CLEVELAND, OH – Despite having exhausted its funding through the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program, Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People continues to help as many homeowners as possible.
Tuesday, March 1st ESOP was forced to discontinue its assistance to homeowners referred from the NFMC program by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. So far ESOP counselors have had to turn away at least 35 homeowners seeking assistance.
However, ESOP offices in Cleveland and across Ohio remain open and eager to help Ohioans save their homes. Funding provided by the Restoring Stability program along with other partnerships allows ESOP’s dedicated staff of foreclosure prevention counselors to help some homeowners.
This is not nearly enough to help the thousands of Ohioans in danger of losing their homes. Yet, just this week the House Financial Services Committee voted to pull the plug on two foreclosure prevention programs and is still considering eliminating two others. (Bloomberg BusinessWeek report)
“This is not the time to cut funding for foreclosure prevention programs,” says ESOP Executive Director Mark Seifert. “The unemployment numbers are finally showing signs of improvement. Some families are just starting to get back on their feet. But many families are still struggling. Killing these programs would just pull the rug out from under their feet and prolong the foreclosure crisis.”
While our elected officials debate the need for foreclosure prevention programs, ESOP counselors see the real people behind the numbers. Turning away dozens of homeowners in the past four days has meant sending people home without help or hope and at least one home going to a sheriff’s sale.
ESOP apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the new policy regarding National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling services. We are endeavoring to assist as many homeowners as we can. If ESOP is unable to help we recommend homeowners call Save the Dream customer service at 888-404-4674 for assistance.
ESOP is a HUD-certified foreclosure prevention counseling agency. We have 10 offices across the state and a nearly 75 percent success rate. We have been on the frontlines of the predatory lending and foreclosure epidemic since 1999. In the last six years more than 16,500 families have come to ESOP seeking assistance. In 2010 ESOP helped save more than 3,200 homes from foreclosure.