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    Press Release
  • Tri-Cities Homeowners Struggling to Make Mortgage Payments Urged to Call State of Tennessee Hotline for Help

    September 5, 2012, #12-18

  • Although foreclosure filings have decreased across the state, several counties in the Tri-Cities area have failed to improve, according to the latest data from RealtyTrac®.

    For example, the number of foreclosure filings in Carter County and Washington has increased compared to both the previous quarter and the same quarter last year (Q2 2011). Foreclosure filings have remained steady in Sullivan and Johnson counties compared to the previous quarter.

    The housing data news, however, is better for the Kingsport area. In Hawkins County foreclosure filings were down compared to both the previous quarter and the same quarter last year. Meanwhile, in Sullivan County foreclosure filings dropped 44 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

    Overall, the number of properties with foreclosure filings in Tennessee declined five percent compared to both the previous quarter and the same quarter last year. Although the latest foreclosure data shows that the housing crisis may be easing throughout the state, many homeowners are still struggling to pay their mortgages but help is available. Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper and Tennessee Housing Development Agency Executive Director Ted R. Fellman recently announced a mortgage hotline is now available for Tennessee homeowners who are underwater or delinquent on their mortgages.

    Homeowners can call toll-free 855-876-7283 (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET) and speak to a representative who can direct homeowners to a free foreclosure prevention counselor and explain various housing assistance programs. Even homeowners who are not at risk of foreclosure can call the hotline to see if they are eligible for a refinance under some of these programs.

    In April, Tennessee, along with 48 other Attorneys General and federal agencies, reached an agreement with the nation's top five mortgage servicers: Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Ally Financial/GMAC. The settlement will provide an estimated $25 billion in relief nationwide to distressed borrowers and state governments, including an estimated $140 million in benefits here in Tennessee.

    "My Office wants to make sure that Tennessee homeowners get all the help they deserve under this settlement and prevent unnecessary foreclosures," said Attorney General Cooper. "We are pleased to partner with THDA to create this mortgage hotline for all Tennessee homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments."

    "We encourage all Tennessee homeowners who are having problems with their mortgage servicer, regardless of who it is, to call the hotline at 855-876-7283," said Tennessee Housing Development Agency Executive Director Ted R. Fellman. "This hotline will put struggling homeowners in touch with free counselors who can explain the housing options available to try to keep Tennesseans in their homes."

    For more information about the national mortgage settlement or to find out about housing assistance in Tennessee, please call 855-876-7283 or visit www.tn.gov/attorneygeneral.

    Information about programs for eligible homeowners struggling to make their monthly payments due to unemployment or underemployment is also available at www.KeepMyTNHome.org.