June 9th, 2011 7:22 AM by Lehel S.
At the height of the most recent housing boom mortgage loans were given out like candy, and people scrambled to grab a piece of the American Dream. But as we now know, many of those borrowers could ill afford the mortgage loans they were being given.
And when their adjustable-rate loans began to reset at higher interest rates, defaults began piling up. Many ended up in foreclosure or were forced to resort to a short sale to escape further economic damage. Others grimly hung on, banking their hopes on government-sponsored programs that were touted to provide help but rarely did. Thus far, the results have been less than inspiring.
But Wells Fargo & Co. is looking to help.
On Wednesday and Thursday, more than 100 Wells Fargo home-retention team members will be on hand for a Home Preservation Workshop at Pasadena Convention Center to assist borrowers who are struggling.
"For us the most important thing is finding a way so these people can stay in their homes," said Joel Sarmiento, a Wells Fargo regional servicing director. "We're targeting people who are 30 days or more delinquent on a payment."
Sarmiento said the bank is also willing to work with borrowers whose financial situations have changed.
"We'll talk to anyone who feels they have a hardship or something that has changed for them where they won't be able to make payments in the future," he said. "If we can get to those individuals who are 60 days or less delinquent, we can offer solutions that will help seven out of 10 of them stay in their homes."
Options include loan modifications, short sales, deeds-in-lieu and repayment plans.
"I say kudos to Wells Fargo for doing this," said James Joseph, owner of Century 21 Ambassador and Caldwell Banker Ambassador in Whittier.
"The government programs have largely flopped, but what has worked is when individual banks are able to do this. It seems like a win-win situation."
A host of nonprofit also will be on hand at the workshops to provide support to attendees, including Clear Point Counseling Services, Operation HOPE, West Angeles CCD, Vermont Village CCD, Quantum CCD and Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services.
Wells Fargo has done 664,195 active trial and completed modifications from January 2009 through March of this year.
The home preservation workshops will run from 9a.m. to 7 p.m. both days at Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St.