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HOPE hotline may offer debt relief to some distressed homeowners

It would not be an exaggeration to say that thousands of New Jersey residents are in need of some form of debt relief. Like the rest of the country, the Garden State is suffering through a sluggish economy that has many individuals and families worried about their financial health or whether or not they will be able to keep their homes. One small ray of hope may be helpful for some who are facing foreclosure. It is a program called the “HOPE Hotline,” and it offers a lifeline for those facing foreclosure.

HOPE Hotline is a not-for-profit service that tries to help distressed homeowners. In some cases, HOPE counselors may be able to call the banks on behalf of the callers and request loan modifications. In other cases, counselors may suggest that the best option for the homeowner is to sell the home. Presently, there are some 600 counselors working for the hotline, which is open 24 hours a day.

The hotline, which is headquartered in New Jersey, does not charge for any help provided. For the most part, lenders pay the bill, as they are the ones who save millions of dollars each year when foreclosures can be prevented. The hotline’s headquarters is a busy place: It receives more than 4,000 calls a day.

While the center may be able to help some people, there are many more who they will not be able to help. For many people, bankruptcy options may be the only way they can conquer their financial crisis and lay the groundwork for a fresh start. Individuals and families in need of debt relief may be best served by speaking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, who can help explain the process and offer advice concerning the appropriate steps to be taken.

Source: CBS, “Free hotline helps homeowners facing foreclosure,” Jim Axelrod, Oct. 17, 2011

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