These things are popular these days.
From the Nashua Telegraph, we learn that people need guidance. They need tools. They need suggestions. They need someone to hold their hand. They need a prod and a push.
With a little help from Sen. John E. Sununu and representatives of more than 15 local and national organizations, several Nashua-area residents may now have the tools they need to avoid falling prey to the mortgage crisis sweeping the nation.
On Saturday morning, the Radisson Hotel in Nashua hosted the second in a series of home mortgage workshops organized by Sununu. More than 70 people attended the three-hour workshop, prompting the addition of more chairs in an effort to accommodate the large crowd.
The workshops are being held throughout the state to provide help to New Hampshire residents hurt by the mortgage crisis. Over the past year, home prices have fallen and banks have tightened lending standards, sending many homeowners with high mortgages to – or over – the brink of foreclosure.
"The most important step has always been the first step," Sununu said. "We hope to let people out there struggling know that there are resources available and that they are not alone in this.
"So many times people have questions about what to do but don’t know where to turn to ask. These people are here to help provide the answers."
The event kicked off at 9 a.m. with opening remarks by Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau, who co-sponsored the event. Sununu and Taylor Caswell, the New England regional director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, also addressed the crowd.
"In 2005, there were 38 foreclosures in Nashua, and this year, projections show there could be as many as 156," Lozeau said. "As a city, we have seen significantly less revenue from construction and growth over the last few years as a result of this situation, as well.
"These struggles are a symptom of a much larger problem that spans across the nation."
Liz Lamoreux, managing director of the Home Ownership Division at the New Hampshire one misconception people have is that it’s mainly first-time buyers who are running into problems.
"This is a complex problem that is affecting every part of the economy and everyone across the board," Lamoreux said. "It’s not just first-time buyers who face losing their homes, either. We’ve had people coming in to our office who are 20-year homeowners that are now facing foreclosure.
"People don’t always understand the mortgage process because it can be so complex, and that’s where people get into trouble with nonaction. I can tell you this, though: Nothing is worse than doing nothing."
Lamoreux was one of four experts on a panel that addressed the mortgage problem. Other panel members were Greg Carson, New Hampshire field office director for the Department of Housing and Urban Development; Tom Kennedy, senior vice president of community development at Sovereign Bank; and Peter Hildreth, commissioner of the New Hampshire Banking Department.
"It’s definitely been very informative, very helpful," Bill Lambert said. "There are so many people here you can talk to that know how to help, it’s a great resource for people like me."
Lambert, one of several Nashua residents in attendance, came to the workshop hoping to find some guidance on refinancing his mortgage to a lower, secure interest rate.
"I know a lot of people have a hard time admitting they need help, but for me, it’s simple," Lambert said. "To hell with embarrassment, you have to do whatever is necessary to protect your home. I’m not going to be a little guy that gets pushed around by the big banks and loses his home."