An agency that assists Iowans with financial problems is reporting a 20-percent increase in the number of people seeking help with foreclosure issues. Karen Atwood is CEO of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northeastern Iowa. She says most people entering their offices are dealing with credit card debt, but more and more are failing to pay their mortgage.
"With the cold winter and what has happened with utilities, people are now behind on their house payments as well. Those who had been able to stay with a house payment, if they were an (adjustable rate mortgage) situation, have kind of exhausted the funds that they had," Atwood said.
National statistics indicate U.S. home foreclosure filings rose four percent from March to April. Eight out of 10 people who are behind on their house payments do not contact their lender. Atwood says that’s a big mistake.
"Lenders have a responsibility as well – and they do not want the houses. They want people in them and they want the payments current," Atwood said. The Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northeastern Iowa is headquartered in Waterloo, with offices in Mason City, Marshalltown, Dubuque, Ames, Forest City, Grinnell, Cedar Falls and Decorah.