Monday, October 26, 2009

Helpful Fact Sheets - Foreclosure Prevention

The Minnesota Home Ownership Center has worked for years to create over a dozen fact sheets, FAQ's and other flyers that can help when a homeowner is struggling with mortgage payments or facing foreclosure.

NOW... all of these fact sheets have been compiled in one location on the Center's website! ( >> Stay in Your Home >> Helpful Fact Sheets)

Feel free to print/distribute any of the fact sheets to homeowners that may benefit (Adobe Acrobat Reader required).

Do you have an idea for a fact sheet or FAQ that would benefit struggling MN homeowners? Feel free to email your idea to Ed Nelson at the Center. Thanks!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Foreclosure Postponement Video

Effective June 15, 2009 Minnesota state law allows homeowners that have fallen behind on their mortgage payments to delay, or postpone, the Foreclosure Sale (also known as the “Sheriff’s Sale” or "Sheriff's Auction") of their home by five months.

Postponing the Foreclosure Sale gives homeowners five more months to bring their mortgage current. The tradeoff - is that it also reduces the redemption period to five weeks. (Standard MN redemption period for a foreclosure by advertisement is 6 months).

Previously, the Center had created a fact sheet and affidavit to assist homeowners that might be interested in postponing their Foreclosure Sale.

Now the Center has created a video (available on our YouTube Channel here), that helps homeowners understand the Foreclosure law, the steps to take and other important aspects of foreclosure postponement in Minnesota:

Click here to view video on our YouTube Channel if embedded video is unavailable.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Event Reminders

Just a short post to remind everyone about the upcoming events that the Center is either hosting or will be present at:

For Professionals:

  • Foreclosure Prevention Information Training for professionals working in Minnesota's SE Asian Communities. Last day to register! More info, click here.
  • Emerging Markets Homeownership Initiative Third Annual Summit and Entry Cost Assistance Matrix Training. Space is limited! More info, click here.

For Homebuyers:

  • Before you buy... Think HomeStretch! Homebuyer education and counseling that covers, start to finish, EVERYTHING that's involved in becoming a homeowner. Understand your rights and responsibilities throughout the entire process. More info, click here.
  • Thinking of buying in Minneapolis? Join us at the City's Housing fair(s) - TWO DATES - 10/20 and 10/21. More info here.

For Homeowners:

  • Stuggling with payments? You don't have to wait for an event... you can contact a FREE, non-profit Foreclosure Specialist today. Click here.
  • Like to learn more about foreclosure in Minnesota - and the help and assistance that is available to Minnesota residents? Learn more at a confidential workshop at your local library. Additional information here.
  • Live in Minneapolis? You can also visit the one of the City's two housing fairs (Tuesday October 20 and Wednesday, October 21) to learn more. More info here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

MN Housing Partnership - 2x4 Report

The Minnesota Housing Partnership has recently released its updated report (known as the "2 x 4 Report") that studies two indicators for each of four key housing areas:

  • the home ownership market,
  • the rental market,
  • homelessness, and
  • the housing industry.

The report is a great resource for housing information, and is designed to provide a concise, easy-to-digest, graphic overview of the state of housing in the state of Minnesota.

The complete report is available here.

Focusing on the "Owners' Market" segment of their report, it shows that just over 7% of primary (first lien) mortgages were delinquent in the second quarter of 2009 - up from about 6% in the fourth quarter of 2008.

When taken in combination with the increase in pre-foreclosure notices that we highlighted in our post on Tuesday (Pre-Foreclosure Notices, September 2009) we repeat can our assessment from Tuesday: MN still has a LONG way to go before we reach the end of the foreclosure crisis.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pre-Foreclosure Notices, September 2009

It was brought to our attention (Thanks, Aaron!) that we hadn't updated the numbers of pre-foreclosure notices that our counseling network has received for a couple of months.

If the number of pre-foreclosure notices are a leading indicator of future foreclosures (which is a fairly safe assumption)... MN still has a LONG way to go before we reach the end of the foreclosure crisis.

As background for new readers, Minnesota State law (MN Statute 580.021) requires that the foreclosing party provide information regarding foreclosure prevention counseling services to the mortgager (homeowner) AND provide the homeowner’s name, address, and most recent known telephone number to an approved foreclosure prevention counseling agency - BEFORE filing the notice of pendency.

Once The Minnesota Home Ownership Center's network of foreclosure prevention agencies recieves notification from the lender/servicer/homeowners association, they then contact the homeowner, and track the number of notifications received during the month in their monthly reporting to the Center.

Here are the January through September, 2009 STATEWIDE Pre-Foreclosure Numbers:

(Click On Either Image To Enlarge)

Here are the January through September, 2009 Twin Cities Metro Pre-Foreclosure Numbers:

(Click On Either Image To Enlarge)

We've added trend lines to both charts to help readers see where we seem to be heading.

Once again, we have to tip our hats to the statewide network of Foreclosure Counselors! 6,411 families received notification of their services in September alone!
This brings the annual total of pre-foreclosure notices received to:
  • Twin Cities Metro: 31,487 (!)
  • Minnesota Statewide: 49,985 (!!)
If you're falling behind with your mortgage payments... or think you may fall behind soon... don't delay, contact a Housing Counselor that specializes in foreclosure today! To contact your local Counselor, click here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Foreclosure Sale Postponement Info in Spanish

In order to postpone the foreclosure sale of their property, Minnesota state law requires that homeowners complete several steps. The first step in the process is to completely fill out an "Affidavit of Postponement".

This can be a confusing, if not impossible, undertaking for non-English speakers.

To assist Spanish-speaking homeowners that might be interested in postponing their foreclosure sale, the MN Home Ownership Center has created a "Cheat-Sheet" that helps explain the information the Affidavit is requesting.

Information about foreclosure postponement in Minnesota can be found here (in English) and here (in Spanish).

To see the new Affidavit description sheet in Spanish (The 'Cheat-Sheet')... click here.

Before deciding to postpone a Foreclosure Sale, homeowners are encouraged to consult with a foreclosure specialist to understand the pros and cons of a postponement, and to see if there are any other resources or assistance available to them. To find their local foreclosure specialist, homeowners should click here.

Third Annual EMHI Summit

New This Year: Entry-Cost Assistance Training!

The Minnesota Home Ownership Center is pleased to announce that the 2009 Emerging Markets Home Ownership Initiative (EMHI) summit has been scheduled for November 9th, 2009 at the Continuing Education and Conference Center on the University of MN Campus.

The Third Annual EMHI Summit, and the first since the MN Home Ownership Center adopted EMHI programming earlier this year, is a hallmark of the Center’s dedication to the EMHI mission of working to promote homeownership parity by leading and convening industry and community stakeholders to develop tools, resources, and best practices to increase homeownership opportunity for Minnesota’s emerging markets.

The event is designed primarily for realtors, lenders, non-profits, elected officials, and others working in the homeownership arena. The agenda will include:

  • Keynote address from St. Paul City Council Member Melvin Carter III and State Representative Jeff Hayden. They’ll discuss the impact of homeownership on their constituency base and address public policy topics that support EMHI’s mission.
  • Michael Grover, community affairs manager from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and John Patterson, director of research and evaluation at Minnesota Housing, will provide a comprehensive analysis of the current status of emerging marketing homeownership in Minnesota using the soon to be released American Community Survey data. A traditional part of the EMHI Summit, this presentation will offer thought-provoking insight into the status of emerging markets homeownership and how the current environment has impacted efforts.
  • Representatives from the industry, including Michael Haley, Assistant Commissioner of Minnesota Housing; Teddy Bagley, Affordable Housing Manager for Guaranteed Rate; Umbelina Cremer, Emerging Markets Officer for Achieve Homeownership; and Kim Quayson of MidCountry Mortgage. Panelists will offer practical insights into how their organizations have successfully emerging market homebuyers and the lessons they’ve learned.
  • Jacqueline King, Assistant Vice President and Community Affairs Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and founding board member of the Emerging Markets Homeownership Initiative, will close the agenda with a call to action and partnership to the industry to continue striving for EMHI’s mission.

CEU credits have been applied for.

To register, or for more information, click here.

Premiere training: taking the confusion out of entry cost assistance programs and affordable loan products

Following the EMHI Summit and a networking lunch on November 9th, the MN Home Ownership Center, in partnership with the Minnesota Association of Realtors, will be hosting a training and unveiling newly developed tools offering comprehensive information about entry cost and affordable loan programs throughout the state. As Minnesota begins to recover from the recent foreclosure crisis, municipalities, lenders, non-profits, and others have developed programs designed to promote homeownership. This proliferation of programs has led to confusion among industry professionals at they attempt to keep current on optimum opportunities for their clients.

This 3-hour training session will include:

  • Details about accessing and using the MN Home Ownership Center’s brand new Entry Cost Assistance Matrix, including a panel of speakers highlighting some of the most frequently used programs in the state. Neighborhood Stabilization Programs will be featured.
  • Information about accessing and using the MN Home Ownership Center’s Affordable Loan Product Matrix. Recently released to the public for the first time, the matrix includes valuable information about first-time homebuyer and other affordable loan programs. Lending representatives will be on hand to discuss their programs.
  • The Entry Cost Assistance Matrix and Affordable Loan Product Matrix are is the first of their kind in Minnesota and highlight the Center’s commitment to working in partnership with Realtors®, lenders and other professionals to enhance home buying for Minnesotans.

Space is limited and registration is required.

CEU credits have been applied for the afternoon session as well.

To register, or for more information, click here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Foreclosure Forum with Congressman Keith Ellison

Monday night October 5th, the Minnesota Home Ownership Center and its network of foreclosure prevention counselors were invited to participate in a public forum hosted by Representative Keith Ellison entitled "The Foreclosure Crisis: Identifying Problems and Sharing Solutions" that was held in Minneapolis.

The first hour of the forum included a resource fair where dozens of struggling homeowners were able to speak with the non-profit foreclosure specialists to help them determine their next steps.

During the next two hours, consumers and constituents heard from the Congressman, State Representatives, Housing Counselors and even lenders about what is being done to help struggling Minnesota families.

Here Congressman Keith Ellison introduces Cheryl Peterson from Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and Ed Nelson from the MN Home Ownership Center:

(Click to Enlarge)

Here Ed Nelson speaks about the new Foreclosure Postponement law in Minnesota. State Representative Jeff Hayden is on the right:

(Click to Enlarge)

Additional photos of the event can be found on the Center's photo gallery here.