RMPBS Launches the 2010-11 Facing the Mortgage Crisis Campaign

Rocky Mountain PBS is launching a new Facing the Mortgage Crisis campaign in an effort to protect Colorado homeowners from foreclosure-related scams. This is the second-part of the network’s consumer awareness project that started in June 2009.

Partnering again with the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline, RMPBS will air a series of public service announcements and create online content beginning in October designed to raise awareness about foreclosure-related scams. The purpose of the project is to identify the tactics used by disreputable loan modification scam companies and point vulnerable homeowners toward credible, free resources.

RMPBS also will host two phone banks, the first on Oct. 25, in partnership with 9News so Coloradans can receive critical information from HUD-approved housing counselors about legitimate loan modification options. And “Colorado State of Mind,” the RMPBS weekly news program, will delve further into the issue in November with an expert panel offering much-needed insight and guidance.

In 2009, Rocky Mountain PBS was named one of the top five referral sources for the Hotline as a result of the Facing the Mortgage Crisis campaign.

Rocky Mountain PBS and the Hotline will work closely with the Colorado Attorney General’s office to share with homeowners how they can report scams and where to find trusted help. Last year, the Attorney General shut down more than 30 loan scam companies, the majority of which claimed to do loan modifications for an upfront fee.

The Colorado Foreclosure Hotline team, leveraging a $60,000 NeighborWorks America grant award as part of the national Loan Modification Scam Alert Campaign, also will coordinate an aggressive consumer outreach and education campaign to alert homeowners about the predatory practice. Resources will be available at
the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline site.

Managed by Brothers Redevelopment, the Hotline has served as the primary resource for homeowners facing foreclosure since its 2006 inception. Over the past four years, the Hotline has helped more than 25,000 Coloradans avoid foreclosure.

“Loan modification scams in Colorado are increasing at a rapid pace,” said Hotline manager Stephanie Riggi. “Every day, scam artists prey on vulnerable homeowners in danger of foreclosure. These homeowners are losing thousands of dollars along with their homes — lured by the false promise of a loan modification.”

JP Morgan Chase Global Philanthropy Foundation has generously provided a $10,000 grant to support this proactive, educational initiative.

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