Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Making Homes Affordable - Foreclosure Prevention

Volunteer Agency: Kaplan Thaler Group
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the Making Home Affordable Program in February 2009 as part of the plan to stabilize the housing market and help struggling homeowners get relief and avoid foreclosure.

Making Home Affordable is an initiative that includes a mortgage modification program to provide eligible homeowners with more affordable monthly mortgage payments. The Federal Government provides free resources to struggling homeowners to help them learn about options under the program, and to work with a HUD-approved housing counselor. Since the program launch, over one million homeowners have received help.

The PSAs feature real homeowners who have benefitted from the program.

Created pro bono by The Kaplan Thaler Group, a New York-based advertising agency, the new campaign is available in English and Spanish and features real homeowners from across the country who have benefited from the program.

“Even though the economy is getting stronger, many Americans are still facing the fear and uncertainty of losing their home to foreclosure,” Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, said.

“The Administration’s loan modification programs have given more than a million responsible homeowners a chance to stay in their homes, and we want to do all we can to help make sure that struggling homeowners know about these free resources for help,” he said.

“Many responsible borrowers continue to face challenges due to unemployment, negative equity or because of soaring utility payments,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, said.

"These public service announcements will help us to reach at-risk borrowers now, while they are still current on their payments and eligible to receive help through the Making Home Affordable Program or our expanded options for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) refinancing.”

“We are proud to partner with the Treasury and HUD on this critical campaign to educate Americans about free resources available to help them prevent foreclosures,” said Peggy Conlon, President and CEO, the Ad Council. “We hope Americans who are struggling will be empowered by these compelling PSAs and take simple actions to help them stay in their homes.”

The Ad Council will distribute the new PSAs to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide. The campaign includes television, radio, print, out of home and web advertising. The PSAs will air in advertising space donated by the media.

The Making Home Affordable Program was launched in February 2009 to help homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure through no fault of their own make their monthly mortgage payments more affordable. Since then, more than 1.5 million homeowners have been offered help under the program, and almost 1.3 million homeowners have started a trial plan. Homeowners in permanent modifications under the program have a median monthly savings of over $500 each month or about one-third of their previous payment.

Homeowners that are struggling with their mortgage payments to visit or call 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) to learn about their options.

Sponsor Organization: The U.S. Department of the Treasury, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Campaign Website:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How to Maximize Your Working Time on Amazon Mechanical Turk |

How to Maximize Your Working Time on Amazon Mechanical Turk |
I'm posting this because I signed up for the Amazon Mechanical Turk and have made .21 cent so far. Really. I guess I'll make it to the $10 you need to earn in able to transfer it to your bank account. Some of the Human Intelligence Tasks won't pay. I got cheated four times in a row. One was to put an ad on Craigslist--never saw that money and the dashboard said that I abandoned it. All I could do was to contact the person who posted the job. I'll keep you informed of my efforts.
In the meanwhile, please enjoy the eHow article on the Amazon Mechanical Turk.
By the way the Turk comes from a mechanical doll from the 1800s dressed in traditional Turkish clothing, who challenged folks in chess as a parlor game. Go figure. I'm uncomfortable saying the name now that I know about its origins. I mean, should we be saying "Turk"? Arrrgggg.