In Massachusetts homeowners are apparently freaking out about the possibility of foreclosure.
A recently-launched hotline aimed at helping homeowners avoid foreclosures has received up to 300 calls a day, according to state attorney general Martha Coakley. The program, called HomeCorps, gets about 200 to 300 people calling its hotline every day from homeowners, "who are in distress about the mortgage" Coakley told a local Fox affiliate on Thursday, according to the State House News Service.
Coakley launched the HomeCorps program using some of the money Massachusetts netted from the national mortgage settlement reached in February. The program aims to decrease the number of foreclosures in Massachusetts by offering every borrower in the state facing foreclosure the chance to have an evaluation from a loan modification expert.
In the national deal, five of the nation's largest mortgage lenders paid 49 states a total of $25 billion to settle allegations of widespread “robo-signing” during the housing crisis. Government officials billed the settlement as having the ability to reach more than 1 million struggling homeowners.
The Massachusetts program may provide a way for some of that money to be used to help some of those homeowners. In Massachusetts 1 in every 1,298 housing units received a foreclosure filing in March, according to RealtyTrac.
The state also saw a sharp boost in foreclosure activity in March compared to the year before, the Boston Globe reports. That’s largely because lenders are speeding up the process of getting rid of delinquent properties that are on their books after slowing down in early 2011 in the face of heightened scrutiny into their foreclosure practices.
Coakley has been an outspoken advocate for providing struggling homeowners with opportunities to avoid foreclosure. She pushed for a law last month that would force lenders to study some loans before foreclosing on the homeowners to see if offering a loan modification would be more profitable than foreclosing, according to the Boston Globe.