Today, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced HOPE NOW, a new national alliance intended to assist homeowners who may not be able to pay their mortgages.
The HOPE NOW collaboration, comprising credit and homeowners' counselors, mortgage servicers and mortgage market participants, will explore a variety of methods to reach out to at-risk homeowners, including a direct-mail campaign to encourage at-risk borrowers to call their mortgage servicers or credit counselors.
The alliance will also work to improve communications between servicers and nonprofit counselors to speed outreach and develop and explain options for at-risk borrowers, as well as develop standards with investors to enable counseling sessions for homeowners to be funded by servicing contracts.
"Individually, mortgage servicers have undertaken a wide variety of efforts to encourage at-risk customers to work with us on options to avoid foreclosure," says Michael J. Heid, co-president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
"HOPE NOW will harness the collective strength of counselors, capital markets investors and mortgage servicers in a more coordinated way and will bring to bear the full power of the government for the benefit of all consumers across our nation," he adds.
"We are encouraging servicers and counseling organizations to work together and implement reimbursement procedures where appropriate to keep borrowers in their homes," comments George Miller, executive director of the American Securitization Forum.