Mortgage group visits Minden |

Mortgage group visits Minden

by Scott Neuffer

More than 30 people showed up at the Douglas County Library on Tuesday to visit with a variety of lenders about home mortgage woes.

“Banks have a real incentive to keep people in their homes,” said Chris Oswald, director of state government affairs for Mortgage Bankers Association. “With every foreclosure, a bank loses 40 percent of a home’s value. Banks don’t want a bunch of houses on their hands because they lose money.”

Oswald was one of many lenders from Wells Fargo, Countrywide, and JP Morgan Chase who met one on one with borrowers struggling to make their house payments.

“It’s important for borrowers to contact their lenders early because then there’ll be more options,” said Oswald. “People in trouble need to do the right thing, tackle the problem and not bury their heads in the sand.”

Oswald said that the lending industry calls Calif., Nev., Ariz. and Fla. the “sand states,” suffering from high amounts of delinquent payments and foreclosures.

According to RealtyTrac, 40 properties in Douglas County are in foreclosure, and 52 more have started the process.

Matt Tuma, regional representative of Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said lawmakers are in the process of making legislation to assist struggling homeowners.

“We trying to bring together different points of view and prevent foreclosures,” said Tuma.

Ray Ward, regional operations analyst for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said people need to face their fear and learn as much as they can about possible solutions. For example, he said the Federal Housing Administration can turn private mortgages into government loans beneficial to the borrower.

“Don’t be afraid,” said Ward. “Get out there and find the information. It’s better to know than think you know.”

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