Seminar Offers Advice to Avoid Home Foreclosure
The more people know, the better off they are, especially during a mortgage crisis.
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-6th District, of Wheaton hosted a housing seminar Feb. 20 at Lake Park High School in Roselle featuring representatives from various housing organizations offering information and insight to those seeking to purchase a home or trying to avoid foreclosure.
Roskam's district has been enduring the mortgage crisis like much of the nation.
"DuPage County specifically has been severely impacted by foreclosures," Roskam said, "up more than 54 percent from just 2006."
"As in many cases, knowledge is power," Roskam said. "Homeowners that find themselves in difficult financial situations need to know that help is out there, and proactive homeowners can often save their homes." Need help?
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a free foreclosure counseling hot line at (888) 995-4673 (HOPE).
Judith Heaney of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also urged seminar attendees to be informed.
"Problems can be fixed, but people need to educated," she said. "You need information to make good decisions."
Heaney also encouraged potential homeowners to pursue their plans.
"Don't be afraid to buy a home," she stated. "Most lending products are good ... what's important is you get a mortgage and stay in your home."
Greg Lewis of the Illinois Housing Development Authority explained the lending services his organization provides homebuyers. Though the group does not provide refinancing, they do offer loans at a lower rate.
"I'm here as an education source for you," Lewis told attendees.
Lynette Briggs of the DuPage Homeowners Association said her organization provides help for first-time homebuyers and offers foreclosure counseling.
"The first step in purchasing a home is to look at your budget," she said. "That was a step missed by a lot of families out there right now."
She said that in her experience the four most common reasons for foreclosure are job loss, debt overload, health or family crises.
During a question-and-answer period, the speakers urged those with financial troubles to seek help and work proactively to keep their homes.
"The bank doesn't want your house," stated Lewis. "They want payments."