Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) launched WaysHome this week, a free, interactive multi-media tool designed to educate homeowners about their options to avoid foreclosure, empower them to make informed decisions and motivate them to take action and seek help in 2011. As part of Fannie Mae’s “Know Your Options” initiative to help struggling homeowners, the WaysHome video uses innovative technology to allow homeowners to put themselves in real-life situations, make informed choices and immediately see the outcomes of those actions. WaysHome is available at www.KnowYourOptions.com.
“In 2011, millions of homes will be at imminent risk of foreclosure. As we enter a new year, the company is expanding its efforts to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure – WaysHome is an innovative tool to help achieve this goal,” said Jeff Hayward, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President. “Since the beginning of 2009, Fannie Mae has helped more than half a million families stay in their homes through modification or other solutions. With initiatives like WaysHome, we are determined to do everything possible to help homeowners.”
Unique to the other industry-wide foreclosure prevention efforts, WaysHome was developed by Fannie Mae to educate distressed homeowners on the short- and long-term impact of their decisions. Through video reenactment, WaysHome allows homeowners to experience scenarios that address a range of options for avoiding foreclosure that include repayment plans, forbearances, modifications, deeds-in-lieu, and short sales.
The WaysHome video is set in a neighborhood that has been hurt by the foreclosure crisis. Real actors play three residents of the neighborhood – each in financial distress. Homeowners select to play one of the residents and, as their stories unfold, make important financial decisions for them and see how the consequences of these decisions play out. Fannie Mae provides helpful tips, tools and links during the process and users have the ability to go back and revise their decisions should their choices lead to a negative outcome. Most choices lead to an immediate consequence followed by a related teaching point.
“With a variety of financial hardships and other circumstances affecting homeowners across the country, making educated decisions is more important than ever,” added Jeff Hayward. “It’s a travesty when people lose their homes because they don’t know or understand their options. Homeowners who are proactive about working with their mortgage company, housing counselors, or using consumer tools like WaysHome have a significantly better chance of finding a solution that allows them to avoid foreclosure.”
In an effort to connect with homeowners who have not yet reached out for help, Fannie Mae will be promoting WaysHome on www.FannieMae.com, through its comprehensive new consumer website, www.KnowYourOptions.com, and a series of events in partnership with local faith-based organizations, non-profits and industry leaders that include: Safeway Eastern Division; Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.; Capital Area Foreclosure Network; Collective Empowerment Group; NeighborWorks® America; and National Community Reinvestment Coalition. Collateral materials and website content will be made available at no cost through Fannie Mae’s mortgage servicing and community partners.
Fannie Mae continues to conduct homeowner outreach across the country, which includes the opening of Mortgage Help Centers in Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth with other locations to be announced in the coming weeks. The company also uses direct mail and phone calls to encourage homeowners to pursue foreclosure alternatives.
For more information, please visit www.KnowYourOptions.com.