Another Attempt To Provide Effective Foreclosure Assistance
When the feds "Hardest Hit" fund was introduced, Ohio residents didn't qualify for help. That decision was appealed, then reversed, and Ohio eventually gained $320 million, to help the out-of-work... or the about to be out-of-work… stay in their homes.
Then - Wednesday afternoon, the Obama administration gave Ohio an additional $249 million, saying it would bolster and expand the reach of those programs.
The need is clear, says the United Way's Steve Wertheim. The agency's 2-1-1 "First Call for help" line received 138 calls for assistance in less than three days of operation.
50 calls to 2-1-1 were from Cleveland, but the majority were scattered across the suburbs, from Euclid and Shaker Heights to Lakewood, plus calls from Medina, Wayne, and Geauga Counties.
Wertheim says there is a distinct difference in 2010 requests for help; compared to a year ago.
"Folks we're getting calls from now are no longer folks who I would call victims of predatory lending - the calls we're getting now are people who used to be able to pay their mortgage, and because of lack of employment - are not able to."
His numbers do not include direct calls to other area housing agencies, reachable through the federal 800-SAVE THE DREAM phone line.
A majority of calls sought direct mortgage assistance to head off default, but about a third of callers were already in default and seeking counseling help to get back on track.