Troubled Borrowers Flood Help Line After Rate Freeze Announcement
A phone hotline tied to the HOPE NOW consortium has seen call volume reach a record 45,000 calls in the three days after the Bush administration unveiled a streamlined mortgage modification program, according to a statement by the group on Tuesday. The 888-995-HOPE hotline, operated by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, was cited several times by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson at announcements about the interest-rate freeze last Thursday. By Sunday, more than 45,000 callers had reached out to the toll-free numbers. The HOPE hotline offers foreclosure prevention counseling provided by HUD-certified counseling agencies. â€œThe HOPE Hotline is a great resource for homeowners in distress,â€? said Faith Schwartz, Executive Director for HOPE NOW. â€œHowever, those who want to inquire about the program announced by the Administration should call their lender to see if they qualify under the plan.â€? I'm not sure what to make of the statement by Schwartz above -- is she saying that HOPE NOW should not have received those calls, and/or that the help line received inquiries from borrowers not "in distress?"