As mortgage forbearance ended for many homeowners who sought it due to COVID-19-related hardships, Neighborhood Housing Partnership of Greater Springfield
expected a surge in requests for foreclosure assistance.
That hasn’t happened, says Kerri Brammer, NHP’s HomeOwnership Center manager. But that doesn’t mean that the need isn’t there, and NHP is taking steps to find homeowners who require help in Clark and a dozen other counties.
“People owe a lot of money,” Brammer says, and they are trying to figure out how to pay the balance. The nonprofit organization helps by acting as advocates with the homeowner’s servicer, putting together or modifying hardship applications in order to get the best response from lenders.
Many people are able to navigate the process and keep their home in the end, she says, but others need assistance. Sometimes homeowners facing foreclosure move too quickly, not realizing the amount of time they have, Brammer says.
“Having someone guide them is really, really important,” she says.
The organization also is locating homeowners who may need help by researching court records in Clark and other counties for foreclosure complaint filings by loan servicers, which indicate that a foreclosure action has begun. NHP mails postcards to these homeowners, and contacts them via phone or email if that information is
NHP is one of Ohio’s eight NeighborWorks America organizations, which coordinated foreclosure intervention efforts by designating the state’s 88 counties so that all are served, Brammer says. NHP has become the go-to organization for foreclosure assistance in 13 counties: Clark, Champaign, Logan, Greene, Montgomery, Miami, Madison, Union, Allen, Auglaize, Shelby, Fayette and Putnam.
As a housing counseling agency approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, foreclosure assistance from NHP is free, Brammer says. The organization works only with owner-occupied properties.
“The hard thing to battle is that there are a lot of scammers out there,” she says, adding that some who claim to help charge a fee.
Homeowners in need of foreclosure assistance can call the NHP office at 937-322-4623, email [email protected]
or contact the organization through its website at www.springfieldnhp.org.
The best time to contact NHP for foreclosure assistance is as soon as homeowners realize that they won’t be able to make their next payment, whether that is because of lost income or an increase in expenses.
Homeowners have more flexibility in the beginning, she says.
“The earlier, the better,” she says.