News From Freddie Mac

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Freddie Mac and 13 national and local non-profit organizations announced a pilot effort to convince discouraged delinquent borrowers to pursue mortgage workouts that can save their homes and steer clear of foreclosure. Freddie Mac's new Borrower Help Centers in Chicago, Phoenix, San Bernardino and Washington, DC are designed to provide free, confidential one-on-one "holistic" mortgage counseling to delinquent Freddie Mac borrowers. The company is also launching a separate Borrower Help Network offering similar counseling over the phone to targeted Freddie Mac borrowers across the nation. Both efforts rely on non-profit organizations with strong reputations to contact and work with Freddie Mac borrowers who may be eligible for a modification but never called their lender or became frustrated or uncertain of the process and gave up trying. "We know that fear and frustration are keeping thousands of borrowers from getting the help they're eligible to receive," says Ed Haldeman, Chief Executive Officer, Freddie Mac. "So we're going to address the problem head-on by working together with nonprofit partners. These organizations are trusted and valued sources in their communities, and we believe they can make the difference in keeping families in their homes and out of foreclosure." Holistic financial counseling goes beyond mortgage issues and also includes an assessment of borrower debt and credit issues that could affect a borrower's ability to stay current on a mortgage after a modification. Borrowers in some stage of foreclosure are 60 percent more likely to keep their homes than other borrowers, according to a recent study from NeighborWorks America. Groups participating in the Borrower Help Center and Borrower Help Network include the National Urban League, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), HomeFree-USA, local Neighborhood Housing Services in Chicago, Phoenix, and Ontario, California, and other local community organizations. In 2009 Freddie Mac helped nearly 250,000 borrowers avoid foreclosure ...