Workshop aims to help people buy, save homes
A business conversation with Kevin Blackburn
by Kimberly Bailey-Tureaud
Las Vegas is celebrated around the world for its glitz, but on the other side of that glamour is a city with one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates. In that light, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco is teaming up with Chase, Wells Fargo and Las Vegas housing counseling agencies to bring the foreclosure prevention and first-time homebuyer workshops to the Cashman Center on Oct. 22 from 9a.m. until 2p.m.. Congresswoman Shelley Berkley will appear as a special guest.
The workshop is geared toward educating homeowners about options that may enable them to stay in their homes. In some cases it may also provide opportunities for a loan modification request to be reviewed by a loan underwriter.
Kevin Blackburn, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco’s assistant vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, spoke to Black Image about what workshop attendees can expect.
Tell us about the workshop.
The focus of the workshop series is twofold: It will focus on foreclosure prevention, mortgage modification and first-time homebuyer education. For people who are in the foreclosure process, understanding the alternatives to foreclosure is essential. There will be representatives to meet with distressed homeowners whose homes are underwater and want information on modifying their home loans. All things being equal, in order to get a successful modification on your home loan, you still have to demonstrate an ability to pay back the loan.
Can people get a modification on their home loan at the workshop?
Yes, there will be representatives from Chase and Wells Fargo banks, and they will have staff there that may be able to work out a modification on site.
Do people need to preregister for this free workshop?
Yes, by preregistering they will get a free parking pass at Cashman Center. So they should go online to preregister for the workshop series and then print out a parking pass. The website for pre-registration is: fhlbsf.com.
Why is it important for the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco to partner with banks to put on these types of events?
Our mission is to expand home ownership opportunities. One of the benefits of the Home Loan Bank System is that we provide affordable mortgage credit for perspective home buyers. It keeps mortgage rates lower as a result. At this juncture, we are also focusing on helping people maintain home ownership.
Why does Las Vegas have the highest percentage of home foreclosures in the country?
Las Vegas was the fastest-growing city in the country when the economy was on an upswing. People were moving to Vegas in droves, certainly fueled by the employment opportunities in gaming, hospitality and construction industries. This increased demand cause home values to go up. The homes in Las Vegas appreciated significantly, and have now settled back to 40 percent on average. The downturn in the economy has impacted more people than any other in the country.
What can first-time homebuyers expect from the workshop?
We want to educate the perspective first- time homebuyers — and first-time home buyers include those who haven’t owned a home for three years — on how to work effectively with lenders, Realtors, and available down payment assistant programs. For more information and to preregister, go to fhlbsf.com or call 702-307-1710.