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February 07 2012

Homeowners Join LA City Councilman Eric Garcetti and Operation HOPE to Share Stories of Foreclosure Prevention

Founder John Hope Bryant Urge People to Call Hotline for Mortgage Help; Announce Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline Success

LOS ANGELES –The Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline has provided critical foreclosure counseling to 40,013 homeowners since being established by Operation HOPE and Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti in 2007 in response to the growing subprime mortgage meltdown.
On February 2, Garcetti joined with Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant for a press conference with local homeowners aided by the hotline. Bryant and Garcetti report on the initiative’s success and encourage more struggling mortgage holders to take advantage of the program.

“You don’t have to go it alone. You don’t have to pay for help. Some banks report that up to 50 percent of foreclosures are proceed without the homeowner seeking help. If you are at risk of foreclosure, call 1-888-388-HOPE for free assistance,” Garcetti said. “The entire system needs reform. Right now, the system is geared toward foreclosure. We need a system focused on keeping families in their homes. We need the banks to step up to the plate.”

“The MHCH state-of-the-art call centers average nearly 3,000 calls each month,” said Bryant, who also serves as Chairman, of the Subcommittee on the Underserved and Community Empowerment for the US President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability. “Clients like Carol Medina, Hazel Lucina, Issac Blair and Sylvia Uduak give depth to the Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline and exemplify what the service really means to individuals and families. This is just part of the work that Operation HOPE does to bring “silver rights” and financial dignity to underserved communities.”

Hazel Lucina speaks about her mortgage

Carol Medina shares her story of HOPE

In the first twenty days of the launch, the service logged an astonishing 12,020 calls.  What began as an initiative for Los Angeles was expanded to provide foreclosure assistance nationwide and another call center was added to handle the heavy demand. To date, the service has received more than 147,000 calls, averages over 500 new cases each month, and has counseled more than 40,000 clients and funded more than $450 million in loan modifications.

As many 5-year adjustable rates will adjust this year, it is important that homeowners seek help before their mortgages get beyond their control. Trained mortgage crisis counselors provide guidance on:

  • How to negotiate with your lender
  • How to apply for loan modifications
  • How to avoid foreclosure
  • How to sell a house and purchase a more affordable home
  • How to restructure your existing debt and obligations

The homeowners who averted foreclosure with assistance from the free financial counseling MHCH hotline urge Angelinos in danger of defaulting on their adjustable or variable rate mortgage loans or still struggling with subprime mortgages to call -- 888-388-HOPE (4673) for help.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Operation HOPE promotes financial dignity through financial literacy and education tools to underserved communities in more than 273 cities worldwide. Through it four core portfolios, the organization has provided youth and adult financial literacy, economic preparedness, digital empowerment, in addition to promoting home ownership, and assisting with foreclosure prevention to more than 2 million individuals, families and small business owners.

In 2012, HOPE will celebrate two decades of making the free market system work for low-income communities in a Silver Rights Movement to eradicate poverty and build dignity.

About Los Angeles City Councilmember Eric Garcetti
Los Angeles City Councilmember Eric Garcetti has tackled the foreclosure crisis through his support of Operation HOPE as well as by authoring a groundbreaking Los Angeles foreclosure eviction moratorium and a law that fines banks up to $100,000 when they harm neighborhoods by neglecting foreclosed homes. Garcetti also helped author legislation to protect consumers against mortgage fraud. He is Chair of the city’s Jobs committee and was previously Chair of the city’s Housing, Community and Economic Development Committee. He served as Council President from 2006 until the new year. For more information about the Councilmember, visit his website here.