Counselors who help homeowners avoid foreclosure are becoming scarce

By: Mark Davis  www.kansascity.com

Mark Davis’s Road to Riches columns appear on Saturday. To reach him, write in care of the business desk at 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108, call (816) 234-4372 or send e-mail to mdavis@kcstar.com

Debara Anderson nearly lost her fight against foreclosure.

Behind on payments, Anderson called her lender and asked for a mortgage modification. She seemed close to getting a loan she could afford when the process bogged down.

I was so frustrated, the 47-year-old Kansas City resident said. I had started packing my stuff up, and I was going to walk away, because fighting with the mortgage company is so hard.

Instead, Anderson got her new loan and kept her house after enlisting the help of a housing counselor.

Other struggling homeowners and there are still many of them won’t be so lucky.

That’s because the Kansas City area has been steadily losing housing counselors for two years. They’re disappearing even as their workload has shifted from a traditional role helping people become homeowners to helping them stay homeowners…

Anderson, who got her loan modified with help from Credit & Homeownership Empowerment Services Inc. considered it well worth it.