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

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.

See the Flyer for the event. .

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 .


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.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Our website has moved

Please note that the Collier County Foreclosure Task Force has moved. To see the new site updated with the latest video content, news and updates in 2012 visit .

Friday, June 19, 2009

Novemeber 2008- Foreclosure Taskforce Event

In November 2008, the Foreclosure Task Force held an event to help the community understand what can be done to help with foreclosures. Below is the video of this event:

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

Free foreclosure workshop - May 13, 2009 at NABOR

On May 13, 2009 the Collier County Foreclosure Task Force will be conducting a FREE foreclosure workshop from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Naples Area Board of REALTORS (NABOR) office located at 1455 Pine Ridge Road, Naples FL 34109.
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)
Short Sales
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

Florida lenders agree to voluntary 45 day foreclosure delay

Breaking news - Governor Crist announced today that representatives of the banking and mortgage lending industries in Florida have announced they have urged their members to observe a voluntary 45 day cessation of filing new foreclosure petitions or the scheduling of foreclosure sales . This voluntary initiative pertains to 'homesteaded property' only.
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.

Lenders reaching out to borrowers - stay tuned

The New York Times reports that lenders are becoming proactive, reaching out directly to explore loan modifications to assist borrowers .
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.

Studio 55 interviews Legal Aid on foreclosure prevention resources

Carrie Wise of Studio 55 and the Naples Daily News interviewed Foreclosure Task Force member Jeffrey Ahren of Legal Aid Service of Collier County about the resources available to local residents facing foreclosure .

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Florida settles Countrywide lawsuit with Bank of America

Attorney General Bill McCollum announced that Florida and several other states have reached a multi-million dollar agreement in principle with Countrywide , a newly acquire subsidiary of Bank of America.
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

Frequently asked questions about the Housing bill in effect October 1st

The Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) website has a comprehensive FAQ section about the new housing bill in effect starting October 1st which involves the 'Hope for Homeowners' provision. The website also includes step by step overview of how the program works .
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.'

Details on the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008

The 'Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008' (HERA) - the bill President Bush signed into law back in July - is now in effect as of October 1, 2008. The Mortgage Bankers Association has produced an excellent summary of this new law . The portion of the law many people were anxious to learn more about is the 'Hope for Homeowners' section, giving the FHA $300 billion in mortgage insurance authority. Qualified homeowners may be able to refinance out of an existing loan on their primary residence into a new, affordable loan with a reduced principal balance and interest rate. The new loan would be insured by the FHA. The existing lender would have to agree to the required reductions. The principal amount of the "new" loan cannot exceed 90% of the property's current value. The loan has to be a 30 year fixed rate loan.
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

Federal government may create an entity to take over banks' bad debt

Late breaking news on September 18, 2008 - the U.S. government may create a new entity like the Resolution Trust Corp. during the Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980's and early 1990's that will take over banks' bad debt. This may result in alleviating the 'credit crunch' that has driven up the cost of borrowing for businesses. With more 'liquidity' in markets, banks may once again be able to make housing loans on a wider scale to credit worthy borrowers who would like to buy homes, but are presently having difficulty securing financing.
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.