Phoenix – With President Barack Obama’s visit to Phoenix today to discuss the housing market’s recovery, Attorney General Mark Brnovich commends the accomplishments of 23 community agencies that have partnered with the Arizona Attorney General’s office (“AGO”) to implement the Help You Can Trust programs designed to aid individuals and families in Arizona who are still challenged by the housing crisis.
The statewide network of partners, funded through the national mortgage settlement reached an important milestone by providing aid to approximately 20,700 Arizonans through an array of assistance programs:
- 138 families received zero-interest, forgivable loans totaling over $5.2 million from the AZ Mortgage Relief Fund for past due payments, principal reduction, or refinance;
- 6,487 borrowers have received foreclosure prevention, financial and pre-purchase counseling by HUD-approved housing counselors;
- 1,117 foreclosure cases were investigated by the legal aid teams and another 12,300 people received self-help legal education;
- 558 applications for relocation funds were taken from people who lost their home or were evicted due to foreclosure, or are facing an unaffordable rent increase;
- 62 people have received job training and employment services to help them improve their earning power or find work;
- The newest program in Maricopa and Pima counties will fund accessibility improvements for 106 veterans with service-connected disabilities that can’t afford to make them and maintain their mortgage.
The program has produced many positive outcomes for struggling Arizona homeowners last year. Multiple homeowners who utilized the AZ Mortgage Relief Fund are excited to share their success stories with the media. We can make them available to you upon request.
The Job Training and Employment Services program is another resource that helps struggling homeowners. For instance, a single mother on the verge of losing her home and payment assistance if she didn’t promptly find employment, received training, as well as, funds for her phone bill and gasoline necessary for the job search. The program staff arranged an interview with a business contact who hired her, directly resulting in her ability to maintain her home. Agency representatives are available to provide interview about the training.
In response to the changing market and consumer need that came to light over the past year, Attorney General Brnovich is directing the attention of his office and program resources to:
- Renters facing an unaffordable rent increase that would allow them to move-in to new, affordable housing;
- Homeowners with a HAMP or other loan modification and are facing an unaffordable interest rate increase over the next few years;
- Former homeowners who had a foreclosure and might be owed excess proceeds because the lender was able to sell the home for more than what the former homeowner owed on the home;
- People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to help them achieve a stable housing solution;
- Increase AGO enforcement staff to protect borrowers from fraudulent activity that still plagues our state.
The Attorney General thanks the following Help You Can Trust agencies that continue to work tirelessly to help Arizonans: Administration of Resources and Choices, Arizona Community Action Association, Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education, Arizona Women’s Education and Employment, ASU Homeowner Advocacy Project, Catholic Charities, Home Again Program, Chicanos Por La Causa, Community Housing Resources of Arizona, Community Legal Services, DNA People’s Legal Services, Family Housing Resources, Habitat for Humanity Tucson, Housing Solutions of Northern Arizona, Greater Phoenix Urban League, Maricopa County Human Services Dept., Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix, Old Pueblo Community Foundation, Pima County Community Services, Southeastern Arizona Governments Organization, Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Southwestern Fair housing Council, Don’t Borrow Trouble, and Western Arizona Council of Governments.
The work of these AGO contracted partners has contributed to approximately 64% of Arizona’s mortgage settlement funds being spent or spoken for to help families across Arizona. In addition to funding these housing programs, the national mortgage settlement has brought over $2 billion in relief to Arizonans, including approximately $1.9 billion in consumer relief and $96.5 million in payments to about 66,000 foreclosed borrowers. The settlement also required the participating banks to adopt new loan servicing standards. The AGO serves on the 14 state Monitoring Committee which is charged with ensuring compliance with all terms of the settlement.
The mortgage assistance programs will continue through 2016. Details and contact information for the programs is available at www.azmortgageresource.gov, by calling (602) 542-1797 or (855) 256-2834 (outside Phoenix area), or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
People who feel they might be the victim of mortgage fraud or any other type of consumer fraud, may file a consumer complaint with the Attorney General’s Office.
To arrange interviews with homeowners who have utilized mortgage assistance programs and/or agency representatives who will speak about the assistance programs contact the Attorney General's Office at (602) 542-4085.