Sunday, 14 April 2024

Foreclosure and homebuyer workshops planned for Nov. 21

UKIAH – The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco ( FHLBank San Francisco), working with the Mendocino/Lake Housing Foreclosure Prevention Coalition, will host a free Community Housing Forum on Saturday, Nov. 21, in Mendocino and Lake counties.

Special guests for the events include Rep. Mike Thompson and AssemblymanWesley Chesbro.

The Foreclosure Prevention and First-Time Homebuyer Workshops will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds in Ukiah, and in Lakeport from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lake County Fairgrounds.

Presentations will be offered in English and Spanish and refreshments will be provided.

“The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco is looking forward to helping consumers who are confronted with critical housing issues,” said Dwight Alexander, vice president, legislative and regulatory affairs, FHLBank San Francisco. “We know there are many families who need counseling on what to do when they fall behind on their mortgages. And at the other end of the spectrum, there are families who need advice on their first home purchase.”

Among the organizations also sponsoring the sessions are Mendo Lake Credit Union, Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority, Redwood Credit Union, Rural Communities Housing Development Corporation, Savings Bank of Mendocino County and The Bogner Group.

“My office has been working for the last year with local lenders, housing counselors, legal advocates and others to find ways to assist first time homebuyers and those who may be facing foreclosure,” said Rep. Thompson. “It’s crucial that families get good advice on how to deal with their housing problems. The upcoming community housing forum will help address the foreclosure crisis by helping people find information and get their questions answered by experts. It’s the sign of a strong community that so many people and organizations are willing to help out.”

Thompson offered special thanks to the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and the Mendocino/Lake Housing Foreclosure Prevention Coalition for their leadership in pulling the home loan counseling sessions together.

Assemblyman Chesbro agreed, adding, “We are grateful to our community institutions for providing their time and resources to help others. We’re hoping that these counseling sessions will provide sound advice so that families can avoid losing their homes.”

Alexander said that, unfortunately, there are not enough experienced housing counselors in the area so the FHLBank San Francisco is working with community organizations and financial institutions to help fill the void with the workshops.

Officials noted that the Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority (NCIHA) is certified by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide counseling, but NCIHA only has one person who does foreclosure counseling part time for people from both Lake and Mendocino counties.

In addition, the Human Development Corporation has one person who is bilingual and works out of Lake County and recently begun offering assistance.

The demand for counseling is high because of the alarming number of foreclosures in the area.

In Mendocino County, which has a population of 86,221 and is 20.6 percent Latino, there are currently 539 homes in foreclosure. In 2007, there were only 70.

Foreclosures are also escalating in Lake County, where the population is 64,866 and is 15.7 percent Latino. There are currently 1,361 homes in foreclosure in Lake County. By contrast, there were only 288 in 2007.

“We realize that we have a community problem and next to no resources to address it,” said Ruth Valenzuela, one of the founders of the Mendocino/Lake Housing Foreclosure Prevention Coalition. “We began meeting with business leaders, lenders, and representatives of housing and government agencies, among others and began a brainstorming process that has yielded many cooperative solutions to portions of the problem but our main challenge remains. We don’t have enough HUD approved counselors to assist even a small percentage of the people in need and there is no funding to develop more.”

But the workshops will give local residents a chance to get the counseling they need. There will be panel presentations, workshops in Spanish and English and written materials. Admission, counseling and parking are free; families are welcome and there will be refreshments.

People seeking foreclosure prevention assistance from HUD-certified housing or legal services counselors must bring two current pay stubs, two most recent W-2 forms, four most recent monthly bank statements if they are self-employed, most recent mortgage statement, recent correspondence with the lender and a list of monthly expenses.

Those attending may register at: .

For assistance by phone with foreclosure issues Hope for Homeowners may be reached at 888-995-4673.

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