Forum in San Mateo to Avoid Foreclosure

Some local groups and politicians have proactively created events to educate and empower homeowners.


By Keith Rockmael

What do many San Mateo County homeowners wish for under their Christmas tree or next to their Hanukkah Menorah? A solution to their underwater home situation.

A free "Underwater Homeowner Forum" will be held Thursday at 1100 Park Place in San Mateo between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. to help answer questions.

With much of the economic focus shifting recently to the macro level and the threat of falling off of a fiscal cliff, San Mateo homeowners have seemingly been lost in the shuffle.

Even with the recent real estate upturn, approximately 27,000 San Mateo county homeowners remain underwater. Even worse, many cities still have a number of distressed (pre foreclosure) properties.

For example, the City of San Mateo contains 168 distressed properties, and Redwood City has 164.  Even towns and cities such as Burlingame with 25 and Hillsborough 17 continue to have distressed and underwater home issues.

In an effort to reach out to these homeowners, some local groups and politicians have proactively created events to educate and empower homeowners.

On September 8, outgoing county supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson held a foreclosure prevention event at the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits in Redwood City. Even before the doors opened, homeowners eager for help and information lined up early in the morning. Over 500 people attended the event.

Bay Area Resource represents another group assisting homeowners with information and answers. This group of professionals has been working in San Francisco and San Mateo counties to offer homeowners straight answers and ideas. They have organized homeowner education events in conjunction with State Senator Leland Lee as well as many local non-profit organizations including the San Francisco Police Officers Association and the San Francisco Teachers Union.  

Some of the past events have sparked some fuses. One of there past Bay Area Resource forums included a former loss mitigator for Indy Mac bank who gave the homeowners the "real truth" which included why banks offer loan modifications (clue: it has to do with money and information).

Just in time for the holidays, Bay Area Resource presents another forum panel with much of the focus directed at underwater homeowners. Many underwater homeowners continue to be stuck with few if any options and the event participants seek to enlighten all.

The panel will consist of professionals including a real estate attorney, tax specialist, HUD counselor, short sale agent and bankruptcy attorney. The panelists are scheduled to discuss many hot topics including the expiration of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act and the launch of the California Homeowners Bill of Rights.

Homeowners who have more questions than answers should think about attending this panel event (first in a series of yearly events) or getting help through a reputable HUD counseling agency.

7th ‘Underwater’ Homeowners Forum
1100 Park Place ‘Lobby’
San Mateo CA, 94403
Thurs. Dec. 13th   Time: 6-8pm
Cost: Free
Info: 650-931-8429

Keith Rockmael is a freelance writer/blogger and real estate advocate
He can be reached at Keith@resourcerock.com

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