APR 13, 2012 11:12am ET

Distressed Borrowers Looking for Financial Help

APR 13, 2012 11:12am ET
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Homeowners who are dealing with financial hardship are seeking assistance in record numbers from MortgageKeeper Referral Services, the company said in its Homeowner Needs Status Report.

According to the Downers Grove, Ill.-based company’s report, 217,000 referrals were received in the first quarter of 2012 from distressed borrowers requesting some type of financial help. This is more than twice the number of referrals compared to last year.

Housing counselors and services which subscribe to MortgageKeeper provide troubled borrowers with a list of nonprofit and government agencies in seconds that assist mortgagors paying their utility bills, locate inexpensive child care or uncover other sources of assistance that may keep them from defaulting on their mortgages. Often the agencies are located just a few miles away and help the homeowner to reduce their monthly expenses.

Services are available in all 50 states, but the company has a major focus in the 80 metropolitan areas where roughly 90% of all foreclosures take place. The database contains more than 6,000 resources nationwide.

“We see glimmers of hope across the housing spectrum,” said J. Michael Collins, facility director at the Center for Financial Security at University of Wisconsin-Madison and MortgageKeeper co-founder. “People are starting to rebuild balance sheets and banks are pushing for resolutions, so both sides are moving at last. But as this rebalancing takes place, homeowners clearly need extra help.”

Servicers that are currently utilizing MortgageKeeper’s MKDesktop include Bank of America, American Home Mortgage Servicing, Ocwen Loan Servicing, First Guaranty Mortgage, Saxon Mortgage Services, CredAbility Nonprofit Credit Counseling and Education, and the Homeownership Preservation Foundations toll-free HOPE hotline.