States Are Joining Foreclosure Prevention Efforts

States are increasingly taking preventative action to help the one in 33 homeowners that face a threat of foreclosure on their subprime mortgage-backed properties, according to a report by the The Pew Charitable Trusts. Realtor Magazine featured the story Friday, reporting that 31 states already adopted rules regarding predatory lending. The report also showed that 20 states have initiated official foreclosure intervention or prevention programs, and 16 states have also enacted laws to address high-cost lending. Various states offer counseling hotlines, loan funds that can be tapped to refinance unaffordable loans, and systems of borrower workouts designed to keep borrowers in their homes, according to the report. It seems states are beginning to follow California’s lead in its plan to reduce foreclosures. HousingWire on Friday covered California’s success rates for its mortgage modification program, which were released earlier in the week. A survey from the California Department of Corporations showed an overall slight decrease in both loss mitigation and foreclosure transactions but an increase in loan modifications – which help borrowers afford monthly payments – as a percentage of total workouts. California’s efforts to encourage mortgage lenders and servicers to work with borrowers and prevent foreclosures has yielded obvious results. Forward-looking plans to prevent foreclosures and keep struggling borrowers in their homes is no longer an initiative localized within states, either. A program might soon be in place that would address these concerns on a national level. Negotiations between the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on a potential plan to guarantee as many as three million distressed mortgages appeared to be nearing agreement on Thursday. Stories about the plan have circulated since FDIC chairwoman Sheila Bair first suggested it may be in the works this past Wednesday in a Congressional hearing, urging policy makers to take steps to help struggling borrowers stay in their homes and “prevent the continued downward spiral of the housing market.” Write to Diana Golobay at

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