Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hard Hit Construction Industry May Find Assistance with New Communication Platform.

Contractors will find assistance with their return on investment by utilizing a new asset communication platform now available on the web; ContractorAssets.com

ContractorAssets.com concentrates on four key areas in the construction industry; construction equipment, building materials, construction jobs and project opportunity. Their goal is to provide advertising and marketing for contractors in relation to these four key areas with little to no out of pocket cost. Currently ContractorAssets.com provides free listings for all project opportunities and construction Jobs. Their short term objective is to make all listings free; they are currently working with several industry organizations and advertisers to accomplish that task.

“Our overall goal is simple; we want to be the go to site for the construction industry in our specialties,” explains Doug Wattenburger, ContractorAssets.com project manager. “We will accomplish this by offering a superior product at little to no cost to the contractor.”

Understanding the specialties of Contractorassets.com is simple. The construction equipment category allows contractors to advertise and search surplus construction equipment and tools. Building materials offers contractors to list or locate excess or reclaimed building materials. Construction jobs are an outlet for construction companies to list employment opportunities. Project opportunities bring about new business partners through project awareness.

“We are excited for construction professionals to register and participate, we have already made the venue cost effective, but the more participation will allow us to pass additional value back to the contracting community,” Wattenburger said. “Our first full marketing campaign begins in December so we encourage contractors to get registered and listed early to take advantage of the upcoming increase in awareness.”

The Platform will be marketed through web based advertisement efforts such as Google Adwords, banner ads, direct marketing and traditional print advertisement in construction related publications

About ContractorAssets.com:
ContractorAssets.com is an entity of ICC Services. ICCS Services specializes in integrating creative communication in web based applications. The project was a collaboration of contracting experience, technical expertise and marketing history. The overriding intent is to harness technology and a new age business model to pass the production saving to our end users; the contracting community.

---
Community News You Can Use
Click to read MORE news:
www.GeorgiaFrontPage.com
Twitter: @gafrontpage & @TheGATable @HookedonHistory
www.ArtsAcrossGeorgia.com
Twitter: @artsacrossga, @softnblue, @RimbomboAAG
Facebook: http://facebook.com/ArtsAcrossGA
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Twitter: @FayetteFP

Friday, November 19, 2010

FTC Issues Final Rule to Protect Struggling Homeowners from Mortgage Relief Scams

/PRNewswire/ -- Homeowners will be protected by a new Federal Trade Commission rule that bans providers of mortgage foreclosure rescue and loan modification services from collecting fees until homeowners have a written offer from their lender or servicer that they decide is acceptable.

"At a time when many Americans are struggling to pay their mortgages, peddlers of so-called mortgage relief services have taken hundreds of millions of dollars from hundreds of thousands of homeowners without ever delivering results," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. "By banning providers of these services from collecting fees until the customer is satisfied with the results, this rule will protect consumers from being victimized by these scams."

The FTC is issuing the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Rule to protect distressed homeowners from mortgage relief scams that have sprung up during the mortgage crisis. Bogus operations falsely claim that, for a fee, they will negotiate with the consumer's mortgage lender or servicer to obtain a loan modification, a short sale, or other relief from foreclosure. Many of these operations pretend to be affiliated with the government and government housing assistance programs. The FTC has brought more than 30 cases against operations like these, and state and federal law enforcement partners have brought hundreds more.

Advance fee ban

The most significant consumer protection under the FTC's new rule is the advance fee ban. Under this provision, mortgage relief companies may not collect any fees until they have provided consumers with a written offer from their lender or servicer that the consumer decides is acceptable, and a written document from the lender or servicer describing the key changes to the mortgage that would result if the consumer accepts the offer. The companies also must remind consumers of their right to reject the offer without any charge.

Disclosures

The Rule requires mortgage relief companies to disclose key information to consumers to protect them from being misled and to help them make better informed purchasing decisions. In their advertising and in communications directed at individual consumers (such as telemarketing calls), the companies must disclose that:

* they are not associated with the government, and their services have not been approved by the government or the consumer's lender;
* the lender may not agree to change the consumer's loan; and
* if companies tell consumers to stop paying their mortgage, they must also tell them that they could lose their home and damage their credit rating.


Companies also must explain in their communications to consumers that they can stop doing business with the company at any time, can accept or reject any offer the company obtains from the lender or servicer, and, if they reject the offer, they don't have to pay the company's fee. The companies also must disclose the amount of the fee.

Prohibited claims

The MARS Rule prohibits mortgage relief companies from making any false or misleading claims about their services, including claims about:

* the likelihood of consumers getting the results they seek;
* the company's affiliation with government or private entities;
* the consumer's payment and other mortgage obligations;
* the company's refund and cancellation policies;
* whether the company has performed the services it promised;
* whether the company will provide legal representation to consumers;
* the availability or cost of any alternative to for-profit mortgage assistance relief services;
* the amount of money a consumer will save by using their services; or
* the cost of the services.


In addition, the rule bars mortgage relief companies from telling consumers to stop communicating with their lenders or servicers. Companies also must have reliable evidence to back up any claims they make about the benefits, performance, or effectiveness of the services they provide.

Attorney exemption

Attorneys are generally exempt from the rule if they meet three conditions: they are engaged in the practice of law, they are licensed in the state where the consumer or the dwelling is located, and they are complying with state laws and regulations governing attorney conduct related to the rule. To be exempt from the advance fee ban, attorneys must meet a fourth requirement – they must place any fees they collect in a client trust account and abide by state laws and regulations covering such accounts.

All provisions of the rule except the advance-fee ban will become effective December 29, 2010. The advance-fee ban provisions will become effective January 31, 2011.

The FTC rulemaking proceeding was conducted pursuant to Congressional legislation sponsored in 2009 by Senators Jay Rockefeller and Byron Dorgan. The Final Rule applies only to entities within the FTC's jurisdiction under the Federal Trade Commission Act, which excludes, among others, banks, savings and loans, federal credit unions, common carriers, and entities engaged in the business of insurance. In June 2009, the FTC issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on the practices of for-profit mortgage relief companies. In February 2010, the FTC announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and sought comments from interested persons, including advocates for consumers, the business community, and the legal profession.

Click here for facts about mortgage consumers' rights.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC's Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics .

-----
Community News You Can Use
Click to read MORE news:
www.GeorgiaFrontPage.com
Twitter: @gafrontpage & @TheGATable @HookedonHistory
www.ArtsAcrossGeorgia.com
Twitter: @artsacrossga, @softnblue, @RimbomboAAG
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Twitter: @FayetteFP

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Three Day Auction of 400 Atlanta Foreclosures Offers Buyers Bonanza of Deals

/PRNewswire/ -- Bargain hungry buyers, combing the housing market for deals, are scooping up foreclosed homes like hotcakes because of their discounted prices. Hudson & Marshall will auction 400 bank-owned homes in Atlanta November 19th-21st.

Valued from $18,000 to about $375,000, there is a wide selection of homes for every type of buyer to choose from and each property comes with an insurable title. Buyers will be required to make a cash or certified check deposit of $2,500 for each property for which they are the winning bidder. All sales will close within 30-45 days and buyers may secure financing with the lender of their choice prior to closing; however, closing is not contingent upon financing.

"Auctions are attracting crowds of buyers because people have learned this is a convenient, fun and easy way to purchase a home. From bidding to closing, the process moves swiftly, lengthy negotiations are eliminated and the auction process allows a property's true market value to emerge," said Dave Webb, principal, Hudson & Marshall.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in the third quarter of 2010, distressed homes, which typically sell at discounted prices, accounted for 34% of homes sold in the third quarter, an increase of 30% from a year ago. The median price of a home in the South fell 1.9% to $157,000 in the third quarter from the same period in 2009.

All properties auctioned by Hudson & Marshall are sold "as-is" and buyers should inspect properties thoroughly before placing any bids. Properties can be viewed by contacting listing agents to schedule appointments. Complete property details and additional information may be found at www.hudsonandmarshall.com or by calling 866-539-4172.

Homes will be auctioned on the following dates:

November 19th –Atlanta (120 homes) at 1:00pm- Atlanta Marriott Northwest

November 20th –Atlanta (160 homes) at 1:00pm- Atlanta Marriott Northwest

November 21st –Atlanta (120 homes) at 1:00pm- Atlanta Marriott Northwest

Prior to auction, buyers can purchase property online by visiting the website and clicking on the Bid-Now icon. Sellers typically respond to offers within 24 hours. This is a reserve auction, which means sellers have the right to accept, reject or counter any bid; however, in past auctions conducted by Hudson & Marshall, the majority of offers have been accepted.

Having sold over 80,000 homes for sellers in the past ten years, Hudson & Marshall, Inc. is the most experienced, trusted leader in the REO auction industry. The company's accelerated sales process enables it to swiftly and efficiently sell large volumes of property in a way that minimizes expenses for sellers and maximizes return. Over the past five years alone, Hudson & Marshall's total sales have topped $2.2 billion and the company anticipates selling another 15,000 homes in 2010.

-----
Community News You Can Use
Click to read MORE news:
www.GeorgiaFrontPage.com
Twitter: @gafrontpage & @TheGATable @HookedonHistory
www.ArtsAcrossGeorgia.com
Twitter: @artsacrossga, @softnblue, @RimbomboAAG
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Twitter: @FayetteFP

Saturday, November 6, 2010

GEHC To Host Sustainable Gingerbread House Competition

Green Gingerbread Houses - is there such a thing? Who doesn’t love making adorable gingerbread houses with the family or looking at the intricate works of professional gingerbread house architects?

“Imagine building your dream house with all the sustainable features possible. Only, instead of standard building materials, it would be made out of gingerbread,” said Jason West, Director of Development at the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center (GEHC).

As part of its December Green Holiday Program, the GEHC will host a Sustainable Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibit. Designers will create environmentally-friendly houses out of edible materials that highlight sustainability and green building design.

“This is a great opportunity for families, businesses, civic groups, students, and/or individuals to get into the holiday spirit, show off their gingerbread building talents and green building ingenuity,” said West. “The gingerbread house can be as creative and imaginative as you like!”

At least three sustainable building elements must be included in the design of the gingerbread house, such as solar panels, rain barrels, green roof, windmills, etc. Participants may use a traditional gingerbread recipe, a recipe for dog biscuits, bird seed cakes, or any other edible product. (Suggested recipes can be found on www.gwinnettEHC.org.) The structure can also include birdseed, pinecones, leaves, twigs… anything from nature.

There are multiple categories for entry including: Pre K – 2nd Grade (group and individual), 3rd – 6th Grade (group and individual), Teen (group and individual), Adult (group and individual), Family (group), and Professional (group and individual).

Entry forms are due no later than November 29, 2010. Forms can be accessed on-line at www.gwinnettEHC.org or in person at the GEHC. Contestants are asked to deliver gingerbread houses to the GEHC between 9am and 4pm on one of the following dates: November 30, 2010, December 1, 2010, or December 2, 2010. Judging will take place the week of December 6, 2010, and the awards will be presented during the GEHC’s Green Holiday event on December 11, 2010 at 1pm.

For more information about this event, contest rules, and/or the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center, visit www.gwinnettEHC.org.
---
Community News You Can Use
Click to read MORE news:
www.GeorgiaFrontPage.com
Twitter: @gafrontpage & @TheGATable @HookedonHistory
www.ArtsAcrossGeorgia.com
Twitter: @artsacrossga, @softnblue, @RimbomboAAG
Facebook: http://facebook.com/ArtsAcrossGA
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Twitter: @FayetteFP

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Home Prices Increases Slow Down in August According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

/PRNewswire/ -- Data through August 2010, released today by Standard &Poor's for its S&P/Case-Shiller (1) Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show a deceleration in the annual growth rates in 17 of the 20 MSAs and the 10- and 20-City Composites in August compared to what was reported for July 2010. The 10-City Composite was up 2.6% and the 20-City Composite was up 1.7% from their levels in August 2009. Home prices decreased in 15 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites in August from their July levels.

The annual returns of the 10-City and 20-City Composite Home Price Indices show increases of 2.6% and 1.7%, respectively, in August 2010 compared to the same month in 2009. In August, 12 of the 20 MSAs posted negative annual growth rates. This is two more than what was reported in July, as Detroit and Miami posted negative annual rates in August. While still negative, three of the 20 MSAs saw improvement in year-over-year growth rates in August as compared to July. They are Charlotte, Cleveland and Las Vegas with annual growth rates of -3.4%, -0.4% and -4.5%, respectively. Annual growth rates slowed down in the three California cities, with Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco posting annual gains of +5.4%, +6.9% and +7.8%, respectively – a significant drop from the +7.5%, +9.3% and +11.2% reported for July.

"A disappointing report. Home prices broadly declined in August. Seventeen of the 20 cities and both Composites saw a weakening in year-over-year figures, as compared to July, indicating that the housing market continues to bounce along the recent lows," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard &Poor's. "Over the last four months both the 10- and 20-City Composites show slowing growth, after sustaining consistent gains since their April 2009 troughs.

"The month-over-month growth rates tell the same story. Fifteen of the 20 MSAs and the two Composites saw a decline in the month of August as compared to July levels. The 10- and 20-City Composites fell 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively. Indeed, the housing market appears to have stabilized at new lows. At this time, it does not seem that any of the markets are hanging on to the temporary momentum caused by the homebuyers' tax credits."

As of August 2010, average home prices across the United States are back to the levels where they were in late 2003 and early 2004. Measured from June/July 2006 through August 2010, the peak-to-current declines for the 10-City Composite and 20-City Composite are -28.4% and -28.1%, respectively. The improvements from their April 2009 trough are +7.8% and +6.7%, respectively.

With August data, we find that 15 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites saw prices fall from their July values. Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, New York and Washington DC were the only five cities that recorded marginal improvements in home prices over July. The 10- and 20-City Composites were down 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively, in August versus July.

Chicago, Detroit, New York and Washington DC have all posted at least four consecutive months of positive increases in home prices; but none of the MSAs had monthly increases of greater than 1% in August. San Diego, which had posted 15 consecutive months of positive monthly change, recorded a 0.6% drop in average home prices in August. The same is true of Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle and the two Composites – they all broke their trend of several consecutive months of positive monthly gains with August's report.

The table below summarizes the results for August 2010. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are revised for the 24 prior months, based on the receipt of additional source data. More than 23 years of history for these data series is available, and can be accessed in full by going to www.homeprice.standardandpoors.com.


August 2010
August/July
July/June

Metropolitan Area
Level
Change (%)
Change (%)
1-Year Change (%)
Atlanta
109.09
-0.8%
0.3%
-2.0%
Boston
158.35
-0.3%
0.6%
1.5%
Charlotte
116.60
-0.4%
-0.2%
-3.4%
Chicago
126.70
0.4%
1.0%
-2.9%
Cleveland
107.00
-0.3%
0.0%
-0.4%
Dallas
119.41
-1.1%
-0.3%
-1.7%
Denver
128.57
-0.1%
-0.4%
-1.2%
Detroit
71.54
0.5%
1.6%
-0.1%
Las Vegas
101.03
0.1%
-0.8%
-4.5%
Los Angeles
175.55
-0.4%
0.3%
5.4%
Miami
147.47
-0.3%
0.7%
-1.0%
Minneapolis
126.53
-0.3%
0.7%
2.9%
New York
175.27
0.2%
1.2%
0.1%
Phoenix
108.84
-1.3%
-0.6%
0.4%
Portland
147.02
-0.9%
-0.3%
-2.3%
San Diego
163.99
-0.6%
0.7%
6.9%
San Francisco
142.83
-0.3%
0.5%
7.8%
Seattle
145.93
-0.8%
0.1%
-2.4%
Tampa
137.53
-0.5%
-0.2%
-4.1%
Washington
188.26
0.3%
1.0%
4.8%
Composite-10
162.13
-0.1%
0.8%
2.6%
Composite-20
148.59
-0.2%
0.6%
1.7%
Source: Standard & Poor's and Fiserv



Data through August 2010




Since its launch in early 2006, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices have published, and the markets have followed and reported on, the non-seasonally adjusted data set used in the headline indices. For analytical purposes, Standard &Poor's does publish a seasonally adjusted data set covered in the headline indices, as well as for the 17 of 20 markets with tiered price indices and the five condo markets that are tracked. A summary of the monthly changes using the seasonally adjusted (SA) and non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) data can be found in the table below.

A summary of the monthly changes using the seasonally adjusted (SA) and non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) data can be found in the table below.



August/July Change (%)
July/June Change (%)
Metropolitan Area
NSA
SA
NSA
SA
Atlanta
-0.8%
-0.7%
0.3%
-1.0%
Boston
-0.3%
-0.1%
0.6%
0.0%
Charlotte
-0.4%
-0.4%
-0.2%
-0.5%
Chicago
0.4%
-0.4%
1.0%
-0.1%
Cleveland
-0.3%
-1.1%
0.0%
-0.6%
Dallas
-1.1%
-1.1%
-0.3%
-0.7%
Denver
-0.1%
-1.1%
-0.4%
-0.9%
Detroit
0.5%
-0.5%
1.6%
-0.1%
Las Vegas
0.1%
-0.5%
-0.8%
-1.5%
Los Angeles
-0.4%
-0.9%
0.3%
-0.4%
Miami
-0.3%
-0.7%
0.7%
-0.2%
Minneapolis
-0.3%
-0.7%
0.7%
-1.8%
New York
0.2%
0.0%
1.2%
0.9%
Phoenix
-1.3%
-2.2%
-0.6%
-1.5%
Portland
-0.9%
-0.8%
-0.3%
-0.9%
San Diego
-0.6%
-0.6%
0.7%
-0.2%
San Francisco
-0.3%
-0.8%
0.5%
-0.7%
Seattle
-0.8%
-1.0%
0.1%
-0.2%
Tampa
-0.5%
-0.4%
-0.2%
-1.4%
Washington
0.3%
0.0%
1.0%
0.5%
Composite-10
-0.1%
-0.2%
0.8%
0.0%
Composite-20
-0.2%
-0.3%
0.6%
-0.2%
Source: Standard & Poor's and Fiserv



Data through August 2010

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are published on the last Tuesday of each month at 9:00 am ET. They are constructed to accurately track the price path of typical single-family homes located in each metropolitan area provided. Each index combines matched price pairs for thousands of individual houses from the available universe of arms-length sales data. The S&P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index tracks the value of single-family housing within the United States. The index is a composite of single-family home price indices for the nine U.S. Census divisions and is calculated quarterly. The S&P/Case-Shiller Composite of 10 Home Price Index is a value-weighted average of the 10 original metro area indices. The S&P/Case-Shiller Composite of 20 Home Price Index is a value-weighted average of the 20 metro area indices. The indices have a base value of 100 in January 2000; thus, for example, a current index value of 150 translates to a 50% appreciation rate since January 2000 for a typical home located within the subject market.

These indices are generated and published under agreements between Standard & Poor's and Fiserv, Inc. The S&;P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are produced by Fiserv, Inc. In addition to the S&;P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, Fiserv also offers home price index sets covering thousands of zip codes, counties, metro areas, and state markets. The indices, published by Standard &Poor's, represent just a small subset of the broader data available through Fiserv.

For more information about S&P Indices, please visit www.standardandpoors.com/indices.

-----
Community News You Can Use
Click to read MORE news:
www.GeorgiaFrontPage.com
Twitter: @gafrontpage & @TheGATable @HookedonHistory
www.ArtsAcrossGeorgia.com
Twitter: @artsacrossga, @softnblue, @RimbomboAAG
www.FayetteFrontPage.com
Twitter: @FayetteFP

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fannie Mae Marks First Year of First Look™ Initiative

/PRNewswire/ -- Fannie Mae (OTC Bulletin Board: FNMA) today announced that more than 29,000 owner occupants have purchased homes in neighborhoods across the country through its First Look™ initiative over the last year. Fannie Mae also worked with nearly 800 public entities under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) to build stronger communities. Using NSP funds, public entities purchased nearly 5,000 Fannie Mae-owned foreclosure properties.

First Look is designed to promote owner occupancy and provide both owner occupants and public entities an advantage in submitting offers on Fannie Mae-owned foreclosed properties without competition from investors. Only offers from owner occupants and participants of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program are considered during the initial period a property is on the market. Offers from investors are considered after the First Look window has passed.

"While investors play an important role in the REO market, homebuyers who intend to occupy a home make an immediate and lasting commitment to the community and therefore merit priority consideration in the REO sales process," said Jay Ryan, Vice President for Alternative REO Dispositions at Fannie Mae. "Public entities under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program also benefit from inspecting eligible properties and making offers to purchase without pressure from open market competition. These entities are making considerable investments in rehabilitation and stabilization."

Prospective buyers can easily identify how many days remain to take advantage of the First Look initiative on a particular property by visiting www.HomePath.com. The First Look logo appears next to each qualifying property and there is a countdown identifying the number of days left for owner occupants and public entities to submit offers without investor competition.

Fannie Mae recently joined the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) national First Look program as one more way the company collaborates with the industry to support community stabilization efforts.

For more information about Fannie Mae-owned properties for sale and the First Look initiative, including how many days are left before the First Look period passes, please visit www.homepath.com and look for the logo.

-----
Community News You Can Use
www.fayettefrontpage.com
Fayette Front Page
www.georgiafrontpage.com
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter:  @GAFrontPage

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fannie Mae to Host Open House at New Atlanta Mortgage Help Center September 15

Open House - Fannie Mae Mortgage Help Center, Atlanta
September 15, 2010
10:00 AM

950 East Paces Ferry Road NE
9th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30326

Ceasar Mitchell, Atlanta City Council President
Jeff Hayward, Senior Vice President, Fannie Mae
Carrie Harris, President and Founder, The D&E Group, A
Financial Education and Training Institute, Inc.


Fannie Mae will host a special open house event at its Atlanta Mortgage Help Center. The event will bring together counseling and mortgage industry partners to emphasize foreclosure prevention and highlight help that is available.

Fannie Mae's new facility provides greater metro homeowners, who have a Fannie Mae loan and may be at risk of foreclosure, the opportunity to meet directly with dedicated on-site staff and experienced housing advisors who speak English and Spanish to discuss their mortgage situation. These face-to-face meetings help borrowers better understand the entire range of foreclosure prevention options and provide an opportunity to work closely with servicers to achieve a prompt resolution.

Fannie Mae exists to expand affordable housing and bring global capital to local communities in order to serve the U.S. housing market. Fannie Mae has a federal charter and operates in America's secondary mortgage market to enhance the liquidity of the mortgage market by providing funds to mortgage bankers and other lenders so that they may lend to home buyers. Our job is to help those who house America.

-----
Community News You Can Use
www.fayettefrontpage.com
Fayette Front Page
www.georgiafrontpage.com
Georgia Front Page
Follow us on Twitter:  @GAFrontPage

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

HUD Awards $4.9 million in Funding to Ease the Impact of Foreclosures in Atlanta

The State of Georgia received $50 million in HUD funding
Mayor Kasim Reed was joined today by HUD’s Southeast Regional Administrator Edward Jennings, Jr., Congressman Hank Johnson and other state and local leaders as U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan awarded an additional $50,421,988 in funding to Georgia communities struggling to reverse the effects of the foreclosure crisis. The grants announced today represent a third round of funding through HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) and will provide targeted emergency assistance to help local communities in Georgia acquire, redevelop or demolish foreclosed properties.

“The City of Atlanta is grateful for the support of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “The City of Atlanta is focused on continuing to do the work necessary to purchase, renovate and resale abandoned foreclosed homes and apartment complexes and make them livable once again. With additional NSP3 grant funds we will be able to reach deeper into our communities.”

“These grants will support local efforts to reverse the effects these foreclosed properties have on their surrounding neighborhoods,” said Donovan. “We want to make certain that we target these funds to those places with especially high foreclosure activity so we can help turn the tide in our battle against abandonment and blight. As a direct result of the leadership provided by Senator Chris Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, who played key roles in winning approval for these funds, we will be able to make investments that will reduce blight, bolster neighboring home values, create jobs and produce affordable housing.”

“Targeting these funds to hard hit areas in the state will help local leaders and communities fight blight, abandonment and work towards improving home values and create jobs.” said, Edward Jennings, Jr., US Housing and Urban Development, Southeast Regional Administrator.

The funding announced today is provided under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. To date, there have been two other rounds of NSP funding: the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) provided $3.92 billion and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) appropriated an additional $2 billion. Like those earlier rounds of NSP grants, these targeted funds will be used to purchase foreclosed homes at a discount and to rehabilitate or redevelop them in order to respond to rising foreclosures and falling home values. Today, 92 cents of every dollar from the first round of NSP funding is obligated – and is in use by communities, buying up and renovating homes, and creating jobs.

State and local governments can use their neighborhood stabilization grants to acquire land and property; to demolish or rehabilitate abandoned properties; and/or to offer down payment and closing cost assistance to low- to moderate-income homebuyers (household incomes not exceed 120 percent of area median income). In addition, these grantees can create “land banks” to assemble, temporarily manage, and dispose of vacant land for the purpose of stabilizing neighborhoods and encouraging re-use or redevelopment of urban property.

NSP 3 will take full advantage of the historic First Look partnership Secretary Donovan announced with the National Community Stabilization Trust last week. First Look gives NSP grantees an exclusive 12-14 day window to evaluate and bid on properties before others can do so. By giving every NSP grantee the first crack at buying foreclosed and abandoned properties in these targeted neighborhoods, First Look will maximize the impact of NSP dollars in the hardest-hit neighborhoods – making it more likely the properties communities want to buy are strategically chosen and cutting the traditional 75-to-85 day process it takes to re-sell foreclosed properties in half. NSP also seeks to prevent future foreclosures by requiring housing counseling for families receiving homebuyer assistance. HUD seeks to protect future homebuyers by requiring States and local grantees to ensure that new homebuyers under this program receive homeownership counseling and obtain a mortgage loan from a lender who agrees to comply with sound lending practices.

In determining the allocations announced today, HUD, as it did with NSP1, followed key indicators for the distribution formula outlined by Congress. HUD is using the latest data to implement the Congressional formula. The formula weighs several factors to match funding to need in the 20 percent most distressed neighborhoods as determined based on the number and percentage of home foreclosures, the number and percentage of homes financed by a subprime mortgage related loan, and the number and percentage of homes in delinquency. To estimate the level of need down exactly what to the neighborhood level, HUD uses a model that takes into account causes of foreclosures and delinquencies, which include housing price declines from peak levels, and increases in unemployment, and rate of high cost and highly leveraged loans. HUD also considers vacancy problems in neighborhoods with severe foreclosure related problems.

In addition to a third round of NSP funding, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act creates a $1 billion Emergency Homeowners Loan Program to be administered by HUD. This loan program will provide up to 24 months in mortgage assistance to homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure and have experienced a substantial reduction in income due to involuntary unemployment, underemployment, or a medical condition. HUD will announce additional details, including the targeted areas and other program specifics when the program is officially launched in the coming weeks.

About HUD

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.







Georgia
Atlanta
$4,906,758

Augusta-Richmond County
$1,161,297

Carroll County/Villa Rica City
$1,190,390

Clayton County
$3,796,167

Cobb County
$2,415,784

Columbus-Muscogee Co
$1,128,174

Dekalb County
$5,233,105

Douglas County
$1,628,471

Fulton County
$3,094,885

State Of Georgia
$18,679,977

Gwinnett County
$2,065,581

Henry County
$1,217,736

Macon
$1,503,897

Paulding County
$1,372,214

Savannah
$1,027,553

Georgia Total
$50,421,988

---
Community News You Can Use
Click to read MORE news:
www.GeorgiaFrontPage.com
Twitter: @gafrontpage & @TheGATable
www.ArtsAcrossGeorgia.com
Twitter: @artsacrossga, @softnblue, @RimbomboAAG
---
Also check out:
www.Hummingbird-Hollow.com
Twitter: @hhpotterystudio
http://valueswevalue.blogspot.com
Twiter: @valueswevalue
www.HorizonsLTD.com
Twitter: @gardenemporium
www.SoftCoolers.com
www.Chair-ity-Event.org
www.ClothesLessTraveled.org
Twitter: @cltthriftshop
---