Colleen Hernandez, CEO of Homeownership Preservation Foundation

  • Updated: January 5, 2013 - 9:18 AM

« We are quite sure that the housing crisis is far from over. Our priority is to make sure that people get the counseling they need to preserve their homes. »

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Colleen Hernandez, president and CEO of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, which operates a national crisis hotline service for distressed homeowners facing foreclosure. Monday, December 10, 2012.

Photo: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

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« We are quite sure that the housing crisis is far from over. Our priority is to make sure that people get the counseling they need to preserve their homes. »

About Hernandez: She helped build the HPF into the largest national crisis hotline for homeowners facing foreclosure. Last year, the network received 1 million calls and served 250,000 homeowners.

Personal file: Hernandez grew up in Kansas City, Mo., married a military guy and spent three years with him in Alaska, where she got her bachelor's degree from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Hernandez is back living in Kansas City, but she commutes to the HPF's Minneapolis headquarters and to Washington, D.C., where she lobbies on behalf of the organization. "My husband mentioned that I was on a plane 187 times last year," she said. How does she unwind? By staying at her Kansas City home, where she can spend time with her dozen grandchildren, in her kitchen and in her garden.

What's big in 2013: Even though a housing recovery is underway, HPF's work is far from over. Nationwide, there are 3 million homeowners facing foreclosure and 12 million under water on their mortgages. But housing stress is just the tip of the iceberg for many families, so the agency will focus on financial issues beyond foreclosures.

Final word: "We will use lessons learned through the crisis and apply them to making people financially stable," she said.

JIM BUCHTA

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