U.S. Congressman David Scott (D-Ga.) recently announced that he is looking to help thousands of local homeowners ward off the threat of foreclosures this week.
Scott is slated to host his second annual “Help for Homeowners Community Events,” where homeowners are expected to look into receiving assistance with their mortgages, on Friday and Saturday. Mortgage service providers, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counselors are scheduled to be at the events to help financially strapped homeowners stay in their homes.
Last year’s events drew approximately 8,000 people looking for help to prevent their homes going into foreclosure, even though many of them could not get the help they sought during the event, the congressman said. He added he and his staff are working to dramatically increase the number of people who get mortgage assistance this year, however.
“We helped more than 3,000 people stay in their homes by modifying their loans last year,” Scott said. “This year, I’m hoping to get assistance to 10,000, or more, people.
Scott’s “Help for Homeowners Community Events” are set to run from 1 p.m., to 8 p.m., on Friday, and from 9 a.m., to 3 p.m., on Saturday, at the Georgia International Convention Center, which is located at 2000 Convention Center Concourse, in College Park.
The event is expected to include representatives from 26 lending institutions, including some of the nation’s largest bank chains, such as Bank of America, Chase Bank, Citi Mortgage, and Wells Fargo. Officials from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs are also expected to be in attendance, according to Scott.
The congressman said one of the main reasons why he holds the homeowners event is to help turn the tide of foreclosures in Georgia. He explained that the state ranks fourth in the nation in foreclosures, and is first in the nation in bank failures. He added that Georgia has received approximately $340 million in unspent federal “Hardest Hit” funds.
“These are funds intended to help people who have lost their job, and have no other source of income to help them pay their mortgages,” Scott said. “They can qualify for what we call a ‘loan with forgiveness,’ which will cover up to 18 months of mortgage payments while they are unemployed and looking for work.”
He later added the homeowner never actually sees the money because the state’s Department of Community Affairs pays the money directly to the bank, or other lending institution, that holds the mortgage. Scott said people who attend the homeowner events will be able to learn how to apply for the loans. “If we could get that money out there, it would help out a lot people,” the congressman said.
The event is slated to include on-site preparation of Georgia HomeSafe program applications, initial counseling, document signing, review and on-site executions of mortgage modification agreements, counseling for homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments, and short-sale assistance, according to a news release from the congressman’s office.
There are several pieces of information people are asked to bring to the event, however, to make sure they can get on-the-spot assistance. Participants in the events are asked to bring:
• A “Request for Mortgage Assistance form.”
• Their IRS 4506T-EZ form, or the last two years of their tax returns.
• A monthly mortgage statement.
• Information on other mortgages the homeowner has.
• The two most recent pay stubs for all household members who contribute towards mortgage payments.
• The most recent quarterly, or year-to-date profit and loss statement (for self-employed people only).
• Documentation of income from other sources, such as alimony, child support, or Social Security.
• Their two most recent bank statements.
• A utility bill showing the homeowner’s name and property address.
• An unemployment insurance verification letter.