AG’s office gives foreclosure hotline $600,000

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Attorney General John Suthers awarded the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline a two-year, $600,000 grant to continue to provide foreclosure help to state residents.

The hotline helps homeowners facing foreclosure to assess options and come up with ways to stay in their homes. The grant will keep the hotline open for the next two years, as the state anticipates the high level of foreclosure to continue.

The money will be provided from the fines and penalties recovered by the AG’s office as part of its settlements with Countrywide Financial Corp. and Wells Fargo to resolve allegations related to mortgage fraud. The use of the money from each settlement is directed by court orders.

The Colorado Foreclosure Hotlines serves as a network of more than two dozen HUD-approvded housing counseling agencies. Homeowners who call the free number can speak with a housing counselor in the community about their options. In many cases, the counselors may also serve as an intermediary between the borrower and the mortgage loan servicer.

On average, the hotline’s four-member team receives 3,000 calls a month. More than 132,000 Coloradans have called the hotline since it stared in 2006, and more than 25,000 people have avoided foreclosure.