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January 18 2008

L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti and Operation HOPE Deliver Needed Assistance to L.A. Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

Angelenos challenged with making escalating mortgage payments have additional tool in HOPE’s expanded hotline           





LOS ANGELES – January 18, 2008 – Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti and Operation HOPE Founder and CEO John Bryant today announced the expansion and promotional campaign of the Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline 888 388 HOPE (4673).



The toll-free number is staffed by professionals who provide financial counseling services to those most in jeopardy of losing their homes.  In light of the historic upsurge of subprime mortgage defaults, HOPE has been providing financial literacy education to literally thousands of Angelenos. The recent collaboration with housing advocate NeighborWorks has resulted in the capability of servicing more clients. 


“We want the many Angelenos who are facing foreclosure to know that they are not alone.  Help is just a phone call away.  We want people to call as soon as they think they might need help because the earlier they do, the easier it may be to help them.  The volunteers at the Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline are trained mortgage lending professionals who will provide free counseling to help families keep their homes,” said Council President Garcetti. 


Homeowners Thomas Rapier and Imelda Sandoval understand first-hand the extent of the nightmare many families are facing. 


“We were ready to throw in the towel,” said Rapier about their mortgage debacle.  “But then we called the Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline and we got the help we needed. An assigned representative helped us save our home through negotiations that resulted in a monthly payment we could manage.”


Mortgage industry analysts estimate that as many as 1.5 million Americans are at risk of foreclosure as low introductory mortgage rates expire and payments increase.  According to the Federal Reserve, approximately 320,000 foreclosures nationwide were initiated in the first two quarters of 2007, up from an average of about 225,000 at this same time during the past six years.  More than half of the 2007 foreclosures were on homes financed with subprime mortgages.


“Our mission is to ensure that families don’t make the same poor financial decisions,” said Operation HOPE Founder and CEO John Hope Bryant.  “Knowledge is power, and empowerment through financial literacy is what defines HOPE’s Silver Rights Movement.”   


The Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline is supported by a state-of-the-art call center created in October 2005 by a partnership with The First American Corporation located in Poway, CA .  Staffed by HOPE employees, it serves as a virtual financial education and services center for individuals seeking credit counseling, homeownership guidance and loan products.  Operation HOPE also provides financial literacy education in local public schools and emergency financial counseling to impacted families following disasters.


The toll-free crisis hotline will give at-risk homeowners an opportunity to obtain free guidance and information on how to resolve those financial issues.  The mortgage crisis counselors are trained to provide guidance on:  


           How to negotiate with lenders

           How to apply for loan modifications

           How to avoid foreclosure

           How to sell a house and purchase a more affordable home

           How to restructure existing debt and obligations 


Los Angeles residents experiencing mounting concerns should take the first step in getting accurate information, guidance and referral to available resources by calling the Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline at 888 388 HOPE (4673).  All services are free and strictly confidential.