Ottawa County's facing foreclosures head-on

GENOA -- Officials in Ottawa County have launched a campaign called "Save Our Homes" to help homeowners in danger of being foreclosed, reports News 11's Dick Berry.

So far this year, there have been 124 foreclosure filings. County officials worry it will be a record-breaking year.

"It's not a lower income problem. This is across the board. It's not one class or another being affected. It's everybody being affected," says Jodi Regal, Ottawa County auditor.

Members of the newly formed committee include politicians, bankers, lawyers and social service agencies like the United Way's 2-1-1 helpline.

"The United Way then puts them in connection with financial counselors, WSOS, any of the other programs that help them through the process," Regal says.

Everyone seems to agree foreclosure could be prevented by staying in close touch with your banker. First of all, open all your mail.

"You may receive notices from the banks attornies. Don't let them scare you. If the bank doesn't know what's going on, they will think the worst and that includes foreclosure," says Bob Hille, Ottawa County treasurer.

Be sure to schedule an appointment with your banker who can suggest ways to avoid foreclosure.

"Loan modifications, payment extension. Sometimes a loan can be re-written. There's a myriad of resources available," says Joe Baun with Genoa Bank.

The "Save Our Homes" committee is meeting from 6:00-8:00 today in the basement of the Ottawa County Courthouse to discuss assistance that's available.