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New Project Brings Homeowners and Lenders to the Table

June 30, 2009

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Kentucky homeowners facing foreclosure have a new ally. The Foreclosure Conciliation Project is kicking off in Jefferson County today to help make the foreclosure process less traumatic and more educational for those in the process of losing their homes. Attorney Ben Carter with the Housing Unit of the Legal Aid Society says the program arranges an opportunity for homeowners and lenders to meet and communicate about options.

"Homeowners are having a difficult time talking with their lenders about alternatives to foreclosure, and lenders, frankly, are having a difficult time getting homeowners to respond."

Homeowners who do meet with their lenders will learn about options such as forbearance agreements and loan modifications. While participation in the program will not slow the foreclosure process, local judges have agreed not to sell the homes until the conference between homeowner and lender occurs.

Carter says this project will have a positive effect on the community, because foreclosure affects more than just the homeowner who is behind on payments.

"Cities are affected by declining tax revenues as well as are neighborhoods and neighbors. Homeowners near foreclosed properties suffer from declining property values, which affects their ability to refinance or potentially to sell their houses."

The number of foreclosure filings and sales in Jefferson County has been steadily rising over the last ten years. Last year, more than 2,000 homes were sold at foreclosure auction.

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, Congressman John Yarmuth and Jefferson County Circuit Court judges will be on hand today to kick off the program.

Residents interested in the program can visit www.protectmykyhome.org

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - KY