Saturday, February 9, 2013

Free Mortgage Assistance for Homeowners who may be facing foreclosure

Honorable Council members,

My name is Matt Pulle and I’m an Assistant Attorney General with the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office. In my position here, I am helping implement a $25 billion national mortgage settlement involving the nation’s largest mortgage servicers. The settlement came about as a result of wide-scale foreclosure abuses on the part of the mortgage companies. As a direct result of that settlement, homeowners may have options to foreclosure including facilitated short sales and loan modifications. A loan modification could reduce a homeowner’s monthly payments by as much as $400-$500 while curing the arrearage.

As I’m sure you all know, Antioch continues to see a high number of foreclosures, even in the middle of a rebounding housing market. In fact, on a recent schedule of upcoming foreclosure sales in Davidson County nearly one-third had an Antioch address. 

Given those challenges, I was hoping you can spread the word to your constituents that there may be alternatives to foreclosure, both under the settlement or other related state and federal programs. Homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure should call Tennessee’s free mortgage assistance hotline at 855-876-SAVE (7283) where they can receive help on obtaining a modification of their loan. A live agent at the hotline will see if the caller is eligible for mortgage assistance. Callers to the hotline also have the option of speaking with a free certified housing counselor, either over the phone or in their area. Depending on their situation, callers may be referred directly to me as well.

The world of mortgage assistance is confusing because there are all sorts of state and federal programs out there. In short though, most homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure can and should call the hotline. However, homeowners who are at immediate risk of foreclosure should call me directly at 741-3533-- if they have a mortgage with Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, Citi or GMAC. Those are the parties who are directly covered under the settlement and I can work with each of those servicers to postpone the foreclosure to give homeowners time to pursue other options.

In addition, struggling homeowners may also be eligible for an interest-free, forgive-able loan through the Keep My Tennessee Home program. For more information about that program, visithttp://www.KeepmyTNhome.org/. You can also find more information on our settlement at http://www.NationalMortgageSettlement.com/ or on our website at http://www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral.

Finally, we will be advertising the mortgage assistance hotline on MTA busses within the next few days. We may do additional marketing in the Antioch-area as well. Still, we’d like to reach people as directly as possible. If you’d like me to discuss the settlement at any of your community meetings, please call or email me. If I don’t have an commitment, I will be there. If my schedule is already tied up, I will arrange to have brochures and other helpful materials for you to distribute. 

Please call or email me with any questions you may have.

Thank you.

Matt

PS: Please forward this email to any of your Antioch-area colleagues who I may have inadvertently omitted.



Matt Pulle
Mortgage Settlement Coordinator
Consumer Advocate and Protection Division
Office of the Attorney General
615-741-3533
Matt.Pulle@ag.tn.gov

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