SOURCE: HOPE NOW Alliance

HOPE NOW Alliance

February 23, 2009 18:31 ET

"Bringing Hope Home" Outreach Campaign Targets At-Risk Homeowners

Celebrities to Meet With Homeowners in Four Cities

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - February 23, 2009) - HOPE NOW has launched its "Bringing Hope Home" outreach campaign with several celebrities, including Queen Latifah, Wyclef Jean and New York City radio personality Angie Martinez. The campaign is designed to raise awareness about the foreclosure problems facing families and the resources available to help them avoid losing their homes.

The campaign kicked off with a bus tour in Newark, New Jersey and is slated to continue with celebrities in 3 additional cities -- Atlanta, Miami and Cleveland, with the hope that the format will be duplicated in more cities in the near future to maximize the number of homeowners reached.

The "Bringing Hope Home" foreclosure prevention initiative is allowing celebrities with a personal connection to their hometowns, and a genuine concern for the homeowners affected by the nation's foreclosure crisis, to become involved in a vital outreach effort that comes at a critical time in the country's history.

"The idea is to lend a hand, to reach people that the mortgage industry has not been able to reach. I am going to take the message as broadly as I can to say, don't hide from mortgage troubles. Talk with your lender, go to a HUD certified housing counselor, or call the Homeowners Hope Hotline 888 995 HOPE. There is hope, there is help. It's free and all you have to do is pick up the phone and you may be able to save your home," said Queen Latifah.

The campaign, which features an intensive six week effort in each city, includes a celebrity bus tour, the airing of a 30 minute educational video, narrated by Queen Latifah; radio programming designed to educate homeowners of their options; and phone and direct mail with the end goal of bringing homeowners to a workshop where they can meet with their mortgage lender and local counseling organizations face-to-face.

The campaign supports efforts to expand outreach efforts by leveraging the star power of select celebrities to reach a broader group of at-risk homeowners and encouraging them to contact their loan servicer and to seek foreclosure prevention counseling.

Faith Schwartz, HOPE NOW's executive director, says that people can't just ignore the problem and hope it goes away. "The worst thing people can do when faced with problems making their mortgage payments is nothing. If you do nothing you will lose your home," she said. "Half of all foreclosures happen to people who never asked for help. We're here to tell them that help is just a phone call away."

The "Bringing Hope Home" campaign is being supported through a grant from Fannie Mae's Office of Community and Charitable Giving. Fannie Mae has been an active partner in the HOPE NOW effort since its inception and the grant provided for the "Bringing Hope Home" campaign is an extension of this continued support and the company's overall efforts to prevent foreclosures and keep people in their homes.

ABOUT HOPE NOW

HOPE NOW is the alliance of counselors, mortgage market participants, and mortgage servicers that is working to help as many homeowners as possible avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. For more information, including a full list of members, go to www.hopenow.com.