provides $10 million in funds to other programs, which help alleviate the impact of the crisis to borrowers and will also work to fix the damage done to cities and neighborhoods from the foreclosure crisis.
Along with the new initiative the program also works hard to provide residents with information about loans through the program’s website and hotline. For more information about the program and the support it provides, click here. To reach the HomeCorps Hotline call (617) 573-5333.