(NBC) - A year after the foreclosure fraud scandal brought words like "robo-signing" into the spotlight, the government is hosting a hotline to provide financial advice to homeowners facing foreclosure.
Dubbed "the Hope Line," the free service was launched by Shaun Donovan, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, as Americans see foreclosures take another upswing.
"Everybody in a neighborhood loses value on their home when a home is foreclosed," said Donovan.
Nearly four million Americans are said to be more than 60 days behind on their mortgage, with countless others one paycheck away from missing a payment.
For homeowners who would prefer free in-person advice, Donovan suggests trying the local law school, where students need the experience to get a degree.
"Our students actually have helped over 400 homeowners," said Phyliss Craig-Taylor, academic dean at the Charlotte School of Law.
Students there helped hundreds share in a $50 million settlement from a homebuilder who had scammed them into buying more home than they could afford.
The homeowner hotline can be reached at 1-888-995-HOPE.
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