Fannie Mae opens mortgage help center in L.A.

CULVER CITY, Calif. California has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country, but Fannie Mae wants to send the message to homeowners that foreclosure is not the only option.

With many Californians struggling to stay afloat during the down economy, the foreclosure crisis is far from over. The third quarter report showed major cities with populations greater than 200,000 account for the top foreclosure rates in the country.

The mortgage help center opening in /*Los Angeles County*/ aims to give hope to homeowners who fear the worst.

"You do get a chance personally to come in and talk with somebody who can understand your situation, evaluate the facts, help guide you to an alternative to foreclosure. It's a very personal thing," said Jeff Hayward of Fannie Mae.

Fannie Mae, in cooperation with West Angeles Community Development Corporation, is opening up a counseling center in Culver City to assist homeowners with Fannie Mae mortgage loans.

Advisors will be at the location to help people out, but they said don't expect them to sugarcoat what needs to be done to save a house.

"They will go through your personal situation and tell you the truth. So if you have a really high cable bill or a really high lawn bill, and you're not paying your mortgage, they're going to say, 'We need to prioritize. Let's go through all your debt,'" said Hayward.

It's straight talk that advisors hope will bring real results to owners who need to get back on track.

The counseling is available at no cost, and the new center is for /*Fannie Mae*/ clients only.

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