Contact lax in mortgages

Even as delinquencies in home mortgages remain high, communication between mortgage lenders and borrowers continues to be weak, a mortgage executive said Monday at a “home-preservation workshop” in Charlotte.

More than 50 percent of delinquent borrowers – those who miss at least one payment – do not contact their mortgage lender when they are having trouble making payments, said Joe Ohayon, vice president of client and community relations for Wells Fargo.

“We struggle as an industry with contact,” he said. “We're trying to give borrowers other means of contact.”

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, which is the second largest servicer of home mortgages in the country, hosted a workshop at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel on Monday afternoon in an effort to contact local borrowers who are behind in their monthly payments.

Presentations clarified what foreclosure and delinquency are and provided an overview of payment options for delinquent borrowers.

Consultants were also available to work with individual borrowers to restructure payments.

Spokeswoman Sherrii Webb says foreclosures are losing situation for both borrowers and the mortgage companies and that there are often many alternatives to foreclosure that the borrower does not know about.

While nearly 3,000 people from the area were invited to the workshop, organizers received only 40 RSVPs. This 1-2 percent response has been seen at other workshops that Wells Fargo has hosted, Ohayon said.

Similar workshops have popped up across the nation with rising delinquencies over the past year.

“There have always been alternatives. We are now being much more creative and flexible with options,” Ohayon said.