Nationstar Mortgage (NSM) will provide up to $30 million to financially troubled Milwaukee homeowners under an agreement with the city announced today.
This comes after months of negotiations, a spate of critical press and upcoming hearings on how the city is financing the proposed $500 million Milwaukee Bucks arena, which media and analysts say is definitely related. The majority owner of Fortress Group Investments, which owns Nationstar, is co-owner of the Bucks.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Common Council President Michael Murphy said the company will provide the assistance through a combination of Nationstar and City of Milwaukee programs to help residents throughout the city keep and repair their homes.
The plan includes a commitment to provide an increased level of mortgage loan modifications to Nationstar customers in the city and a $500,000 donation to support the City of Milwaukee’s Strong Homes loan program from 2016 through 2018.
“For Milwaukee homeowners who face economic challenges, this commitment is an opportunity to help more homeowners in our city. Home foreclosures will be avoided with new modification agreements, and more owners will receive low interest loans to help finance critical repairs to their homes.” Mayor Tom Barrett said. “Residents who own their homes add value and stability to Milwaukee neighborhoods, and I don’t want anyone to lose their home unnecessarily.”?The five-part plan for Milwaukee includes the following elements:
- Nationstar will provide up to $30 million in financial assistance over the next three years for Nationstar customers in Milwaukee through mortgage loan modification programs. This assistance will help qualified customers potentially save on their mortgage payments, and represents a 57% increase over the amount of projected gross mortgage loan modifications Nationstar would otherwise forecast to provide over that period of time.
- Nationstar will provide $500,000 ($166,667 per year for three years) to the City of Milwaukee to support the Strong Homes Loan Program through 2018.
- Three face-to-face customer outreach events per year for the next three years to meet with and help Nationstar customers struggling with their mortgage payments in Milwaukee.
- Donations of as many Nationstar managed real estate properties in Milwaukee as possible. Whenever the company has foreclosures available that can be rehabilitated by local families or non-profits, those properties will be donated with a stipend of up to $10,000 per property to support renovation costs.
- A commitment to continue working with institutions that own mortgage loans in Milwaukee to secure additional assistance whenever possible, including discussions regarding GSE-owned REOs and unique, city-focused program opportunities for Milwaukee homeowners who are struggling.
“The foreclosure crisis in Milwaukee was complex–its impact is still felt by many homeowners in our city.” said Common Council President Michael J. Murphy. “Partnerships have been an integral element to fighting the debilitating effect foreclosures have on neighborhoods. This newest partnership will not only help people stay in their homes, but?it also helps homeowners make the repairs needed to make their properties a positive asset in their neighborhood.”
Nationstar President and CEO Jay Bray said, “Nationstar has 2.4 million customers across the United States, including approximately 3,500 in Milwaukee. So we understand the problems facing homeowners across America. We’re excited to offer a package of support that we believe can help make a real difference for homeowners in the city. We appreciate the assistance and guidance from Mayor Tom Barrett and Common Council President Michael Murphy, who have enlightened us about the challenges facing the community and have worked with us to explore the possibilities for helping. We are proud to partner with them and the entire City of Milwaukee to provide this assistance.”
As of August 25, 2015, Nationstar serviced nearly 3,500 customers in Milwaukee, and 86% of them were current. Of that total, 157 of those loans were in foreclosure, which is fewer than half as many as it had at the beginning of the year.
The company also has reduced the number of vacant homes it is responsible for to 42, and it has committed to full compliance with City ordinances and maintenance standards while properties move through the foreclosure process. Nationstar currently services 19 REO properties in Milwaukee for private investors.