GA HOME SAFE – New Program

Important HomeSafe Georgia News

On September 28th the Georgia Department of Community Affairs announced the launch of Underwater Georgia, a new HomeSafe initiative specifically targeted to the approximately 150,000 Georgians who owe more than their homes are worth. Homeowners approved through Underwater Georgia can receive a one-time payment of up to $50,000 to reduce the principal balance on their home. In addition to providing information about Underwater Georgia – without doubt the most significant and potentially impactful HomeSafe program modification to date – this document also chronicles other important activity associated with HomeSafe that has occurred since the January 2016 publication of HomeSafe Georgia – Making the Most of a Valuable Resource, which documented and analyzed HomeSafe’s application intake, approval and disbursement history and made recommendations for program modification and expansion.

[1] Information in this section from DCA Memo: New Mortgage Assistance program to Launch September 28th, and Underwater Georgia Mortgage Principal Reduction Aid Communications Toolkit, September 22, 2106.
[2] See Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program,, September 12, 2016.
[3] See Atlanta Journal Constitution,, by Tamar Hallerman, September 13, 2016.
[4] See (HousingWire, Treasury Boosting Hardest Hit Funds by $2 billion, Ben Lane, February 19, 2016) and See (US Treasury, Treasury Announces Allocation of Final $1 Billion Among Hardest Hit Fund States, April 20, 2016).

William H. McFarland
Relationship Manager, Georgia ACT
Project Director, Housing Georgia
404 – 586 -0740 (office)
404-790-6607 (cell)

Atlanta foreclosures down, still high

Foreclosures continue to decline in metro Atlanta, yet the region remains one of the nation’s leaders in the category. During the 12 months ending in May, there were 14,340 completed foreclosures in metro Atlanta, the second-highest number among big U.S. metro areas behind only Tampa-St. Petersburg at 17,044, according to CoreLogic, a California-based real estate research firm. Metro Atlanta’s total was down from more than 20,000 completed foreclosures in the prior 12-month period, according to CoreLogic.

The region’s progress tracks the trend in the national housing market, where completed foreclosures fell 19.2 percent from a year earlier. Among states, Georgia had the sixth -highest number at 26,523 completed foreclosures. The top five were Florida (104,000), Michigan (46,000), Texas (33,000), California (28,000) and Ohio (27,000).

Foreclosures became an epidemic after the burst of the housing bubble in 2006-2007, a collapse followed by plunging prices and a financial crisis that led to a devastating recession – which in further undermined housing.

A flood of foreclosures followed, virtually destroying the market for housing in many areas. Home values in many parts of metro Atlanta have yet to return to pre-recession levels. But as foreclosures recede, the market can build momentum. “With three million jobs created during the past year, the improving labor market has helped more borrowers stay current on their mortgage loan,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Because fewer loans are becoming seriously delinquent, the foreclosure inventory has come down to its lowest level in more than seven years, with only 1.3 percent of loans in foreclosure proceedings.” In metro Atlanta, 3.4 percent of mortgages are in serious delinquency, vs. 4.4 percent a year ago, according to CoreLogic.

Down but not OUT!

Georgia lags in foreclosure help

Georgia lags in foreclosure help

State says it will meet goal of aiding at-risk homeowners.

By Dan Chapman 

   Georgia, given $340 million in federal money three years ago to help at-risk homeowners, has spent only a quarter of the money, according to a newly released Inspector General’s report critical of the state’s efforts to ease the foreclosure crisis.   Only Indiana and Alabama have dispensed proportionately less.   About 5,900 Georgians fewer than one-third the number initially estimated have received assistance intended to save homes and neighborhoods.

   “It’s very concerning that we’re more than half way through the program and the funds will have go back to the Treasury if not used by 2017,” said Kristen Tullos, an attorney with Atlanta Legal Aid Society, which assists homeowners facing foreclosure. “We are not on track at this point.”   But the state Department of Community Affairs, which administers the so-called “hardest hit fund,” said this week that Georgia will meet its foreclosure target.  “We’ve turned the corner, and we’re definitely on track to spend all the funds by Dec. 31, 2017,” said Brenda McGee, the program’s director. The Great Recession killed hundreds of thousands of Georgia jobs and left homeowners unable to pay mortgages. Nearly a quarter million metro Atlanta households plunged into foreclosure since 2006. neighborhoods primarily across the region’s southern tier, as well as in Gwinnett County, deteriorated as vandalism, blight and weeds took root. 2010 was the foreclosure nadir across metro Atlanta with 93,000 foreclosure notices.   As the economy improved, and unemployment dropped, foreclosures plummeted. Metro Atlanta should see fewer than 20,000 foreclosures this year as the region returns to pre-recession levels of housing distress. But the scars to communities and homeowners — remain. And Georgia maintains the nation’s highest unemployment rate.

Continue reading

Help for Underwater FHA Mortgage Holders

Intent to Extend FHA Refinances of Borrowers in Negative Equity Positions

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is aware that  the “FHA Refinances of Borrowers in Negative Equity Positions” program authorized by Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2010-23 is due to expire on December 31, 2014.  This program supports refinances for borrowers who owe more than the current value of their home and plays an important role in helping to realign property values and mortgage obligations for sustainable long-term homeownership.  It is currently the intention of the Department to offer an extension of that program.  A Mortgagee Letter extending the program and announcing any program changes will be issued at a later date.

Learn More

  • Call the FHA Resource Center at 1-800-CALLFHA (1-800-225-5342). Persons with hearing or speech impairments may reach this number by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.
  • Email the FHA Resource Center at Emails and phone messages will be responded to during normal hours of operation, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday on all non-Federal holidays.
  • Visit our online resource information at


FHA INFO Archives: Visit the FHA INFO Archives to access FHA INFO messages issued from 2012 to the present.
Have FHA Questions? For FHA technical support, please search the FHA Frequently Asked Questions site or contact the FHA Resource Center by email at: or by telephone toll free between 8:00 AM & 8:00 PM ET at: (800) CALLFHA or (800) 225-5342.  Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.



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Read the New Edition of “The Bridge” Newsletter

The New Edition of “The Bridge” Newsletter: “The Bridge” is HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling Newsletter for Housing Counselors. You can read the new edition of “The Bridge” on-line.

The Bridge Newsletter and LISTSERV Subscription Drive::The HUD Office of Housing Counseling frequently publishes “The Bridge” Newsletter and this LISTSERV.  The Bridge Newsletter focuses on Housing Counselors and highlights their hard work and the innovative best practices that contribute to improving the lives of American Families. The LISTSERV provides news and information for housing counselors on industry announcements, new policy notices, grant opportunities and guidance, employment opportunities, contracting opportunities, events, meetings, webinars and live training.  We want to make sure housing counselors do not miss out on the latest information. If you would like to sign up your staff or a new counselor at your agency, or recommend a housing counseling industry colleague to receive the Bridge Newsletter and LISTSERV, please visit our subscription website to sign up today. This service is free of charge.

Also see our LISTSERV archive of past messages. And the archive of past issues of The Bridge Newsletter

Foreclosure Avoidance Brochures Available in Several Languages

CPFB Consumer Education Products:  Foreign Language Translations of Foreclosure Avoidance Brochures Available for Homeowners:


To help housing counselors and others serve homeowners who do not speak English as their first language, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has translated two brochures into several languages. You can find and order these resources and others on CFPB’s Bulk Publications Website


  1. Take Control to Avoid Foreclosure Checklist: A checklist for consumers. This short checklist provides troubled borrowers with quick action steps to get help and find out about options to avoid foreclosure.  It is available in the following languages:



  1. Summary of CFPB foreclosure avoidance procedures: A useful summary of CFPB foreclosure rules for mortgage servicers. Summarizes key timelines and deadlines for borrowers to apply for alternatives to foreclosure that may be available. It is available in the following languages:


Advocacy Resolution Manager Contact at Bank of America for Georgia

Georgia Counselors:  This is a virtual introduction to Matt Camp, Advocacy Resolution Manager for Bank of America.  Matt’s territory includes Georgia.  Please see his background and contact information below.  Please reach out to Matt if you need assistance with a Bank of America related issue, including foreclosure prevention and pre-purchase counseling.  He would be happy to work with you.

My name is Matt Camp and I would like to introduce myself as an Advocacy Resolution Manager with Bank of America.  I am part of a team that Bank of America has designated as the Client Coverage Model where we work closely with all of our external partners—including the team at the office of the Georgia Attorney General.  In my role, I seek to be the escalation point of contact for your agency to assist with issues, resolutions, and any other needs you may have as you work with Bank of America mortgage customers in your area.  Although much of my interaction with housing counseling partners revolves around foreclosure prevention efforts, I seek to be a resource for any areas where you may need to connect with Bank of America—including understanding your efforts with pre-purchase counseling and home buyer education.

 Please let me know how I can assist you and your team.

Matt Camp

Officer; Operations Consultant

Advocacy Resolution Manager
Client Coverage Model
NC1-028-23-05, 150 N College Street, Charlotte, NC 28255
T 980.386.0455   F 804.662.1787