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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Homeownership Preservation Workshop

Group to hold Homeownership Preservation Workshop for troubled homeowners
on September 19th, 2009
from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
at Ben Franklin High School,
2001 Leon C. Simon Drive, New Orleans.
Two general information sessions will be held at 10:30AM and 12:30PM.

New Orleans, LA; September 15, 2009: With the specter of increasing foreclosures looming over the metro area as a result of the downturn in the economy and the lifting of post-Katrina moratoriums, a group of local non-profits and their community development partners are banding together to keep people in their homes. The Metro New Orleans Homeownership Preservation Coalition will be holding a workshop for residents concerned about foreclosure on Saturday, September 19, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ben Franklin High School, 2001 Leon C. Simon Drive, New Orleans.

"There's a lot of confusion out in the public about what to do if you're behind on your mortgage or are facing a crushing increase in your monthly payments. People are scared of losing their biggest investment, the roof over their head, and don't know where to turn for help or advice. Maybe they've had bad experiences with their lender or servicer and are feeling hopeless about a resolution," said Lauren Bartlett, staff attorney at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, a non-profit organization providing legal assistance to low-income residents in the metro area. "We want people who are facing foreclosure to know that the worst thing you can do is to ignore the calls and the notices. There's a whole team of experienced counselors and attorneys that are ready, willing and able to provide good counsel and help you through the maze of options that are available."

The Homeownership Preservation Fair will include two general information sessions at 10:30 and 12:30 that will discuss the foreclosure process and financial and legal options available to help homeowners prevent foreclosure.

After the sessions, the attendees, at their request, will be matched with an experienced housing counselor to begin the process of identifying solutions for their situation. All of the non-profit organizations participating are HUD-approved agencies specially qualified to offer this kind of one-on-one, individual counseling and are supported by grants or other funding to provide assistance at no cost to the homeowner. Refreshments and children's activities will be provided on-site.

"We're starting to see a rise in mortgage rescue scams in our communities. It's important that homeowners know that there are many organizations that don't charge up-front fees and have experience and training in resolving complicated foreclosure problems," said Nancy Montoya, Community Affairs Manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and a coalition partner. "That's why the Federal Reserve is involved in helping to coordinate events like this that can help save somebody's home."

For more information on this topic or to schedule an interview, please call Seth Weingart at (504) 596-2100.

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