HRRC expands foreclosure prevention staff

Home Repair Resource Center (HRRC), a HUD-certified counseling agency, welcomes two new additions to its staff: Denise Black and Doris Honsa. They are experienced housing professionals who focus exclusively on providing free foreclosure prevention services to Northeast Ohio homeowners.  

Both bring passion and experience in working successfully with homeowners, and make it easy and convenient for homeowners in the Heights and neighboring suburbs to access foreclosure prevention information and services. In addition to offering weekday and evening appointments at HRRC’s office at 2520 Noble Road, Black and Honsa also schedule workshops and consultations at area libraries each month.  

While both have long been involved in the housing industry in the Cleveland area, each comes to HRRC via a different but complementary path.

Denise Black came from the mortgage lending side, having worked in home retention with mortgage lenders, including Ohio Savings (Amtrust Bank), Leader Mortgage Company and USBank Home Mortgage. “Finding solutions was one of my favorite tasks,” Black said. “I hate to see anyone lose their home.”

Doris Honsa came from a nonprofit housing and consumer education background, working with the Cuyahoga Community Land Trust and Living in Cleveland Center, as well as developing consumer education programs in financial fitness and combating predatory lending. Honsa noted that, while predatory lending practices have contributed to the foreclosure crisis, so too has unemployment or reduced income or benefits. “That can happen to anyone,” she said, “and it can happen anywhere.” 

While some of HRRC’s home repair services are limited to Cleveland Heights residents, any Ohio homeowner can utilize HRRC’s foreclosure prevention services. As a HUD-certified counseling agency, HRRC can help people with such things as sorting through possible options to avoid foreclosure, applying electronically for Making Home Affordable or HAMP (the government program to lower a monthly mortgage payment to 31 percent of monthly gross income), or checking out a foreclosure rescue ad or solicitation. Black and Honsa advise that homeowners steer clear of anyone who charges for services or guarantees a specific result. 

Black and Honsa invite readers to spread the word about HRRC’s foreclosure prevention services. “If you don’t need it, pass it on to someone who might,” suggested Black. “We’re all in this together," Honsa said. "Each foreclosure threatens not just one home or one family, but also the whole community.”  

Kathryn Lad is the executive director of the Home Repair Resource Center.

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Volume 3, Issue 8, Posted 5:09 PM, 07.20.2010