News & Features

Law school's FMOP partners with city on foreclosure video

Foreclosure video screenshot(Dec. 1, 2014) Seattle University School of Law and the City of Seattle Office of Housing today released a short educational video on the foreclosure process in Washington State and the free resources that are available to assist struggling homeowners. The video, "Plain Talk about Foreclosure," is available online.

"Foreclosures continue to impact our community, particularly in households of color, and we want to let people know that they are not in this alone," stated Steve Walker, director of the Office of Housing. "We owe a great deal to Seattle University School of Law and our many community partners for helping us spread the word about the free resources available to help people keep their homes."

The law school's Foreclosure and Mediation Outreach Project collaborated with the city on the video. 

"People are often intimidated by the process and don't seek help. But it is vital that they seek help as soon as possible," said Angeline Thomas '11, FMOP staff attorney. 

In 2013, there were 2,090 homeowners in Seattle who received Notice of Trustees Sales, which provide notice of a scheduled foreclosure auction on their foreclosed property. According to the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, only 10% of distressed or at-risk homeowners seek out the free resources available to help them. 

The four-minute video clarifies the timeline of the foreclosure process and identifies the various points in the process where homeowners can work with certified housing counselors and attorneys to try to save their home. Translated versions and a 30-second public service announcement will be available soon as well.

The video is part of a larger outreach effort initiated by the Seattle City Council to reach homeowners as risk of foreclosure, and builds off existing initiatives by the State and community organizations.

"We find that every household that is struggling to pay its mortgage is unique," stated Lili Sotelo of Northwest Justice Project. "The most important thing is for homeowners to seek help from a reputable organization as soon as possible so we can find the solutions that fit their situation."

Homeowners facing foreclosure should contact the Washington Homeownership Resource Center at 1.877.894.4663 or www.homeownership-wa.org to find a free housing counselor in their area. Free legal help may also be available to some households through the Northwest Justice Project at 1.800.606.4819.

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