Many local foreclosure counselors say they are overwhelmed by their caseloads. A coalition is working to put more counselors in housing offices to help provide some relief.
The Capital Area Foreclosure Network says more counselors are needed to answer an increase in caseloads, noting more than 148,000 mortgages in the region were delinquent or in foreclosure at the end of last year.
The coalition, led by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, also plans to boost funding to those foreclosure counseling services already in operation to help struggling homeowners.
Walda Yon, a housing counselor with the Latino Economic Development Corporation, works with homeowners who are in danger of foreclosure. To do her job, Yon receives suicide prevention training, among other skills.
"We have to deal with all these emotions and feelings that these families bring to us. We have to deal with the frustration and depression because we are going through this process," says Yon.
Counseling services provide homeowners who are in danger of defaulting on their mortgage, the chance to work on a budget and apply for a loan modification.