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Tavares, Florida 32778


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Community Services alerts homeowners to new federal Web site

RELEASE DATE: March 26, 2009

TAVARES — The Lake County Department of Community Services is alerting local homeowners to a recently launched federal government Web site (www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov) that outlines information about the President’s loan modification and refinancing program.

The Web site features interactive self-assessment tools that will empower borrowers to determine if they are eligible to participate. The site will also help borrowers calculate the monthly payment reductions they could realize under the Making Home Affordable program.

“This program was first announced by President Barack Obama in February,” said Bill Gearing, Lake County’s Community Enhancement Coordinator, “and I believe many Lake County residents could benefit from it.”

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Web site, as many as seven to nine million homeowners in the United States making a good-faith effort to pay their mortgage payments could be eligible for the program. The program is a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Treasury and HUD.

Other features of the www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov Web site include:
• Extensive information about the Making Home Affordable program
• Resources to find free, HUD-approved counseling services for borrowers who have additional questions
• A handy checklist to ensure homeowners collect all the documents they need before calling their servicers

In addition, the Lake County Department of Community Services is warning local homeowners to beware of foreclosure-rescue scams. According to the Making Home Affordable program:
• There is never a fee to get assistance or information about Making Home Affordable from a lender or a HUD-approved housing counselor.
• Beware of any person or organization that asks you to pay a fee in exchange for housing counseling services or modification of a delinquent loan. Do not pay – walk away!
• Beware of anyone who says they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house. Do not sign over the deed to your property to any organization or individual unless you are working directly with a mortgage company to forgive your debt.
• Never submit your mortgage payments to anyone other than your mortgage company without their approval.

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Lake County media contact:
Communications Department
Public Information Coordinator
Office: 352-343-9603; Cell: 352-455-0445
klafollette@lakecountyfl.gov

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