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August 24, 2009

Richmond Fed Working with HOPE NOW, NeighborWorks America to Help Homeowners

Richmond, VA

As more homeowners find themselves at risk of foreclosure, knowing where to turn for guidance becomes increasingly important. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is joining HOPE NOW, Making Home Affordable, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and NeighborWorks America to sponsor two free, public events for borrowers in greater Washington, D.C., who are facing foreclosure. The goal of these events is to bring borrowers at risk of foreclosure together with servicers for face-to-face discussions about possible mortgage resolutions.

The first event will take place August 27 from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Cecil D. Hylton Memorial Chapel, 14640 Potomac Mills Road, Woodbridge, Va. The second event will take place August 29 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Charles Herbert Flowers High School, 10001 Ardwick Ardmore Road, Springdale, Md.

HOPE NOW Alliance includes more than 25 organizations and serves as an intermediary between lenders, mortgage service companies and non-profit housing counselors on behalf of troubled homeowners. These events will offer homeowners the opportunity to meet individually with their mortgage servicer and housing counselors to discuss feasible options to avoid foreclosure. Certified housing counselors will offer educational workshops on foreclosure prevention and credit counseling. Studies have shown that counseling increases the chances of borrowers receiving direct assistance from mortgage servicers.

Weaknesses within the housing market and rising unemployment rates have left families uncertain about the viability of homeownership. Areas once unaffected by foreclosure are now experiencing unemployment and spillover effects from adjacent communities. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has identified the Washington, D.C., region – including Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia suburbs – as an area with increasing mortgage delinquency and foreclosure challenges. According to June 2009 LPS Applied Analytics, 8.57 percent of the loans in Prince George's County, Md., and 5.72 percent of loans in Prince William County, Va., were more than 90 days delinquent. These figures exceed the average for the D.C. region of 4.28 percent.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the unadjusted rate of unemployed persons for the Washington area in June 2009 reached 6.8 percent, compared with the national rate of 9.7 percent.

The Richmond Fed offers online information to help address challenges associated with foreclosures through its Foreclosure Resource Center.


The Richmond Fed serves the Fifth Federal Reserve District, which includes the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and most of West Virginia. As part of the nation's central bank, we're one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that work together with the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors to strengthen the economy and our communities. We manage the nation's money supply to keep inflation low and help the economy grow. We also supervise and regulate financial institutions to help safeguard our nation's financial system and protect the integrity and efficiency of our payments system.

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