Wednesday, February 10, 2010

THE COLORADO FORECLOSURE HOTLINE MARKS 100,000 CALLS

DENVER, Colo.—On Tuesday, February 9, the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline hit another milestone: 100,000 calls placed to the statewide hotline, that has been in operation since October 2006. Averaging 180 calls per day, Hotline staff members have seen call volume climb exponentially, especially since late 2007.

“Our calls have increased by more than 60 percent in the past two years,” said program manager Stephanie Riggi. “And with new programs in place that promote the Hotline, like last year’s house bill 1276, we continue to see high call volume each month.”

In fact, the Hotline receives between 3,500 and 4,000 calls each month, a pattern that began and held in August 2008 after the implementation of HB 1276, the foreclosure deferment bill. Homeowners who may be eligible for the program are notified via posting on their property. The posting directs homeowners to the Hotline in both English and Spanish.

Riggi and Hotline staff use call volume numbers to measure public awareness of the Hotline.

“100,000 calls doesn’t mean 100,000 people have utilized our services,” she explained. “About 20 percent of people who call the Hotline come in for a counseling session. But it does mean that we’re continuing to reach a larger population.”

Despite continual rises in call volume, the Hotline and its 26 non-profit HUD-approved partner agencies have handled the increase. Of those callers who choose to meet face-to-face with a Hotline counselor and complete the counseling process, 80 percent reach a positive resolution. Positive resolutions include but are not limited to loan modifications, refinancing, and selling the property.

Riggi said, “Homeowners should not be ashamed to reach out for help. Our services are free and confidential. Concerned homeowners are calling us, they’re meeting with housing counselors, and they’re finding those options that work best for them.”

To schedule an appointment with a housing counselor, call 1-877-601-HOPE (4673). For more information, visit www.coloradoforeclosurehotline.org.