Local organization helping hundreds of people stave off foreclosure

Utah ranks fourth in the nation for foreclosures and the high number of foreclosures in northern Utah is not expected to decrease the next two years. A free foreclosure counseling program helping 167 clients in Box Elder and Cache Counties won continued support from the Box Elder County Commission in early September. Kim Datwyler of Neighborhood Nonprofit Housing Corporation said a similar search for support in Cache County has been underway. “We have several proposals out,” said Datwyler. “The Olene Walker Housing Loan Fund is a possibility. But, our Neighborhood Non-Profit Board has voted to put $50,000 of our own money into funding the program for a year. “We believe it’s a critical need right now. We have good counselors who are well trained and certified through HUD (Housing and Urban Development). So the program will be in place and funded for the next year.” Datwyler said there are a number of different options available in helping homeowners, the best of which is helping them bring their mortgage current. “If we can help them through budgeting and perhaps working with some of their other debt we can sometimes bring their mortgage current. We can sometimes modify mortgages, do forbearance agreements. We’ve actually been fairly successful in working with banks on forbearance and repayment plans.” She said if those aren’t options that are going to work they don’t waste time and wait for the bank to foreclose. “We can do a deed in lieu of foreclosure, we can help them sell the property right up to a pre-foreclosure sale, or a short sale. “The one thing we don’t want is to have a family foreclosed upon. It hurts their credit, it costs them a great deal and it takes away their ability to have any control of what’s happening in their situation.” Datwyler said this year the program has helped 167 families and only six have had their homes foreclosed upon. “Again, this is a free service that in the past has been funded by HUD and it has been very effective in helping people. While Congress has cut the budget we’re hopeful they will put a little in for continued funding of foreclosure counseling.” Datwyler said counselors are available at 435-753-1112 (ext. 101).

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