[Insert Popular Quote about Things Never Going as Planned]

The Newark portion of the celebrity foreclosure prevention campaign in 2009, featuring Queen Latifah, basically went according to plan albeit a few hitches along the way.

I wish I could say the same for the other planned cities and celebrities that were lined up for the remainder of the year.

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Queen Latifah, Foreclosure, Newark & Lessons Learned

I apologize for leaving you all hanging for more than two weeks. I know you’ve been chomping at the bit to hear more about Queen Latifah, Mary J Blige, Dwyane Wade, Alonzo Mourning and all of the other amazing stars that were part of our mildly-successful-but-could-have-been-better foreclosure prevention campaign.

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Keep it simple, Stupid!

As I mentioned in the previous post (which I am cleverly mentioning in vague terms so you will read it again), I felt like the well-intentioned celebrity foreclosure awareness campaign that kicked off in January of 2009 was a total train wreck.

The basic problem with the project was that there were way too many cooks in the kitchen. It was my understanding that the Fannie Mae Foundation was going to give HOPE NOW the $1.5 million and let the organization manage the project as we saw fit.

It didn’t happen that way.

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Celebrity Disaster, Part I

In late 2008, HOPE NOW received a sizable grant from the Fannie Mae Foundation to embark on a celebrity campaign designed to bring awareness to foreclosure prevention solutions and mortgage scams.

On paper it seemed like a worthwhile endeavor. The housing crisis was out of control and harnessing the power of celebrities, with ties to cities with major foreclosure issues, would go a long way in educating at-risk homeowners on the myriad mortgage solutions available to them.

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A New Player Emerges

As the mortgage crisis was transforming from a bad dream into a full blown nightmare in 2007, it was clear that a collaborative approach was the only way to deal with the unprecedented number of homeowners facing foreclosure nationwide.

The mortgage industry needed to not only band together, but it needed to bring the non-profits, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, mortgage insurers and other stakeholders to the table as well.

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