Foreclosures still an issue in Mississippi

By Jon Kalahar - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The number of foreclosures in Mississippi is up 68 percent over this same time last year. And while the numbers from March are better than February, overall, the economic outlook is poor.

"We think that's in direct correlation to the down turn in the economy," said Ben Cole with North Mississippi Legal Services.

Free legal services are available to more Mississippians, but that's only because so many are out of work and are bringing in less income.

Cole said the number of Mississippians needing legal help has always out numbered those providing it. Now, it's magnified. But that doesn't mean anyone's quitting.

"There are still people who just don't know where to turn," said Paheadra Robinson with the Mississippi Center for Justice.

The Mississippi Center for Justice has already helped almost 250 Mississippians save their homes from foreclosure. They use a hotline to connect troubled home owners to housing counselors or lawyers.

"Those people have been able to work through their mortgage issue. If they were delinquent, the housing counselor worked with them and their mortgage lender to come up with a repayment plan," said Robinson.

But the economy is also hurting those providing the help. The resources aren't there to hire more attorneys. Cole said they have to depend on those willing to work for free.

"There has been some success with that and I think we're going to be able to see continued success as we concentrate on that resource out there," said Cole.

If you need help getting back on track as far as mortgage payments, call the Mississippi Center for Justice at 1-877-352-2269.

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