In cooperation with Mayor Barrett and other city leaders, Alderman Puente is working to help fight foreclosures that are threatening the stability of some Milwaukee neighborhoods. The mayor has asked for a court-ordered moratorium on foreclosures, and has also launched the Milwaukee Foreclosure Partnership Initiative.

As the housing industry continues to experience turbulence nationwide, more Milwaukee families face the dangers of predatory high-cost loans, unscrupulous lending practices and the frustration of not knowing who to trust. Currently Milwaukee has more than 1,500 bank-owned foreclosures, and (as recently as September) foreclosure filings in the city are up 56% in 2008 versus 2007. The fact is, unfortunately, in these uncertain times some residents will be unable to protect their homes.

Homeowners are urged to seek help early if they are having trouble making their mortgage payments, and should talk to their lender if they are at least 30 days delinquent. Acting soon is critical – the chances of avoiding foreclosure improve dramatically the sooner homeowners seek help.

The following is a list of agencies that can provide help for those facing foreclosure:

Homeownership Preservation oundation (HPF) Hotline: 1-888-995-HOPE
Provides FREE counseling 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in English and Spanish. Counselors will link callers with their lender or a local NeighborWorks organization.

STOPP (Strategies To Overcome Predatory Practices) Hotline: 1-414- 278-9190.
Callers to the hotline receive FREE assistance from staff, which can review loan documents, provide input and advice, work with the borrower’s lender and bring in other STOPP partners to assist as necessary. This initiative by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council utilizes a coalition of community based organizations, the housing industry and government to identify and eliminate unfair practices.

Information for homeowners, counselors and others:

Hope Now: www.hopenow.com or www.wisconsinfloreclosurerescue.com

Homeownership Preservation Foundation: www.995hope.org and www.foreclosurehelpandhope.org

National Foundation for Credit Counseling: www.housinghelpnow.org

The NeighborWorks® Center for Foreclosure Solutions: www.nw.org

For tips on how to avoid foreclosure, visit the HUD website at: www.hud.gov/foreclosure/index.cfm

Local HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agencies for Post-Purchase Assistance:

Acorn Housing Corp.
315 W. Court Street, Ste. 204-C
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: (414) 444-6902
Toll Free: (866) 444-6893

Career Youth Development, Inc.
2601 N. Martin Luther King Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: (414) 264-6888 x231

HBC Services, Inc.
10533 W. National Avenue, #300
West Allis, WI 53227
Phone: (414) 727-5700

Housing Resources, Inc.
8532 W. Capitol Drive, #201
Milwaukee, WI 53222
Phone: (414) 461-6330

Sci-Tech Development, Inc.
5401 N. 76th Street, #103
Milwaukee, WI 53218
Phone: (414) 364-3701