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Special ToNNPA from Los Angeles Sentinel
Published: 04 March 2009

(NNPA) - Wells Fargo has announced  that with the National Urban League it will co-sponsor a new edition of The Foreclosure Workbook: The Complete Guide to Understanding Foreclosure and Saving Your Home. The workbook, written by foreclosure author Carla Douglin, will be free-of-charge to at-risk customers across the nation through Wells Fargo's ''Leading the Way Home'' initiative.

''Our vision has long been to help our customers succeed financially by helping them achieve and sustain homeownership,'' said Cara Heiden, co-president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

We believe in doing what is right for our customers, and that includes working with them to find solutions to keep them in their homes when they face financial difficulties.

The hands-on guide will help homeowners experiencing challenges making their mortgage payments and who may face potential foreclosure. Copies of the workbook will be distributed at Wells Fargo home preservation workshops held across the country and at all 101 Urban League affiliate offices.

The workbook was officially launched during the Feb. 28 State of the Black Union address at the Los Angeles Convention Center, staged by Tavis Smiley. Wells Fargo served as the title sponsor for the event for the third consecutive year.

Earlier this year, Wells Fargo introduced ''Leading the Way Home,'' a multi-faceted initiative to stabilize housing, advance homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods in cities hit hard by foreclosure. In addition to providing financial literacy tools, Wells Fargo is helping real estate agents, nonprofit housing organizations and city officials understand how to sell vacant and foreclosed properties to new owners. The company also offers financing to new buyers of vacant properties, and provides loan education that reinforces sustainable homeownership.

The National Urban League has long held economic empowerment as one of its fundamental programs. Through the distribution of the workbooks, it will continue to provide homeowners at-risk of losing their residences with information to help them preserve and sustain homeownership.

This workbook complements the National Urban Leagues outreach efforts to homeowners in distress to help them stay in their homes, said Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League. The opportunity to own, and the ability to pursue and preserve homeownership, are core components of the Urban Leagues Opportunity Compact, and are deeply embedded in the Urban Leagues Economic Empowerment Agenda.

Over the past year and half, Wells Fargo has provided more than 706,000 foreclosure prevention solutions for at-risk homeowners, said Heiden. The workbook we are announcing today is yet one more way we can improve on our 94 percent contact rate to help customers who are two or more payments past due on their mortgage loans.

The Urban League assists more than 400,000 people a year with home ownership issues by providing important housing counseling and financial literacy services in an effort to improve the financial situation for minorities with respect securing homeownership, maintaining good credit and obtaining monetary savings.

This is another important step in Wells Fargo's continued efforts to better serve our diverse communities in which we live and work,'' said Heiden. ''We want to help our customers succeed financially, and The Foreclosure Workbook is a great new tool to do just that.''

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