|Atlanta Fed Releases DVD on Foreclosure Prevention
Foreclosure is an experience all homeowners wish to avoid, and the Atlanta Fed has produced a new DVD advising homeowners about how to prevent that event.
Featuring interviews with housing experts as well as homeowners who have experienced or narrowly avoided foreclosure, the 17-minute DVD is a service to Georgia homeowners as part of the Fed's mission to serve its communities through financial and economic education.
In the DVD—titled Foreclosure Prevention: Hope for Georgia's Homeowners and available through the Atlanta Fed free of charge—credit counselors, consumer advocates, and legal experts discuss common causes of foreclosure and advise home buyers to educate themselves and to be skeptical of aggressive sales pitches.
Understanding how mortgages work
In Atlanta, half the people who call the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta with mortgage difficulties have escalating loan rates, said Susan Hunt, director of the agency's housing program, in the DVD.
Most of those buyers were not aware of the complexity of getting mortgages, she said. In fact, few homeowners understand complicated real estate finance and virtually none completely understand the mortgage documents they sign, said Frank Alexander, professor at the Emory University School of Law.
Alexander, who specializes in property sales and finance, said homeowners should learn to understand the terms of their loans and to be certain of their monthly expenditures—including not only the mortgage payment but also utilities, taxes and insurance.
Communicate prior to falling behind
Michael Brown, a homeowner who had financial problems but avoided foreclosure, said in the DVD that he talked with his lender and credit counselors. "It was like taking the weight of the world off your shoulders, knowing you're going to save your home," he said.
November 13, 2007