Springboard Alerts Consumers to New Law and Designated Hotline

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Springboard alerts consumers to new Senate Bill and designated hotline for Californians seeking loan modification assistance.

In response to a new California law prohibiting advanced fees for mortgage loan modification services, Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management has established a specific hotline with more than 50 HUD certified housing counselors to help troubled homeowners.

California Senate Bill 94 (SB 94) signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger takes effect immediately and prohibits any person, including real estate licensees and attorneys, from demanding or collecting an advance fee from a consumer for mortgage loan modification or mortgage loan forbearance services affecting 1 to 4 unit residential dwellings.

Springboard is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1974, a HUD approved comprehensive housing counseling agency and a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a national organization of nonprofit credit counseling agencies. In 2008, Springboard helped more than 58,000 troubled homeowners evaluate their housing options, open lines of communication with mortgage lenders, and identify solutions and an action plan specific to their situation, all at no cost to the consumer. "Springboard has dedicated the hotline number 800-449-9402 for Californians seeking loan modification help at no cost to the consumer," said Melinda Opperman, Springboard's senior vice president of community outreach and industry relations.

The bill, authored by California Senator Ron Calderon, stipulates that advance fees collected on or after October 11, 2009 must be refunded to the consumer. Further stipulations of the bill state that it is not illegal for companies to provide loan modification services. It is illegal to collect money or other consideration in advance. If loan modification services are provided, certain disclosures are required to be in the agreement. All practitioners should become familiar with the provisions of SB 94, which carries substantial administrative and criminal penalties for violations.        

About Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management:
SPRINGBOARD® Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit personal financial education and counseling organization founded in 1974. Springboard is a HUD approved housing counseling agency and a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a national organization of nonprofit credit counseling agencies. The agency offers personal financial education and assistance with credit counseling, housing counseling, debt and money management through educational programs and confidential counseling. Springboard is accredited by the Council on Accreditation, signifying high standards for agency governance, fiscal integrity, counselor certification and service delivery policies. The agency provides pre-bankruptcy counseling and debtor education as mandated by the bankruptcy reform law. The agency has locations in California, Arizona and Nevada and offers face-to-face and nationwide phone counseling services. For more information on Springboard, call 1-800 WISE PLAN (1-800-947-3752) ext. 7750 or visit their web site at Credit.org.

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Melinda Opperman
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