More Than 200 Families Helped by Keep My Montana Home Program
Attorney General Tim Fox announced today that more than 200 Montana families who were facing foreclosure or struggling to make their house payments have had successful outcomes facilitated by the Keep My Montana Home program since its inception. The program is run through the Office of Consumer Protection at the Montana Department of Justice.
“Montana is known as ‘The Last Best Place’ – to work, to play, and to live,” said Fox. “However, that doesn’t mean we are immune to the challenges of homeownership that hit the country during the economic downturn. The Keep My Montana Home program was implemented to help Montana homeowners and mortgage lenders work in concert toward mutually beneficial solutions.”
Those solutions include several different options. For certain homeowners, that means modifying their existing home loan to create affordable monthly payments. Others may qualify to re-finance their mortgage at a lower interest rate to bring down their monthly payment. And some who have a long term inability to pay for their home may qualify for a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure—both options that ultimately avoid foreclosure.
The program has helped families like Sandy’s from Townsend, who was struggling working with her bank until it was almost too late. “Our home would not have been saved from foreclosure without the Keep My Montana Home program and the Attorney General’s Office,” said Sandy. “It was right up to the courthouse steps for auction when their assistance stopped the foreclosure and allowed us to keep our home. We are forever grateful.” Sandy and her husband received a permanent modification and will be living in their home indefinitely.
“I’m pleased that we’ve reached this unexpected milestone of success in the second year of the program’s three year length,” said Fox. “Thanks to the hard work of our Keep My Montana Home team, including attorney Chuck Munson and foreclosure specialist Duncan Adams, the dream of homeownership has been kept alive for more than 200 families across the state. Lives have been changed and homes have been saved, which in turn positively impacts Montana’s neighborhoods and overall economic health.” Fox also acknowledged the assistance of NeighborWorks Montana and the Montana Legal Services Association in finding solutions for homeowners in distress.
Of the more than 200 current success stories, the overwhelming majority involve family homes that were permanently saved through a modification, such as a principal reduction and/or a reduction of the interest rate that allowed for an affordable monthly payment. A few of them involved a foreclosure avoided through the facilitation of a short sale or deed-in-lieu, and even fewer involved significant monetary settlements typically called “Cash for Keys” that were negotiated for people who needed to transition out of a home that had already been foreclosed.
Consumers who have a mortgage serviced by Bank of America, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo or GMAC and who are facing foreclosure or struggling to make their house payments and may qualify for help. Interested homeowners are encouraged to call 1-800-481-6896 or contact Keep My Montana Home Program Home Foreclosure Specialist Duncan Adams by phone at (406) 444-2556 or by email at [email protected]