Bay Area residents offered free counseling services at mortgage relief event 

While the foreclosure crisis may be several years in the past, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s largest mortgage relief event is stopping by the Bay Area starting today to provide counseling for homeowners and homebuyers.

The American Dream Tour of HUD’s largest counseling agency, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, will be at the Oakland Marriot City Center through Monday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Homeowners will have the opportunity to sit down with a counselor to determine an affordable mortgage payment and meet with lenders. The services are free and homeowners need only bring their last mortgage statement, bank statements for the past six months, proof of income for the past 30 days and tax information from last year.

After reductions, interest rates can get to as low as 2 percent due to the counseling events, and about 80 percent of people walk out with a solution, according to Rick Herrera, spokesman for the counseling agency.

“We have the major lenders in the country travel with us — Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, and the two largest investors which are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” he said. “Part of what makes this event successful is having the banks on site, so no more red tape. It’s a one-stop shop.”

Though the foreclosure crisis’ darkest years were 2009 and 2010, the Bay Area currently has more than 6,400 foreclosure filings, with the highest number in San Jose and San Francisco, respectively, Herrera said.

“There are a lot of folks especially in the Bay Area who are current with their mortgage but barely making ends meet,” he added.

About The Author

Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong covers transportation, housing, and ethnic communities, among other topics, for the San Francisco Examiner. She covered City Hall as a fellow for the San Francisco Chronicle, night cops and courts for the San Antonio Express-News, general news for Spanish-language newspapers La Opinión and El Mensajero,... more
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