Freddie Mac is doing its part to educate homeowners about foreclosure in a new video series on YouTube called "Get the Facts." It almost sounds like a sex education campaign, but the informational videos actually smack myths and offers facts about foreclosures. Videos address topics such as what a foreclosure can do to your credit rating, and how homeowners should react if they think they are in financial distress with their home. Freddie Mac is operating under a government conservatorship that began on September 6, 2008, shortly after the housing meltdown began; the agency was over-stressed by too many bad loans.
"People in those situations are vulnerable, and the foreclosure scammers are always a step ahead," says Ed Jacob, executive director at the Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, which provides housing counseling to homeowners struggling with mortgage payments.
More than 2.3 million American homes have been repossessed by lenders since the recession first began in 2007, and homes in some state of foreclosure now suck up at least two percent of the nation's housing supply. That's thousands of homeowners stuck in a state of stress, depression and confusion. And as we have reported many times, the scam artists are out there taking full advantage. By web, mail, even cold calling, these companies are preying upon desperate homeowners and costing them money and sometimes, their home.
Well, the nations' chief buyer of home loans is fighting back.
In each video, a consumer voices a foreclosure myth, which a Freddie Mac housing counselor then shoots down. In the first video, a homeowner says he has heard that if his house is foreclosed on, he can never buy a home again. That's not true, of course. In the second, the counselor tackles another myth making rounds, that homeowners should stop making mortgage payments so they can get mortgage help -- wrong! The third video says no, you will not lose your home for missing just one payment; the fourth covers the paranoia that all offers of help are scams -- they are not, but you do have to decipher, and the fifth gives advice on what to do if your lender has a deaf ear -- either ignoring you, or not responding.
The counselor in the video says he has two years of experience advising consumers, and says there are plenty of myths and misconceptions about foreclosure. He's here, he says, to give homeowners the facts.
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