Starting December 1, 2008, volunteers will be hitting the streets and literally knocking on doors to seek out North Minneapolis homeowners in danger of losing everything to Adjustable Rate Mortgages. The effort will be part of an innovative, first in the nation program. According to...
...an email sent minutes ago by Hawthorne's Housing Director, Jeff Skrenes, which Skrenes asked to have publicized immediately to get the word out as quickly as possible, Hawthorne has received a research assistant from CURA, which is a program at the University of Minnesota, click here, for the Spring 2008 semester which--despite its name--begins in, brrrr, January.
All of the following comes from Jeff Skrenes, verbatim:
Through the Northside Community Reinvestment Coalition, a group of North Minneapolis non-profits, faith-based, and ethnic organizations working together around financial justice, we have come up with a way to identify Adjustable Rate Mortgages before they reset. The Federal Reserve has this data, but only at the zip code or census tract level. That does not help neighborhoods like Hawthorne and its North Minneapolis neighbors because we already know the problem is all around us in our zip codes and census tracts.
Credit is due to Dave Snyder of Jewish Community Action and Jerry Moore of Jordan Area Community Council for getting this idea started. Here's how it works: Hennepin County has given us spreadsheets of every mortgage originated in 2007 in the county. Then they give us the legal descriptions for each plot in various Minneapolis neighborhoods. We search by keyword and find every mortgage originated in Hawthorne in 2007. Then we take that data down to the Hennepin County government center and search those specific mortgages to find out if they are adjustable and when they are resetting. This gives us an exact address and we can reach out to the owner and/or occupant to help them with their mortgages.
We are only doing 2007 for now because many of the worst loans in North Minneapolis were 2/6 ARM loans; fixed for two years, adjusting every six months afterward. This means by the time we get the data in 2009, loans originated in 2006 and earlier will have adjusted at least twice. We're starting with the data we think will get us the most homeowners with ARMs that have not reset.
THIS IDEA CAME FROM GRASSROOTS COMMUNITY ORGANIZING AND NO ONE ELSE HAS THIS KIND OF DETAILED DATA! Actually, a lot of scammers and marketers have this data because they pay people to dig it up. But now we can get the same information and use it for good instead of evil.
So our research assistant from CURA will help us analyze this data to find patterns we may not have seen ourselves. He or she will also put this on a GIS mapping system so we can use this to present to others and show where the next ARMs are resetting. This process will also be replicable throughout Hennepin County and any other county that aggregates its mortgage data in a similar fashion.
We will be using this information to go door-to-door and talk to people before their rates reset, in anticipation that we will be able to help them out of predatory loans. We'll also be able to point to specific lenders and say, "We have hard data showing you originated loans that will soon reset in our neighborhood and that means you're responsible for helping resolve these problems now."
HERE IS WHAT WE NEED FROM PEOPLE: On Monday, December 1, we will have a press conference to kick off a week's worth of door knocking. We have identified over 350 north Minneapolis residents--so far--that have ARM loans originated in 2007. Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity has also given us addresses of residents who are late on mortgages. We will be going directly to the doors of those in need and getting them in touch with foreclosure prevention services. This will go on nightly from Monday the 1st through Thursday the 4th.
WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! Call Jeff Skrenes at the Hawthorne office (612-529-6033 x204) if you are interested.
(The Johnny Northside blog is happy to be of service and get the word out. Please pass along links to media, volunteers, impacted homeowners, and others who need to hear about this story)