Friday, December 11, 2009

LOCAL JACKSONVILLE BANKS RECOGNIZED FOR FORECLOSURE EFFORTS


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ginny Walthour, (904) 630-2518

LOCAL BANKS RECOGNIZED FOR FORECLOSURE EFFORTS
Foreclosure Task Force Applauds Initiatives and Monetary Donations

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 10, 2009 – City Council Member Kevin Hyde joined members of the Jacksonville Foreclosure Task Force today to recognize the foreclosure efforts and monetary donations that local banks, Regions Bank, Wachovia/Wells Fargo and EverBank, have contributed to the City of Jacksonville’s marketing efforts in foreclosure prevention. Together, the three banks have donated $35,000 to assist the city with their efforts to reach homeowners in need to prevent foreclosure.

According to the Duval County Clerk of Courts, from January to September, more than 10,770 lis pendens notices were filed. Jacksonville recently posted a 64 percent foreclosure rate – one of the highest in the country, according to RealtyTrac.

Council Member Hyde was instrumental in creating the Jacksonville Foreclosure Task Force whose responsibility is to make recommendations to the mayor, city council and the Housing & Neighborhoods Department for further action in preventing foreclosure and providing assistance and relief to those facing or subject to foreclosure. Michael Boylan, president of WJCT, chairs the task force which is composed of nine members with considerable experience in banking, consumer law, marketing, housing, credit counseling, social service or other fields that provide a unique and substantial insight into foreclosure prevention, assistance and relief.

“The primary goal of the task force is to ensure that homeowners facing financial difficulty can fully explore ways to stay in their home. The task force, in an innovative partnership with the private sector and the city’s Housing & Neighborhoods Department, continues to distribute information and develop ideas to assist homeowners in need,” said Council Member Hyde. “I would especially like to express my appreciation to the local banks— Regions, Wachovia/Wells Fargo and EverBank—for their continued financial support in helping to achieve these goals.”

Through its extensive community efforts and programs such as the Stay Home Web program Web site on www.coj.net and the Facing the Mortgage Crisis initiative with WJCT, the city has been able to provide resources to connect those homeowners who may face or are facing foreclosure with the appropriate agencies for assistance. The Housing & Neighborhoods Department has mailed more than 2,260 informational packets to homeowners who have received lis pendens notices and anticipates reaching more than 5,000 families in the upcoming months as more notices are filed.

“The key to success for homeowners in trouble is to get assistance as early as possible. I was pleased to help lead the fundraising efforts with the local banks to raise the necessary monies to assist the city in reaching homeowners in need,” said Regions Bank President Marty Lanahan. “Prevention of foreclosures starts with educating homeowners about managing credit and the pitfalls of predatory lenders and the informational resources provided by the city are well-equipped to help our homeowners.”

More information about the city’s foreclosure programs can be found at http://www.coj.net/Departments/Housing+and+Neighborhoods/default.htm.

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