It is nice to see that some politicians are working to help homeowners in Ohio beat the foreclosure racket. It was announced today by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) that $229,140 was awarded to the Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland, Inc. to provide foreclosure counseling to local families. The National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program funds are awarded on a competitive basis to help prevent foreclosures.
Cleveland is one of the leading cities in the nation when it comes to foreclosure rates, and with a large urban population, it doesn’t look like that is going to change soon. Foreclosures in Ohio have continued to be a serious problem in all parts of the state, with some of the largest gaps between new home rates and foreclosured home sales rates. Brown was quoted as saying,
Foreclosures are devastating to not only the affected homeowner, but the entire neighborhood and local economy. Cleveland-area homeowners, families, and neighbors facing foreclosure deserve a strong support network. That’s why the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling service is so important to ending the foreclosure mill that plagues communities in Ohio and throughout the country. We should be finding ways to keep people in their homes, not gouging homeowners and forcing more houses onto an already depressed housing market.
Ohio has been particularly hard hit during the economic crisis of the last few years, with bankruptcies and foreclosures. This is especially true in urban areas like Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. Many homeowners in urban areas are higher risk candidates for loans to begin with, and the economy has continued to make jobs scarce.
Sherrod Brown is the chair of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection Subcommittee, and is a leader in calling for assistance to communities affected by the foreclosure and real estate crisis. He recently introduced the Foreclosure Fraud and Homeowner Abuse Prevention Act of 2011, which would:
- Protect homeowners from lender errors, miscommunications, and abusive fees.
- End the rush to foreclosure and require lenders to work with homeowners to find sustainable mortgages.
- Improve standards for staffing and casework by mortgage lenders.
- Protect the interests of investors who buy securities backed by residential mortgages.
- Reform oversight of pools of securitized mortgages.
Sherrod Brown is married to Connie Schultz, a writer and columnist for the The Plain Dealer.