East Orange Record

Status Of Housing Market Is Focus Of Symposium

East Orange Record — Thursday, May 15, 2008

By Chris Sykes

The city has joined forces with the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies at Rutgers University to present a symposium on housing Saturday inside the Cicely Tyson School.

Homeowners, renters or prospective buyers looking for information about how to navigate the current economy and mortgage industry downturn can come to the school between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to learn ore about sub-prime mortgages an foreclosure prevention, intervention and education.

The list of agencies and information sources invited to attend the event include Tri-City Peoples Corporation, Brand New Day Inc., Rutgers University, New Jersey Citizen Action, the East Orange Office of Emergency Management and the East Orange Department of Neighborhood Housing and Revitalization.

"We don't have a lot of properties in town that are going to be affected by the sub-prime mortgage crisis, but it never hurts to be proactive," Mayor Robert Bowser said. "Owning your own home is part of the American dream, so it's terrible anytime when someone loses it through no fault of their own. We're finding that a lot of these sub-prime mortgages went to buyers who were qualified to take out regular or prime mortgage. that raises the whole question of predatory lending practices and whether or not they were taken advantage of."

Bowser said questions like that will be answered at Saturday's symposium. Third Ward Councilman Ted Green heads the council's Housing, Licensing and Inspection Committee. Green said he is glad that the symposium is occurring.

"We need something like this to let people know what they can do if they're in trouble," said Green. "There are services to help people and information out there that they can take advantage of, but they have to know about it to use it."

Homeowners seeking information about foreclosure prevention are requested to bring documents with them. The documents include mortgage notes, payment coupons, line of credit, and other mortgages if they exist. Tenants and renters who live in homes that are in foreclosure are also urged to attend the symposium, since the problems can affect them as well.

Call 973-266-5411 for additional information about the symposium or mortgages, foreclosures, the sub-prime mortgage industry and other housing and property issues.

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