COVINGTON -- Homeowners facing foreclosure could find help at a free workshop this weekend hosted by a local nonprofit organization.
Family Community Housing Association Inc. is holding a foreclosure prevention workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Any Occasion Banquet and Conference Hall located at 3615 Salem Road in Covington. Other sponsors include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; USDA Rural Development; United Bank; Chase Manhattan Bank; SunTrust Bank; GMAC Automotive Financing; and Ocwen Loan Servicing.
"Anybody who may be facing foreclosure can come out to the event. They will get assistance from HUD-approved counselors. At the same time, some bank representatives will be out there," said Julius Webb, executive director of Family Community Housing Association.
A spokesman with HUD confirmed they will have representatives at the event.
Financial counselors will determine if participants are eligible for the Home Affordable Modifications Program, the result of President Barack Obama's Financial Stability Plan introduced in 2009. A critical piece of the plan is to make homes affordable in order to stabilize the market and help struggling homeowners get relief and avoid foreclosure.
The Home Affordable Modification Program provides eligible homeowners the chance to modify their mortgages to make them more affordable. The program has helped more than 1 million homeowners so far.
Homeowners who do not qualify for the program may have other options, Webb said, adding that the workshop is intended for not only those facing imminent foreclosure, but also those who expect they won't be able to meet payments in the near future.
The workshop is free and open to any Georgia resident.
Participants should bring copies of the following:
* one-month of mortgage statements
* one month of current pay stubs
* three months of bank statements
* 1 to 2 years of tax returns
* any letters from lender, sheriff's office or courts
* homeowner's insurance policy
* utility bills
* all mortgage loan closing documents
* hardship letter
Walk-ins are welcome but preregistration is preferred. To register, call 770-787-4436.
Covington-based Family Community Housing Association has been providing services since 2005, focusing primarily on educating home buyers and offering down payment assistance. When the housing market took a downward turn in late 2007, the organization lost most of its funding. Its board of directors decided to retool the program to focus on foreclosure prevention, Webb said. The organization works with lenders and borrowers to restructure payment plans or find other solutions to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.
Workshops are planned every quarter through 2012, when the rate of foreclosures is expected to level off, Webb said.