Foundation with ties to Barney Frank backs Hope LoanPort expansion
Hope LoanPort will receive funding and guidance to expand its loss mitigation platform for servicers, housing counselors and mortgage borrowers from the Finance of America Foundation, a nonprofit with ties to former Rep. Barney Frank.
"This is taking what we've done in the past to a new level," said HLP CEO Mark Cole.
The amount of the grant was undisclosed but Cole said it involved a multiyear commitment by the foundation.
The expansion will add capabilities to the platform allowing consumers to connect to and apply online for public and private assistance programs. HLP will control the design and operation of the platform and receive guidance from Frank and other members of the foundation's advisory board related to the kinds of additional programs and resources available to distressed homeowners.
"While we have made significant progress in many ways in the 10 years since the financial crisis, we have not yet implemented a solution that allows government, the lending industry and counselors to work together effectively on behalf of individuals facing financial distress," said Frank.
"This platform will be a welcome source of assistance for individuals as well as an opportunity for mortgage companies to provide a better customer experience and demonstrate their commitment to sustainable homeownership. It will also provide more visibility for the wide array of government programs available throughout the 50 states and to the thousands of nonprofit housing counselors."
The project is on track to become available during the third quarter of this year.
The mortgage industry, homeowners facing foreclosure, government agencies and nonprofit counselors will be able to use the platform to access information about state, federal and private charitable aid programs. Access to the platform will be free.
"Hundreds of new programs were created during the financial crisis, but many homeowners and mortgage company representatives had no idea how or where to find this information," said Sara Sefcovic, president of the Finance of America Foundation.
"The recent natural disasters highlight the fact that access to aid still remains fragmented and difficult to obtain. By partnering with HLP to build a comprehensive database and a secure way to apply for help, we can make an enormous difference by providing immediate assistance to homeowners struggling to find a way to keep their homes."