Wells Fargo Partnering with Twin Cities to Reduce Foreclosures

Are you late on mortgage payments, facing foreclosure and have a loan through Minnesota's largest home lender, Wells Fargo? Don't ignore your mail.

San Francisco-based bank Wells Fargo & Co. will turn to the Twin Cities  for help in reaching troubled homeowners. Early next year, Wells Fargo and the two governments of Minneapolis and St. Paul will hold joint workshops where people late on their mortgages can apply to have their loan payments reduced.

Invitations to the events will have Wells Fargo's and the city's names on the envelopes and letterheads in the hopes of getting beleaguered mortgage holders' attention.

This is the first time that Wells Fargo has joined with city governments to reach struggling homeowners facing foreclosure. The partnership comes after the Mortgage Bankers Association announced that 6.98% of nearly 900,000 mortgage holders in Minnesota, or about 62,000 people, had fallen behind on their payments: A record high.

Wells Fargo isn't the first bank to work with the cities, but it is the largest. And it took two years and some urging from city leaders to get to this point. Read more about what it took to get Wells Fargo to the table.

The details of the program were vague, but this is what was printed in the Star Tribune:

There would be an unspecified number of workshops in which borrowers could apply for assistance through the U.S. Treasury's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), a program for reducing monthly mortgage payments. The bank has also agreed to help stabilize neighborhoods by identifying blighted properties and donating them to the cities or to nonprofit groups. On Friday, Wells Fargo presented each city with a $62,500 grant to help first-time home buyers with down payments.

So far, Wells Fargo, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul haven't set targets for how many people will benefit from the partnership nor how many houses will be saved from foreclosure. Hopefully that information will be forthcoming.

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