City offers Help and Hope through Foreclosure Prevention Assistance & Homebuyer Education Fair

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foreclosure assistance programThe Long Beach Housing Development Company will present the “Help & Hope” Foreclosure Prevention Assistance and Homebuyer Education Fair this weekend at Long Beach Polytechnic High School.

The free event has the dual purpose to “help” families prevent foreclosure and provide “hope” to families who dream of purchasing a home now that home prices are lower than in previous years. Congresswoman Laura Richardson is expected to attend.

The City of Long Beach is a focus area with many neighborhoods in the region hit hard by the foreclosure crisis.  Five zip codes in the area are ranked among the Top 50 “Foreclosure Hot Spots” in Los Angeles County.

Over 14,000 families have already lost their homes as of June 30, 2010 and, according to RealtyTrac, foreclosures in the U.S. could hit 1 million as the housing market continues to struggle.   Top Lenders in Los Angeles County, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase, will deploy special loss mitigation teams to the event to work with borrowers to save their homes. HUD-certified counselors and attorneys will also be on-hand to provide confidential foreclosure counseling.

The public is encouraged to get informed and receive free professional help, like homebuyer Andre Arreola did.  Andre purchased a home in Long Beach in 2005, and his dream of owning a home came true. Unfortunately, when Andre obtained the loan to purchase his home, he was not informed that his mortgage loan was an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) loan.

Three years later, Andre’s Lender notified him that his mortgage payment has increased to over $3,000.  Unable to make the monthly payments, Andre soon went into default.

Like many homeowners, Andre fell victim to a loan modification scam.  He did everything to try and save his home to no avail.  At the time Andre received a Notice of Sale from his Lender, he heard about LANHS and attended a foreclosure Prevention event. He was counseled and worked closely with an LANHS Counselor.  One week before the new sale date, Andre received a trial modification.

“It was a miracle,” said Andre Arreola. “I felt like I was re-born when I received the letter from my Lender.”  Now Andre Arreola continues to live the American dream of being a homeowner.

“It is encouraging to hear stories like Mr. Arreola’s,” said Councilmember Dee Andrews, 6th District.  “We all know someone who needs help.  Tell your families, friends and neighbors. I encourage homeowners in distress to attend – get the help you need so that you too can continue to have the pride of homeownership. “

The recovery for the mortgage crisis will be slow, however, as the crisis has created an opportunity for families to purchase foreclosed properties.  Home prices are about 29 percent lower, on average, than peaks set four years ago. Unlike past Foreclosure Prevention events, this one is different, as it will offer a 45-minute homebuyer orientation where attendees can get pre-qualified and receive information on down-payment assistance programs.  Families who have money saved and a good credit score may be able to purchase a foreclosed home.

“The LBHDC is proud to bring this event to Long Beach once again” said Patrick Brown, Chair of The LBHDC. “ Last year’s event was highly successful. We had over 1,750 in attendance and Lenders were able to assist 768 households with their mortgages.  We are looking to another successful event as we help homeowners in distress, and give hope to those who have always dreamed of purchasing a home.”

The event is free and refreshments will be served.

The Help and Hope Foreclosure Prevention Assistance and Homebuyer Education Fair takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, August 7 at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, 1600 Atlantic Avenue. For more information, call (213) 381-2862 or visit www.LANHS.org.

The “Help & Hope” Foreclosure Prevention Assistance and Homebuyer Education Fair is sponsored by Long Beach Housing Development Company (LBHDC), together with Councilmember Dee Andrews, 6th District, The Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services (LANHS), and Los Angeles County NeighborWorks Center for foreclosure Solutions.

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