Fixing the foreclosure crisis and stabilizing neighborhoods isn’t easy, but lending money -- even to higher-risk borrowers -- will have to be part of the solution, a panel of people in the financial industry agreed Wednesday.
“We do recognize there are those who are not credit ready, but it doesn’t mean they can’t purchase a home,” Brigitte M. Killings, a vice president with Bank of America Home Loans, said during a meeting of the Atlanta Regional Housing Forum.
The quarterly Housing Forum is primarily organized by Atlanta Regional Commission, Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership and Bill Bolling of the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
Topics vary, with this quarter’s meeting focused on credit issues. Loan products for potential homebuyers and help for current mortgage-holders were two main points of discussion.
Killings said classes and programs exist to help clients who have credit problems but still want to take on a mortgage.
“If they’re serious about purchasing a home, it can be done,” she said.
She said Bank of America has loan products, insured by the Federal Housing Administration, that are not credit score driven.
“There are people who need this sort of loan, and we want to help them,” she said. “When we help you buy a home, we want you in the home to stay.”
While home loans are harder to get since the easy credit bubble burst, doing so is not impossible, said Catherine Lasher, a vice president of Fannie Mae’s east region.
“We are certainly still challenged where the credit market is concerned,” she said. “But we’ve got to rebuild confidence in loans.”
There are also a number of modification programs for current homeowners struggling to pay mortgages, said Jeanne Goldie, the regional diverse segments manager at Wells Fargo.
“Things are changing constantly with what is available for homeowners,” she said. “And people who find themselves needing help have to call and let their loan servicer know.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.