Local Real Estate Agent Helps Offset Foreclosures from Arkansas’s “Benton Courier”

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

 

Benton Courier

 

Saline County, Arkansas

 

A local real estate agent wants homeowners to know there is help available if foreclosure is looming. Crye-Leike Realtors is taking a different approach to the housing market downturn.

 

The company has launched a grassroots effort to help families facing foreclosure.

 

“We want homeowners in a situation where they are behind on payments or can’t make payments to give us a call,” Karen Crowson, with the Benton branch said. “We don’t want to necessarily sell their home, but we can intervene and take a different approach.” She added, “We’re normally out there trying to get business, but now we’re taking a step back and just trying to look at it as community involvement.”

 

Even if Crye-Leike didn’t help homeowners get into their homes, Crowson and other agents can help, she said.

 

“This is for anybody. We are using our knowledge of the market and we can talk to their lender about the realistic value of the property and then the lender can work with the buyer to work something out.”

 

When people face financial difficulty, Crowson said, sometimes “there is a tendency to keep it inside, but we want them to know we can help and get them credit counseling and other services.”

 

Crowson, who’s been in this market for 22 years, said about five or six homes in Saline County are facing foreclosure each week.

 

“We’re fortunate to not have more, but we certainly want to help those we can.”

 

Nationwide there are hundreds of thousands of families facing foreclosure because they can’t afford their mortgage payments or they owe far more than their house is worth, according to industry officials. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that about 50 percent of homeowners who do lose their homes to foreclosure have never once contacted their lender.