Nearly one in four troubled borrowers seeking referrals to aid agencies last year said they needed help finding a job, suggesting loan modifications are only a temporary solution, according to MortgageKeeper Referral Services Inc.

The Ithaca, N.Y.-based company maintains a database of more than 4,000 nonprofit and government agencies in 75 metro areas in all 50 states, which it says covers 90 percent of high-foreclosure markets.

The company’s analysis of 400,000 distrssed homeowners who sought referrals in 2009 showed employment services were the most requested form of assistance, followed by requests for referrals to agencies providing food assistance, help paying utility bills, prescription drug assistance, and legal assistance.

The results point to foreclosure as a symptom of larger economic problems, said Rochelle Nawrocki Gorey, president of MortgageKeeper Referral Services, in a press release.

"In almost all cases, something is forcing a family to miss their mortgage payments," Nawrocki Gorey said. "If these underlying issues go unaddressed, loan modifications and other aids are only temporary fixes."

MortgageKeeper Referral Services provides lenders access to the database for a fee, saying homeowners who are able to get their finances in order are more likely to stay current on their loan (see story).

The company’s clients include Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC and the Homeownership Preservation Foundation’s (888) 995-HOPE hotline. MortgageKeeper Referral Services offers Web-based applications, including MKDirect.


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