Keeping People in their Homes

Keeping People in their Homes

Reston Interfaith addresses housing with Connections for Hope.’

Within the Connections for Hope facility is the office of Martin Rios, Reston Interfaith's Certified Housing Counselor.

"Keeping people in their homes, by any means possible, is the ultimate goal of Reston Interfaith," said CEO Kerri Wilson.

In the past 2 1/2 years, Wilson said Rios has helped more than 150 homeowners in crisis, with about 70 percent remaining in their homes.

For those still in discussion with lenders, Wilson said there is hope that the process will move faster in the future. Reston Interfaith recently received full authorization to access and input mortgage loan modification requests through HOPE LoanPort, which is an online tool created by the Treasury Department specifically for Housing Counselors.

"The paper trail has been decreased greatly, saving weeks and months of waiting since all paperwork is now scanned and uploaded directly to loan servicers," Wilson said. Hundreds of underwriters are part of HOPE LoanPort; in addition, there are options to escalate cases when a decision is not reached in a reasonable timeframe.

Reston Interfaith continues to address housing issues by partnering with the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) to provide an Introduction to Homeownership class. This class is designed to take the mystery out of the home buying process and help home buyers prepare to make important decisions about purchasing a home.

Local experts in the field of home buying are involved in the training, and they provide answers to questions from class participants. Completion of this class is required by borrowers in order to become eligible for all VHDA loan programs. Classes are offered monthly at Connections for Hope office in English and Spanish.

"Now more than ever, Reston Interfaith is proud to provide these essential services at no cost to persons living in northwestern Fairfax County. Many people facing foreclosure pay thousands of dollars for guidance and then end up losing their property," said Wilson.

For more information about Reston Interfaith’s housing programs, call 703-956-6722.