Stars talk foreclosure in Newark

February 11, 2009 3:08:31 PM PST
Queen Latifah may be a star on the big screen and in the music world, but she went back home Wednesday with a message.She was in Newark with some other big names reminding homeowners who face foreclosure that help is out there.

It's not the usual tour bus celebrities are used to. Each stop meant stepping into a foreclosed home and a painful past for Newark families.

Golden Globe and Grammy winner Queen Latifah, Grammy-winning musician Wyclef Jean and radio personality Angie Martinez used their star power to raise awareness about the foreclosure crisis.

The once-Oscar nominated Queen Latifah asked tough questions to get a handle of what's going on in her hometown.

The stars kicked off the 'Bringing Hope Home' bus tour in Newark. The campaign raises awareness about foreclosure problems and resources available to those in need. It's something that hits close to home for the longtime friends.

"We all have families that have been affected by this mortgage crisis," Queen Latifah said. "We all have family members who have been getting the notices, sticking the letters under the mattress and in the closet and been afraid to deal with the banks. So after helping our own family members, we realized we needed to help others."

"I was raised in Newark, just like Latifah," Jean said. "That's like family. It's very important for people to know that Newark is coming back."

The national non-profit organization will continue the campaign in Atlanta, Miami and Cleveland. The hope is that families will call for help.

Ater people call the national hotline, they're then directed to a local organization that can help them with their situation.

Juan Argeta and his wife are several months behind on their mortgage payments. Foreclosure counselor Sofi Cordero is working to try to keep the couple and their daughters in their home.

"If I see there are signs that the person was not educated, especially if they're spanish speaking and they trust the person who also is spanish speaking," Cordero said. "They don't know. They just want the American dream."

It is a dream she says can start with a phone call to 1-888-995-HOPE.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


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