Phoenix Bank Foreclosures Get Attention from Various Groups

by Donald Hanz on cities

The still-high number of Phoenix bank foreclosures has been getting the attention of various nonprofits, government entities and investors in Arizona and the federal government.

The Phoenix metro area has been among the most clobbered metro areas in the country, being among the ten metro areas with the biggest foreclosure rates throughout the country in the first 6 months of 2009.

In the first half of this year, one in 22 households in the Phoenix metro area was hit with a default or foreclosure filing, marking a substantial increase of more than 51 percent compared to the same 6-month period last year and an increase of almost 11 percent compared to the previous 6-month period.

To help contain the record number of Phoenix bank foreclosures, various entities have been carrying out different ways to help distressed homeowners in Phoenix.

Among these entities helping Phoenix is the Boston-based nonprofit Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, which was founded in 1988 to help homeowners restructure their home loans to affordable levels. It has 38 offices across the country and operates two call centers to serve American homeowners.

Phoenix was chosen by NACA as the second stop for its Save the Dream tour, next to Los Angeles. About 40,000 Phoenix homeowners attended the event and met with bank representatives.

NACA has been using its network strength to encourage lenders to reduce interest rates permanently to 4 percent, 3 percent or 2 percent so that the resulting monthly loan payments become really affordable to homeowners.

Another entity offering ways for distressed homeowners to avoid foreclosure is A Keller Williams Realty. It has been holding free sessions to help troubled homeowners understand the process of short sale and other alternatives to foreclosure. The founding owners of the firm claim that they have been operating in the real estate industry for 15 years and have a strong and successful history of negotiating short sales with banks.

The third nonprofit targeting the city of Phoenix is the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta.

The nonprofit, headed by Suzanne Boas, has just been awarded $3.5 million to finance its foreclosure counseling and prevention programs in Atlanta and in other major cities including Phoenix.

According to Boas, the nonprofit will provide practical counseling workshops at no cost to distressed homeowners. With its strong achievements, CCCS received the biggest amount given by NeighborWorks America under the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program.