Underwater Atlanta March 17 at the Carter Center

In the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis, metro Atlanta leads the country with 35% of homeowners underwater on their mortgage loans (Haas Institute, 2014).  Housing recovery in the region has been wildly uneven.  The slow rising tide of home prices in affluent neighborhoods has bypassed large portions of metro Atlanta, particularly communities south of I-20 and along portions of the I-85 corridor.

Of the top 10 hardest-hit zip codes in the country for negative equity, nine are located in metro Atlanta. The hardest hit zip code in the country is in Clayton County where  a staggering 76% of homeowners are underwater.  In this Clayton community, 89% of homeowners are African American. The impact of negative equity is even more significant given the fact that home equity accounts for 92% of personal net worth for the typical African-American household.

SAVE THE DATE: On March 17, Piece by Piece will convene its 150+ partner organizations and more to discuss strategies for addressing the negative equity issue. Make plans to join us for a half-day discussion at The Carter Center. MORE | REGISTER

Haas Institute’s “Underwater America”

Full Report | Atlanta Overview | Georgia Overview

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

CFPB Training for Counselors, September 15, 2014

Dear Colleagues:

You are invited to attend a training held by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on the new mortgage servicing rules.  The training is scheduled for:

DATE: September 15, 2014 (Monday)

TIME: 1:00 – 5:00 PM (Registration begins at 12:30 PM)

LOCATION: Georgia State Bar (3rd floor conference room), 104 Marietta St NW (Suite 100) Atlanta, GA 30303

Please RSVP (with full name, email, and organization/affiliation) to David Pope via email at david.pope@cfpb.gov

This in-person training for housing counselors and attorneys will explore the new mortgage servicing rules that became effective 01/10/2014.  The rules will affect the rights of your clients and how mortgage servicers are supervised for compliance.  Specific topics of discussion will include borrowers’ loss mitigation rights, foreclosure prohibitions, requests for information and notices of error and the CFPB online complaint system and supervision processes.  Counselors and attorneys will also have the opportunity to share their experiences with Cathy Mansfield and Gerry Sachs from the CFPB.

Please use these resources to better understand the new mortgage servicing rules.

  • Guide for Housing Counselors: This guideis designed to be a quick reference for housing counselors and attorneys.
  • Mortgage Tips: The CFPB is providing a number of different tips on new rights under the new rules for homebuyersand homeowners at every stage of the mortgage process— from taking out a loan to paying it back. The tips also include recommendations for troubled borrowers facing foreclosure.
  • Answers to Consumer Questions: The Bureau has published mortgage-related questionsto AskCFPB, an interactive online tool designed to answer consumers’ most frequently asked questions in plain language.
  • Consumer Tools: The Bureau’s website offers a toolto help consumers find local housing counseling agencies to answer their questions or address their concerns. Consumers that have an issue with consumer financial products or services, such as a mortgage, can also submit a complaint.
  • Factsheets on the Rules: The CFPB has published factsheetwith an overview of all of the new consumer protections in the Bureau’s mortgage rules. The CFPB has also published a summary of the new procedures to facilitate borrowers’ access to foreclosure avoidance options.

These materials can be found at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/mortgage. The Bureau will continue to develop and produce materials to educate consumers about the new mortgage protections.


Borrowers Ignoring HARP?

Eligible borrowers are ignoring HARP, officials say
More than 650,000 mortgage borrowers in the U.S. could be eligible for lower payments under the Home Affordable Refinance Program, but many have dismissed the program as a scam, says Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt. He is urging borrowers to use the program, which expires at the end of next year, before interest rates rise. WSJ reports on efforts to boost HARP

Why not in Georgia?

New York Mortgage Coalition Becomes HUD Intermediary


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently designated the New York Mortgage Coalition as a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Intermediary, a distinction that enables NYMC’s network of community housing agencies to participate in collective grant opportunities while enhancing the level of support NYMC provides its agencies.

The designation, which recognizes NYMC’s 20-plus years of advancing affordable homeownership, also positions the organization to grow its agency network both within and beyond the New York Metro area, providing even greater value to its existing partner agencies and lenders through peer-to-peer networking and knowledge-sharing across diverse geographies.

“The resources that the Coalition provides to help improve financial, operational and administrative performance have been a major advantage for our organization,” said Deb Howard, Executive Director, Pratt Area Community Council, a community development corporation serving central Brooklyn. “We are excited about the Coalition’s HUD designation, as more housing counseling services require access to HUD funding, and we are looking forward to the opportunities ahead.”

As a HUD intermediary, NYMC has been approved to provide comprehensive housing counseling services, which includes: Financial Management/Budget Counseling; Mortgage Delinquency and Default Resolution Counseling; Pre-purchase Counseling; Predatory Lending Education Workshops; and Rental Housing Counseling, just to name a few. NYMC will oversee the provision of HUD funding to housing agencies that provide these services, while also coordinating training and technical assistance to help agencies maintain HUD compliance and ongoing quality control.

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Nationstar Contact for Metro Atlanta

As you know, there is a growing trend in lenders selling servicing rights to non-bank servicers. One such servicer is Nationstar. If you are working with clients who have loans currently serviced by Nationstar and need assistance, contact:

Marisa Barker
Community Outreach Vice President
Visit Nationstar Mortgage Online

Please leave a reply here if you would be interested in joining a conference call with Marisa Barker to learn more about how to assist your clients with Nationstar servicing questions.