(UNDATED) - Homeowners facing foreclosure have already discovered a new state helpline, and the state is planning an advertising blitz to direct more people there.
877gethope.org and a toll-free phone line at the same number have logged 150 hits a day since going online two months ago. Credit counselors on the phone line talk callers through a questionnaire to determine if there's still time to work out a payment deal with lenders to avert foreclosure.
The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority says it's usually possible to help a little more than half of those who call. Executive Director Sherry Seiwert says lenders don't want to foreclose if they can avoid it. It can take an average of 10 months to resell a house, and in the meantime, the lender is responsible for keeping it maintained.
IHCDA will spend $300,000 dollars on a billboard campaign in Indiana's five largest cities. The agency has also printed thousands of brochures promoting the helpline, available at unemployment offices and through community and faith-based organizations.
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