Helpful resources and upcoming events
For the latest videos, news and resources updated through 2012 - visit the new Foreclosure Task Force website .
FREE FORECLOSURE ASSISTANCE WORKSHOP - MAY 19th
Free Foreclosure Assistance Workshop
Date: Thursday, May 19, 2011
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR) Office – 1455 Pine Ridge Rd., Naples FL 34109
Sponsor: Collier County Foreclosure Task Force, a grassroots pro bono initiative promoting foreclosure prevention since 2008 through education and intervention
Are you looking for answers to foreclosure related questions? Join us at the Free Foreclosure Assistance Workshop to learn about alternatives to foreclosure, including loan modifications, short sales, Deeds in Lieu of foreclosure – and the steps you can take to save your home.
Format: An expert panel will discuss ‘hot topics’ related to foreclosure, and provide literature and other free resources to assist you. Pro bono attorneys, real estate professionals and representatives from participating agencies will be stationed at ‘booths’ to speak with you individually and answer questions. This is a 100% pro bono initiative – no one who attends will be solicited for any service or business.
Topics Include: Understanding your rights; the Foreclosure process; how loan modifications work; understanding the major Federal Foreclosure Assistance Programs – including HAFA and HAMP; avoiding foreclosure rescue scams; HOA’s and foreclosure; deficiency judgments; asset protection and the impact of foreclosure on your credit rating; tax implications of foreclosure; avoiding unlawful or prohibited transactions; how the new ‘Hardest Hit’ fund works; understanding Bankruptcy; and how to cope with the stress.
Participating agencies include, but are not limited to: Legal Aid Service of Collier County, Collier County Bar Association, Housing Development Corp. of SW Florida, Inc., Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, Naples Area Board of Realtors, Collier County Code Enforcement, Collier County Sheriff’s Office, Collier County School District, NAMI, Treatment Works!, and the Naples Daily News.
Representatives from Fannie Mae and the Florida Department of Financial Services will be present, as will lenders representatives, including, but not limited to: J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., Bank of America, Wells Fargo, SunTrust Mortgage and GMAC.
Look for articles by members of the Collier County Foreclosure Task Force in the Naples Daily News in the weeks leading up to the Free Foreclosure Assistance Workshop on May 19th.
For more information, call Legal Aid at (239) 775-4555.
STAY TUNED -Details on the formation of a new initiative, the 'Economic Recovery Task Force.'
To learn about local resources available to business owners, visit the Prosper in Paradise Business Tools section of Collier County's official website .
FORECLOSURE TASK FORCE WORKSHOP BEFORE THE COLLIER COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS - Tuesday, March 2, 2010 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Members of the Collier County Foreclosure Task Force conducted a comprehensive 3 hour Workshop on the topic of foreclosures in Collier County before the County Commissioners. The presentation included an overview concerning the level of foreclosures in Collier County and related effects, the response by the Task Force to the foreclosure 'crisis,' and recommendations. A detailed overview of the state of the local economy was included in the presentation. The Workshop was broadcast on CTV Channel 97 in Collier County.
To view the video archive of the Workshop before the Board of County Commissioners, click here .
To view the complete Powerpoint presentation to the BCC by the Task Force, including a comprehensive overview of local economic conditions, foreclosure mapping and statistics, the coordinated community response to the crisis, and the Task Force's recommendations, click here .
Matrix of Resources - download a free brochure listing local resources available to those facing foreclosure in Collier County
9 Numbers you need to know:
1. Legal Aid Service of Collier County - (239) 775-4555. Non-profit providing free legal services to qualifying low-income individuals and households.
2. Collier County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service - (239) 252-8138. Find a local attorney to assist you.
3. Housing Development Corporation of SW Florida, Inc. - (239) 434-2397. Non-profit agency providing free foreclosure intervention counseling.
4. Florida Attorneys Saving Homes ('FLASH') pro bono program - toll free at (866) 607-2187. See below for more information.
5. HOPE NOW - Voluntary coalition of lenders and servicers across the country. Call toll free - (888) 995- 4673.
6. Countrywide - (800) 669-6607. If you are a Countrywide borrower, call to see if the recent settlement between the Florida Attorney General's Office and Countrywide renders you eligible for new options or opportunities to save your home.
7. Florida Attorney General's consumer hotline - (866) 966-7226. Call to report suspected mortgage fraud.
8. Collier County Code Enforcement - (239) 252-2440. Call to report a property with suspected code violations. You can do this anonymously. Keep neighborhoods safe and attractive!
9. Collier County Sheriff's Office - (239) 775-TIPS. Call this number to join the Community Safety Team initiative. You can also anonymously report any suspicious activity on abandoned or otherwise vacant properties. Help fight crime!
The new statewide 'FLASH' hotline - for those in pre-foreclosure status looking for pro bono legal assistance. A pro bono attorney may be able to negotiate with your lender in an effort to avoid foreclosure and allow you to remain in your home. See the below blog post dated July 30, 2008. The toll-free Hotline number is (866) 607-2187. The Tampa Tribune recently published an article on the 'FLASH' program . You must call between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. This program prioritizes those seeking to save owner-occupied 'homesteaded' property, for folks who are currently 'economically disadvantaged.' Contact the program for further details.
Foreclosure Prevention Seminar Video
Part 2 – View from the Magistrate’s Bench (Magistrate David Friedman)
Part 3 – Powerpoint presentation: The ABC’s of Foreclosure (Sandra Rains, Consumer Credit Counseling Service)
Part 4 – Overview of the Foreclosure Task Force (Jeffrey Ahren, Legal Aid Service of Collier County)
Part 5 - Foreclosure Prevention Counseling (Eddie Felton, Home Ownership Resource Center)
Part 6 - Loss Mitigation information ( Molly Whalen, Collier County Housing Development Corp.)
Part 7 - Short Sales; Deed-in Lieu of Foreclosure; Negotiating with your lender (Maureen Aughton, Esq.)
Part 8 – Overview and timeline of the foreclosure process; Avoiding ‘predators’ and foreclosure rescue scams (Celia Ellen Deifik, Esq.)
Part 9 - Bankruptcy law overview (Stephany Carr, Esq.)
Part 10 – Appraiser’s report – current real estate market conditions; procedure to challenge tax assessment (Cindy Carroll, SRA)
Part 11 – Renters and foreclosure; Foreclosure by Condo/Homeowners Associations (Brian Williams, Esq.)
Part 12 – Questions from the public, and answers by the panel (Moderated by Jane Cheffy, Esq.)
Video courtesy of Mike Sturdevant and Action Legal Video
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Friday, June 19, 2009
Introduction- Bob Murray, Chamber Alliance, Greater Naples Area Chamber of Commerce
Collier County Code Enforcement- Diane Flagg, Director
Community Safety Team Initiative- Chief Jim Bloom, Collier County Sheriff's Office
Loss Mitigation- What lenders Are Looking For- Kathy Patterson, Executive Director, housing Development Corporation of SW Florida, Inc.
Do's and Don'ts of Foreclosure- Kathleen Passidomo, Esq.
Avoiding Foreclosure Rescue Scams- Francesca Passeri, Esq.
Options And Alternatives To Foreclosure- Maureen Aughton, Esq.
Overview of the Foreclosure Task Force- Jeffery Ahren, Esq.
Tenants Rights in Foreclosure- Brian Williams, Esq.
New Florida Law Limits Who Can Counsel People in Foreclosure- Jane Cheffy, Esq.
New Federal Programs to Assist Borrowers- Jeffery Ahren, Esq.
Q&A General Information Regarding HOAs and Foreclosure Related Issues
Q&A Condo Associations and Unpaid Assessments on Property Before Foreclosure
Q&A Service of Process and Documenting Communication
Closing Comments- Bob Murray, Chamber Alliance, Greater Naples Area Chamber of Commerce
Monday, May 4, 2009
This is not a 'lecture' - this is your chance to ask a panel of experts general questions on a wide range of foreclosure related topics. The expert panel will include attorneys, realtors, HUD certified credit and foreclosure intervention counselors, mental health and wellness professionals - as well as representatives from Collier County Code Enforcement, Collier County Sheriff's Office, Collier County Public Schools, and Collier County Clerk's Office who will be there to answer questions.
Topics will include:
The Foreclosure Process (including timelines)
Deeds in Lieu of Foreclosure
Loan Modifications - and how to start negotiating with your lender
Transferring schools - 'children and foreclosure'
Tenants' rights in foreclosure
Tax consequences of foreclosure
How to obtain a pre-purchase code inspection
How to report (anonymously) code violations or suspicious activity on abandoned properties
Mediation in Foreclosure
Foreclosure rescue 'scams' - and how to avoid them
How to join a confidential free foreclosure support group
The program will be facilitated in English, Spanish and Creole. All who attend will receive a free "Matrix of resources' brochure, identifying the free, safe and reliable local resources available to those facing foreclosure - and where to turn to for assistance. You can also learn how to obtain free credit and foreclosure intervention counseling, how you may be eligible for free legal assistance if you are a member of a low-income household, and where to call to find a private attorney to assist you if necessary.
Special thanks to: Naples Area Board of Realtors; Greater Naples Area Chamber of Commerce; Naples Daily News; and the Collier County Bar Foundation.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Alex Sanchez, President and CEO of the Florida Bankers Association, joined Governor Crist in making the announcement. Representatives from other financial institutions were also present.
Governor Crist encouraged lenders to continue their efforts to actively negotiate with struggling homeowners during the coming months to help people stay in their homes.
A growing trend is emerging, with lenders and servicers willing to focus on 'affordability' in crafting loan modifications. Specifically, the trend is to work to keep housing cost 'debt-to-income' ratios at no more than 38% of gross monthly income. To achieve this level of affordability, lenders would have to be willing to reduce interest rates, extend the repayment term (ex. from 30 years to 40 years), or possibly defer or otherwise reduce principal. Housing costs would include principal, interest, property taxes, and homeowners insurance ('PITI'). By way of example, if the gross monthly income in the household is $3,000, a loan modification with housing costs of not more than $1,140 per month - or 38% of gross monthly income - would be explored.
Not all borrowers will be eligible for this or any other kind of loan modification. On a positive note, however, it appears that many lenders are becoming more flexible - and aggressive - in trying to work with borrowers to keep homes out of foreclosure.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
The agreement could provide nearly $1 Billion in relief to Florida homeowners, including more than 57,000 borrowers with qualifying Countrywide mortgages. According to the press release by the Florida Attorney General's Office, "approximately 52,000 Florida borrowers are anticipated to receive a loan modification under this plan."
If you have a loan with Countrywide, you may be eligible for the 'loan modification program,' 'foreclosure relief,' or other relief that may be available as a result of the settlement agreement. The press release by the Attorney General's office indicates that consumers can call Countrywide toll-free at 1 (800) 669-6607 for additional information.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
The HUD wesbite is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the program. There are features including links to forms, sections for borrowers, lenders, credit/foreclosure counselors, and examples concerning the concept of 'shared appreciation.'
There are many eligibility requirements for borrowers. For example, the existing loans must have been originated before January 1, 2008, and borrowers must have "debt to income ratios" of greater than 31% as of March 1, 2008. Those accepting new loans must agree not to place 'junior liens' on the property for 5 years - this would include second mortgages or HELOC's during that period. There is also a 'shared appreciation' provision, with phased-in vesting. After 5 years, the borrower and government would "share" equity at 50% each on sale of the property.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
One hope would be that this would eventually help reduce the glut of inventory of homes for sale, by making credit easier for buyers who qualify.