Milk Jugs Fight Foreclosures

Campaign will feature hotline on labels in c-stores

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Homeownership Preservation Foundation, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit, has launched a grassroots marketing effort to help prevent foreclosures in the Detroit area. The Foundation is placing 250,000 branded milk containers in Detroit-area grocery and convenience stores. The gallon containers feature the Foundation's toll-free (888) 995-HOPE number, which homeowners can call for free foreclosure prevention counseling. Detroit currently has the sixth highest rate of foreclosures in the United States.

Mortgage foreclosure is a nationwide [image-nocss] problem that needs to be addressed head on, said Colleen Hernandez, president and executive director of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation. By adding our message to milk jugs, we hope to reach struggling homeowners who are reluctant to call their mortgage lender for help right at their kitchen table.

By calling the number, homeowners receive free foreclosure prevention counseling from HUD-approved counseling agencies, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Established in 2004, the Foundation has provided more than 20,000 counseling sessions to homeowners in all 50 states.

The Homeownership Preservation Foundation is currently conducting a national campaign to help homeowners avoid mortgage foreclosures. The campaign features nontraditional tactics designed to reach the general public, such as a Lost flyer placed in laundry mats and corner telephone poles in cities such as Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago and Houston. The flyer has tearaways with the hotline number and offers free foreclosure counseling for homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage and stay in their homes. The campaign also includes TV PSA commercials that are currently airing on more than 255 stations across the country and radio PSAs airing on 150 stations.

We plan to test this marketing effort in Detroit, and hope to expand it to other markets experiencing high rates of foreclosure, said Hernandez. Detroit is the first of what we hope will be several markets in which we roll out our milk jug campaign. We will continue to use nontraditional methods to spread the word that there's hope available to homeowners who are worried about losing their home to foreclosure.

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