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Area Borrowers Meet Lenders Face to Face for Foreclosure Help

It's a definite sign of the times when CSU's Wolstein Center is converted from sports arena to foreclosure prevention hotspot. Borrowers sit in the cavernous arena on folding chairs next to flags featuring the names of some of the country's biggest financial institutions. This is the first Cleveland visit of the Hope Now Alliance, a nonprofit created by mortgage loan servicers and announced by US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson last year. The borrowers hope to meet with their lending institutions face to face and get some kind of deal to save their home.The alliance has taken some criticism for being slow to modify borrowers' loans. Hope Now Alliance Director Larry Gilmore says the nonprofit has made made gains.

Larry Gilmore: Eighteen months ago you wouldn't see half of these mortgage servicers sending a representative to a location to deal with anywhere from 50 to 200 of their specific borrowers in a specific location. They're able to do this because they've increased their staffing and expanded their approach to how they deal with borrowers because they find these to be effective.

As of July 2008, 23 Hope Now servicers say they have helped about 68,000 Ohio borrowers. 71 percent of these borrowers received repayment plans, 29 percent got loan modifications, or written changes to their loans. Mhari Saito, 90.3.