Foreclosures Feb 2006

October 1, 2006 — Leave a comment

Thursday, February 02, 2006
Home Foreclosures From Consumer Debt is Annoyance to Avoid

Debt is More than Annoying; It Could Cost You Your Home

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb. 2, 2006–
First-Ever National Public Service Announcement Campaign Addresses Growing Home Foreclosure Problem; Promotes 888-995-HOPE Help Hotline

It’s a national epidemic: Within the last five years alone, nearly 2.9 million households in the United States have experienced foreclosure.

To combat the nation’s rising foreclosure problem, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is launching what may be the first-ever nationwide public service campaign to specifically address the nation’s growing foreclosure problem. The campaign encourages homeowners to call the Foundation at 888-995-HOPE to receive free, confidential advice from HUD-certified counseling agencies. Based in Minneapolis, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation is dedicated to reducing foreclosures and preserving homeownership for American homeowners.

According to the Homeownership Preservation Foundation’s president and executive director, Walt Fricke, there’s plenty of blame to share for the nation’s rising foreclosure problem, from homeowners who have not educated and informed themselves about the obligations of taking on a mortgage, to the availability of easy credit. Regardless, says Fricke, no one wins when a foreclosure touches a neighborhood.

“Besides the obvious loss to a homeowner and his or her family, the values of homes near foreclosed properties drop dramatically when a home is boarded up. A typical city may lose up to $33,000 per foreclosed home, and a typical mortgage company may lose $50,000 or more per home,” says Fricke. “One way or another, all consumers suffer and end up paying more.”

To drive awareness of the Foundation’s toll-free hotline, the campaign will leverage two 30-second TV spots, two 15-second TV spots, three 60-second-radio spots and one 30-second radio spot, as well as two print executions. One of the radio spots specifically addresses the needs of homeowners affected by Hurricane Katrina; another radio spot is available in Spanish to reach Latino homeowners. The broadcast spots are being distributed to TV and radio stations throughout the United States beginning in January.

The theme of the campaign focuses on moving homeowners who are facing financial difficulties from a state of “denial” to taking action before it costs them their homes. In each television spot, an actor personifies the nagging, annoying thoughts that weigh on a homeowner who is experiencing financial difficulty. In one spot, an actor appearing as a blue-collar worker is screamed at incessantly as he goes through his daily motions at work. In the other PSA, a woman experiences her annoyance from the moment she wakes up, and it continues as she prepares to leave home for work.

“We’ve counseled more than 50,000 homeowners and we’ve learned that the earlier a homeowner acknowledges their financial difficulties and calls us, the more options we have in helping that homeowner,” says Walt Fricke, president and executive director of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation. “By the time a homeowner actually has been served a foreclosure notice, there is sometimes little we can do.”

Unfortunately, notes Fricke, based on industry data and a recent Harris Interactive survey of homeowners, slightly more than 50 percent of homeowners avoid contacting their mortgage company for help.

“Our campaign is designed to reach out to this 50 percent — those who are uncomfortable calling their mortgage company,” Fricke says.

Colle + McVoy Advertising and Exponent Public Relations, both of Minneapolis, developed the campaign. The creative team included Dave Keepper, creative director; Glenn Gray, art director; and Brian Ritchie, copywriter. The TV public service announcements were directed by New York director Brendan Gibbons, whose other commercial credits include campaigns for CNN, Verizon, ESPN and M&Ms candies.

About the Homeownership Preservation Foundation

The Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) is a Minneapolis-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to reducing foreclosures and preserving homeownership for American homeowners. The Foundation was founded in September 2004 with a $20 million seed contribution from GMAC-RFC, a subsidiary of Residential Capital Corporation, one of the nation’s largest real estate finance companies. The Foundation partners with city, county and state governments; federal government agencies; community-based non-profit organizations; and mortgage companies to offer creative solutions to preserve home ownership. For more information about the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, please visit www.hpfonline.org.

Contacts
Homeownership Preservation Foundation
Stephen Dupont, 952-857-6643
stephen.dupont@hpfonline.org

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