Mortgage advice series resonates with low-income borrowers

by Donald Horne19 Nov 2015
Ocwen Financial Corporation and the NAACP Maryland State Conference hosted a “Help & Hope for Homeowners” event in Upper Marlboro, Maryland on November 14, to offer struggling Maryland homeowners the opportunity to receive in-person, individualized advice, and mortgage solutions to help them remain in their homes.

“It is important to recognize that while some have recovered from the housing crisis, many families, especially in low-income communities, are still struggling to keep their homes.  Saturday’s turnout confirms that fact,” said Edsel Brown, Jr., NAACP Maryland State Conference Economic Development Chair. "The NAACP is pleased that Ocwen is working with us on the local level to offer borrowers the opportunity to meet with their experienced home retention agents and HUD counselors face-to-face to explore modification options that can help save their homes."

Event attendees received one-on-one support from Ocwen Home Retention Agents, who worked with approximately 325 borrowers to make their mortgage payments more manageable and help avoid foreclosure. Homeowners also met with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved financial counselors for additional financial and mortgage-related assistance.

The popularity of the advice sessions is indicative of reports that blacks are less likely to be approved for mortgages than their white neighbors.

A report released by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition shows that blacks in Baltimore received less than half as many mortgages as their white neighbors – this despite blacks making up the majority of the city’s population.

White Baltimoreans looking to buy homes were approved for mortgages 75% of the time, compared to 61% of black applicants, with blacks making up 63% of that city’s population.

This year, Ocwen and the NAACP have met with approximately 800 Ocwen borrowers in four states (Illinois, Florida, New York, and Maryland) through the “Help & Hope for Homeowners” event series. Since 2008, Ocwen has completed more than 520,000 loan modifications, many of which included a principal reduction for borrowers whose mortgage exceeded the current value of the home.

"Both Ocwen and the NAACP are committed to helping borrowers have every opportunity to remain in their homes,” said Jill Showell, Senior Vice President of Government and Community Relations at Ocwen. “Co-hosting these events with the NAACP, a trusted resource in the community, adds tremendous value and ensures higher participation rates. The numbers speak for themselves.”


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