The Good News
Pg 3 - The Sunshine Express
2012 April
Bankers Pay (continued from pg 1)
number of attor-
neys at the Depart-
fund homeowner relief and foreclosure-prevention
ment of Law who
efforts throughout the state.
can escalate hom-
"These funds will help keep Coloradans in their
eowner complaints
homes and prevent future foreclosures," Suthers
to the lenders. This
said. "In cooperation with the Governor's Office
service, which
and representatives from the General Assembly,
currently is be-
I have vetted a series of ideas on how to spend
ing performed by
Colorado's share of the settlement funds. Through
one staff attorney,
this public, collaborative process, I have selected
has been able to
a series of programs that will allow us to leverage
help homeown-
these funds to deliver real help to the people of
ers review their
options in addition
"Housing is more than just a place to live, it
to the counseling
provides opportunities," Hickenlooper said. "We
and legal services
believe these programs will provide the critical
already available to
and timely assistance to help families stay in their
homes. Through a collaborative process with the
Colorado and each
Attorney General's Office and the General As-
of the other states'
sembly, we've been able to find the best ways to
shares of the settle-
leverage this funding to help those who are in most
ment funds were
in need."
slightly decreased
Colorado has decided to allocate its $51.17 million
following a bank-
to a series of programs and organizations to pro-
ruptcy filing by
vide statewide foreclosure and housing relief over
one arm of Ally,
the next three years:
formerly GMAC.
$24 million for supplemental loan-modification
Consumers inter-
ested in learning
$18.196 million for affordable housing programs;
more about the
$5.625 million for housing counseling through
multistate agree-
the state;
ment can visit
$1.5 million for Colorado Legal Services;
$750,000 for temporary staffing at the Attorney
General's Office; or www.
$600,000 for the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline;
$500,000 for marketing and outreach efforts.
The $24 million supplemental loan-modification
If consumers
funding will be divided into two programs. The
believe they have
first program will design pool insurance to facili-
been affected by
tate a loan modification or a refinancing for bor-
the banks' prob-
rowers in default on their loans. The second will
lematic processes
provide cash assistance to defaulted borrowers in
or have experi-
order to facilitate a loan modification or a refinanc-
enced any form of
ing. These two programs are designed to expand
foreclosure fraud,
the benefits of the settlement to those borrowers
they can file a com-
who are generally not eligible for the principal re-
plaint at
The Local Foods, Local Jobs Act will ease impedi-
duction modifications that are available under the To
ments to local markets by exempting home kitchens
settlement or other modification programs.
learn more about Colorado's ongoing fight against
from certain health inspections that are generally
The $18.196 million affordable housing programs,
mortgage and foreclosure fraud, visit the Office of
applied to large retailers. Home kitchens will be
also administered by the Colorado Division of
the Attorney General's Mortgage Fraud Informa-
trained on safe food handling and processing pro-
Housing, will be divided into two programs. The
tion Center.
cedures, as well as labeling requirements to ensure
first will be used to stimulate the construction of
Homeowners facing foreclosure also should
healthy products. Small businesses that promote
affordable residential rental properties. The second
contact the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline at 1-877-
locally sourced foods can get a strong start due to
fund will be used to provide greater housing for
601-4673 or visit www.coloradoforeclosurehotline.
these streamlined regulations.
veterans at the Ft. Lyon facility in Bent County.
org. The free hotline works with homeowners in
This bill is part of the Senate Majority's "Colorado
Both the supplemental loan-modification programs
or facing foreclosure. Homeowners who call the
Works Jobs Package," a series of bills focused on job
and the affordable housing programs were pro-
hotline can speak with a housing counselor about
creation and economic growth in the state.
posed by the Governor's Office, which will oversee
their options.
Nearly 30 other states have passed similar laws to
their implementation.
promote local products. Senate Bill 48 was spon-
The $5.625 million for housing counseling sup-
The Cottage Food Act Now Law
sored in the House of Representatives by Represen-
port will be administered by the Colorado Hous-
tative Don Coram (R-Montrose)
ing Finance Authority, which administers similar
On March 15, Governor John Hickenlooper signed
programs and can ensure no double-dipping by
the bipartisan Local Foods, Local Jobs Act (SB-48)
counseling services. This allocation will provide
into law. The Local Foods, Local Jobs Act , spon-
ramp-up capital as well as a fee-for-service system
sored by Senator Gail Schwartz (D-Snowmass),
for funding housing counseling services to Colo-
supports local, small-scale growers and producers
rado homeowners.
by creating alternative methods for them to sell
The $1.5 million allocation for Colorado Legal
homemade, value added goods. This legislation
Services, the state's free legal aid program for low-
will allow small growers to sell their products di-
income Coloradans, will provide representation for
rectly to consumers, jump starting local economies
home owners for whom housing counseling or the
and increasing the availability of healthy, locally
other programs funded through the national settle-
grown foods. Colorado Commissioner of Agri-
ment are not adequate. Colorado Legal Services
culture John Salazar, as well as local farmers and
will through this three-year fund be able to expand
producers Monica Wiitanen and Beth Conrey were
its staff to serve areas where foreclosures are on
present to show their support at the bill signing.
the rise, including the Western Slope, mountain
Senator Schwartz offered the following comment
communities, northern Colorado and southern
on the Local Foods, Local Jobs Act becoming law:
"The passage of this legislation is so important
The $600,000 award to the Colorado Foreclosure
to the economic success of our small farmers and
Hotline continues the Office of the Attorney Gen-
producers, and I'm grateful many of these folks
eral's commitment to keeping the hotline operating
were able to come down to the State Capitol to
as a free resource for Colorado homeowners facing
testify and see all of their hard work signed into
foreclosure. This $600,000 award will fund the hot-
law. I appreciate my colleagues across the aisle for
line's operations through 2015.
their support of this bill. I encourage everyone to
The Office of the Attorney General's temporary
support local producers and your farmers' markets
staff funded through these funds will increase the
to enjoy Colorado's locally grown goods."