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By Miriam Raftery April 13, 2009 (San Diego)—At a time when many lenders have evicted families and aggressively foreclosed on, one lender has taken a different approach, setting up a series of events to help families find ways to avoid foreclosure. On April 18th, Project Homeowner, a program to advise California homeowners facing foreclosure on how to keep their homes, will be held on April 18th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the San Diego Concourse, Golden Hall, 202 C Street in San Diego. The event is sponsored by JP Morgan Chase & Co. (Chase), the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Heartland Coalition (publisher of East County Magazine).

“Chase believes in Project Homeowner because we know many borrowers really want to talk to loan counselors face to face,” said Donna Miller, a Chase home lending executive. “Since 2007, Chase has helped avoid 382,000 foreclosures, reflecting our continuing commitment to help families sustain homeownership for the long term. We are pleased to sponsor these events to help California homeowners who want to keep their homes.”

The event brings together industry experts and regulatory agencies including the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) to help borrowers understand their current financial situation, identify solutions and in some cases, begin the loan modification process. At similar events in Stockton and Riverside, more than 1,000 families talked to counselors about their mortgages and some received on-the-spot initial approval of their loan modification.

At San Diego’s event, the DRE and Chase along with HUD-certified professional counselors from leading nonprofit groups and several other financial institutions’ home preservation partners provide one-on-one counseling to borrowers in English and Spanish. Additionally, information is available on financial literacy and new homebuyer education. Participants are advised to bring all available pertinent paperwork about their financial and mortgage history to the event including your most recent mortgage statement and related correspondence, income documentation for two years, promissory note and list of monthly expenses.

“The partnership between Chase and the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, coupled with the participation of DRE, brings together private and public leaders to reach out to California homeowners who are in a precarious situation and are in need of assistance to stay in their homes,” said Jeff Davi, California Real Estate Commissioner.

To pre-register for the free event and get details, visit www.ProjectHomeCA.com. In addition, Chase has opened a home ownership center in La Mesa at 7777 Alvarado Rd., Suite 401. The center is open from 10 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The La Mesa center helps borrowers who are behind on their mortgages serviced by Chase, WaMu or EMC. In addition, future Project Homeowner Events are planned in Los Angeles on May 16 and in Salinas on June 6. For more information, visit www.ProjectHomeCa.com.