Partners (Number 1, 2008)

Atlanta Fed Partners in Events Across the Region to Prevent Foreclosure

Dekalb County, Georgia Foreclosure Prevention Workshop Housing markets throughout the Sixth District are registering the impact of the foreclosure crisis. Foreclosure rates in Florida and Georgia were among the highest in the country in 2007, according to RealtyTrac.

In response, the Atlanta Fed is partnering with NeighborWorks America, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), local municipalities and local community partners in efforts to assist homeowners in the region who are facing foreclosure. Janet Hamer of the Jacksonville Branch of the Atlanta Reserve Bank and Sibyl Slade of the Atlanta Reserve Bank are playing a key role in activities that have assisted thousands of consumers facing foreclosures throughout Florida and Georgia.

Decatur, Georgia
January 2008 was declared "Foreclosure Prevention and Awareness" month in DeKalb County by County CEO Vernon Jones. The D & E Group, a HUD-approved financial education and counseling agency, has led community activities, which featured a series of consumer workshops each week in January and a luncheon to inform pastors about foreclosure intervention and prevention efforts in Georgia. Foreclosure Prevention and Awareness month culminated with a consumer workout day which provided one-on-one counseling, workout sessions with lenders onsite, group counseling sessions and re-finance workshops. Over 1,000 consumers attended the workout day. Of the 37 attendees who faced immediate foreclosure, 19 were able to save their homes.

Tampa, Florida
Over 200 consumers attended a Homeownership and Foreclosure Prevention Expo Tampa in January. Financial institutions, realtors, housing counselors, local government homeownership programs and other nonprofits provided information and conducted seminars on foreclosure, credit and homeownership opportunities.

Boynton Beach, Florida
A Homeownership and Foreclosure Prevention Expo in Boynton Beach last February drew over 400 participants. At this event the local government provided information about local rescue funds and assistance programs for those facing foreclosure. Consumers also received information about workout options. Financial institutions, housing counselors, and other nonprofits were also on hand to provide assistance.

Orlando, Florida
In Orlando over 600 consumers participated in a Homeownership and Foreclosure Prevention Clinic in February. Those attending could choose among several workshop options, including short sales, foreclosure prevention, FHA Secure, down payment assistance programs, credit counseling and homeownership opportunities.

Meetings for Stakeholders
In the Atlanta Fed's Jacksonville Branch, Janet Hamer partnered with the Jacksonville HUD office to host a meeting for financial institutions, mortgage brokers, city government and housing counselors. The goal was to discuss various programs already underway locally and to consider how community stakeholders could work together to meet the needs of the Jacksonville community more effectively.

Sibyl Slade and Michael Milner of the Fed's Birmingham Branch joined with the Southeast District Office of NeighborWorks America to host a similar meeting for statewide stakeholders in Birmingham.

HOPE NOW, a national alliance between housing counselors, servicers, investors and other mortgage market participants, also hosted a multi-state foreclosure series in April and May with events held in Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, and Jacksonville. For more information about the HOPE NOW Alliance, please visit their website at http://www.hopenow.com/.

This article was written by Sibyl Slade, regional community development manager at the Atlanta Fed.