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Facing foreclosure? Nonprofit group gets federal grant to offer support

POSTED: April 4, 2008 5:01 a.m.

In eight years with Home Development Resources, Mary Ledbetter, the organization’s executive director, said she has never experienced a foreclosure rate as high as the one that plagues Hall County.

Taking an average of the number of foreclosures in The Times’ legal section, Ledbetter said there are about 104 foreclosures each month in Hall County.

With so many foreclosures, the state has stepped in to help keep people in their homes and is making money available to prevent foreclosures.

The Department of Community Affairs has awarded money to Gainesville’s Home Development Resources Inc. so the agency can help area residents who are struggling to make their mortgage payments stay out of foreclosure.

On Wednesday, the department will announce its award to the Gainesville nonprofit and make people aware of the services that will soon be available to them.

With the money, Home Development Resources can provide counselors who will serve as mediators between struggling homeowners and their mortgage companies, negotiating feasible payment arrangements or loan modifications, Ledbetter said.

The Gainesville nonprofit has provided similar services before, but on a smaller scale, Ledbetter said.

At Wednesday’s 10 a.m. announcement at the Gainesville Civic Center, employees with Home Development Resources will be on hand with brochures and more information about the program, and counselors will be setting up appointments for those who would like to participate in the program.

"We’re gearing up to be busy," Ledbetter said.

The Department of Community Affairs received a federal grant of a little more than $887,000 for foreclosure prevention, and the Gainesville organization will receive a portion of that grant on Wednesday.

"Each county may not have their own funds, but we can service clients in other counties other than Hall," Ledbetter said.


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