By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Mississippians who’ve lost their homes to foreclosure or who face financial trials to keep theirs have free counseling and legal options.
Attorney General Jim Hood brought the experts to Tupelo and other locales Tuesday with help through the new Mississippi Foreclosure Prevention Consortium.
Chiefly, the program provides:
• A one-time payment to citizens who lost their homes due to bad business behavior by their financers Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo
• Benefits to owners current on payments by with a mortgage larger than the home’s value
• Extended financial help to get borrowers current and prop up their payments during financial hardships.
“People are hurting,” said Hood at the Lee County Library program. “People need help.”
The consortium of housing, legal and financial counselors is financed in part from $15 million Mississippi received from a national settlement with the five mortgage-serving banks.
Anyone with a loan through one of these banks and who was foreclosed between January 2008 and January 2012, deadline to file for a small cash settlement is Jan. 18.
Hood said struggling homeowners also may get help with principal reductions, short sales, deferred loan payments, relocation assistance, waiver of deficient balances or refinancing.
Part of the consortium with Hood’s office are Money Management International, Mississippi Home Corp., Mississippi Center for Justice, Mississippi Center for Legal Services, North Mississippi Rural Legal Services and Mississippi Military Department.
Steven Richardson with NMRLS told the crowd at the library the meeting “is a good first step” to getting help.
Mississippi Home Corp. also offers financial assistance to people struggling with mortgage payments and additional help if they want to go back to school to improve their job skills.
Contact for help:
• 1-800-530-9572 Consortium hotline
• 1-888-812-5334 financial counseling