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Workshops available for those facing foreclosure

Citizen Staff Writer



If you’re facing foreclosure, a Pima County program may help you stay in your home.

The Pima County Foreclosure Prevention Coalition is holding free workshops Saturday, April 25, and May 9 aimed at providing homeowners possible alternatives to foreclosures.

Pima County saw record foreclosures in 2008 and officials expect that trend to continue or worsen in 2009.

Housing counselors will be on hand at the workshops to walk participants through the foreclosure processes and help develop strategies to ward off loss of homes or consider mitigation measures that can help minimize the devastation of foreclosure.

One thing homeowners should never consider as a viable option to avoid foreclosure is taking a predatory loan, Richard Elías, chairman of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, said Friday.

“The foreclosure crisis has exacerbated all of the troubles that predatory lending creates,” Elías, a former director of the Pima County Development and Neighborhood Conservation Office, said.

The workshops include discussion of the foreclosure process, crisis budgeting, understanding mortgage loans, scams to avoid, community resources, and rebuilding credit.

Counselors are trained under federal Housing and Urban Development standards

The foreclosure prevention program is tied into Don’t Borrow Trouble, another Pima County program that offers counseling to victims of predatory lenders, Elías said.

The Board of Supervisors earlier this year approved about $5.3 million in bonds aimed at boosting the availability of affordable housing in the community.

The Jan. 12 action included $1.2 million for the foreclosure prevention program to help homeowners facing foreclosure, or to buy foreclosed homes for eventual return to the market as affordable housing.

Foreclosure facts

Pima County

• 2007: 3,117

• 2008: 5,095

Maricopa County

• 2007: 22,426

• 2008: 60,860

Percent of homes in foreclosure in 2008:

• Maricopa County: about 4 percent

• Pima County: about 1.2 percent

Source: Default Research, Inc.


Upcoming Pima County Foreclosure Prevention Workshops:

• Saturday: St. John’s Parish, 602 W. Ajo Way, noon to 4 p.m

• April 25: Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, 226 E. Lester St., from 8 a.m. to1 p.m

• May 9: St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, 3809 E. Third St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m

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