On the Market: Foreclosure hot line aids homeowners in trouble

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On the Market

Tom Ross' On the Market column appears Sundays in the Real Estate section of the Steamboat Pilot & Today. Contact him at 871-4205 or e-mail tross@SteamboatToday.com.

— Routt County Public Trustee Jeanne Whiddon recommends the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline as a valuable resource for homeowners worried about making their mortgage payments.

The Colorado Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, with the support of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City maintains the hot line staffed by counselors approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The task force, mindful that there were 39,915 foreclosures in the state in 2008, created the service to help homeowners learn how to talk frankly with their lenders, among other skills.

It boasts that four out of five homeowners who met with a hot line counselor avoided foreclosure.

Contacts include 877-601-HOPE and www.coloradoforeclosurehotline.org

Intrawest sells off 2 of its ski resorts in France

The Canadian news agency Metronews reported Wednesday that Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. parent Intrawest has agreed to sell two of its ski resorts in France for an undisclosed sum.

The two ski areas are the Arc 1950 Resort in Savoie and the Flaine Montsoleil Resort in the Haute-Savoie region of the French Alps.

Speculation that Fortress Investments might seek to sell off Intrawest assets has circulated since fall 2008 after Fortress was forced to renegotiate under duress the terms of a short-term loan of about $1.7 billion arranged to help Intrawest make improvements at its resorts, which range from ski to golf.

The news of the difficult refinancing, which hung in the balance until the last minute, came nine months after outgoing Intrawest CEO Alex Wasilov came to Steamboat and told an audience of travel professionals that Fortress' ownership of Intrawest would infuse the company with cash.

"We're just pleased that we have (Fortress) on board because they have a hell of a lot of capital and they're putting it behind us, and it's going to be our fuel to continue to grow and prosper," Wasilov said here in mid-winter 2008.

Wasilov was succeeded as CEO by former Vail COO Bill Jensen in June. Jensen was in Steamboat on July 31 to meet with Ski Corp. managers.

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