Between January 2007 and July 2008 there 52,258 foreclosure starts in MO according to HUD. Of those 4,485 were in St. Louis City and 10,028 were in St. Louis County. According to the Center for Responsible Lending we can expect to see another 40,000 foreclosures in MO between September 2008 and December 2009.
In an effort to stem this crisis the Metro St. Louis Foreclosure Intervention Taskforce was created to develop and implement strategies that decrease the number of foreclosures. The taskforce works with local home owners, encouraging them to call the HOPE Hotline (888-995-HOPE) which is a national foreclosure counseling service operated by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation.
Additionally the Taskforce has developed a brochure detailing tips for avoiding foreclosure which can be downloaded at their site. Below are a few that I’d like to highlight.
#6: Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds free or very low cost housing counseling nationwide. Housing counselors can hlep you understand the law and your options, organize your finances and represent you in negotiations with your lender if you this assistance.
#10: Don’t lose your house to foreclosure recovery scams. If any firm claims they can stop your forclosure immediately if you sign a document appointing them to act on your behalf, you may well be signing over the title to your house. Never sign a legal document without reading and understanding all the terms and getting professional advice from an attorney, a trusted real estate agent, or a HUD approved counselor.
HUD Certified Housing Counseling Agencies
Beyond Housing 314-533-0600
Better Family Life, Inc. 314-367-1843
Catholic Charities Housing Resource Center 314-241-560
Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis 314-615-360
Legal Services of Easter Missouri 314-534-4200