Homeowners facing foreclosure in our area may soon have more resources in place to help them save their home.
The Capital Area Foreclosure Network plans to set up a fund to support counseling agencies overwhelmed by foreclosure clients. The group, led by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, is calling for additional counseling programs and funding to expand those already in operation.
Chuck Bean is the executive director of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington. He says more than 148,000 mortgages in the region were delinquent or in foreclosure at the end of last year.
"There are about 130 nonprofit housing counselors in the region. It's just not enough people. They're just swamped with demand," Bean says.
Walda Yon, a counselor with the Latino Economic Development corporation, says there aren't enough counselors in her office to help the rising number of families requesting appointments.
"If they cannot get an appointment with a housing counselor, they are an easy target for scams out there that offer an amount of money to keep their home because they are desperate and are trying to get assistance as soon as possible."
Nearly 20,000 homeowners sought foreclosure prevention counseling from agencies in the D.C. metropolitan area last year.