New group to help mitigate foreclosures

Published 11:15 pm Saturday, July 28, 2012

By The (Jackson ) Clarion-Ledger:

Unfortunately, no single effort or organization can completely solve Mississippi’s foreclosure problems.

No one formula is going to keep people from losing their homes, just as it’s impossible to completely eradicate the circumstances that lead to foreclosures — the loss of a job, an unexpected health crisis and myriad others.

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But if a new collective being formed in the state can help even one family keep its home and teach other people how to hold on to theirs, they’ll have accomplished something truly meaningful.

The Mississippi Foreclosure Prevention Consortium includes the state attorney general’s office, the Mississippi Home Corp., Money Management International, the Mississippi Center for Justice, the Mississippi Center for Legal Services, North Mississippi Rural Legal Services and the Mississippi Military Department.

A hotline, 1-866-530-9572, has been established to refer callers to whichever of the participating agencies can best address their needs.

The consortium is being funded for a three-year period via $5.8 million Mississippi received as part of a nationwide settlement between dozens of states and some of the country’s largest mortgage service firms, who the states accused of shady business tactics.

Commendably, Mississippi’s consortium will offer services to anyone facing foreclosure, not just those whose mortgages are with the firms involved in the settlement, such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup.

After all, people who are facing the loss of their homes through circumstances beyond their control and who didn’t use any of those companies deserve the same access to help as those who did.

And there’s still a great need for foreclosure help in Mississippi as the economy’s recovery seems more like a limp than a stride. …

And there’s no doubt more than a few military men and women are among Mississippi’s still-swollen number of people who could lose their homes.

Here’s hoping the consortium can help them and all Mississippians keep what should be their most cherished possession — their homes.

The program will end after three years, the result of it being funded by a one-time money source.

But foreclosures will still line Mississippi’s landscape 36 months from now, even if the national economy experiences a boom.

That should give state leaders reasonable time to somehow continue the program or start something similar when this one expires.