By Ashley Chambers In an effort to address foreclosures and keep struggling residents in their homes, Wells Fargo will be hosting their free Home Preservation Workshop on Wednesday, February 13 at the Oakland Convention Center. The workshop is an opportunity for Wells Fargo customers who are facing economic challenges to meet one-on-one with bank representatives and discuss their eligibility for a loan modification, reduction on their mortgage, and other options. One in every 518 homes in Oakland received a foreclosure filing in December, according to Realtytrac.com. Jim Foley, President of the Greater Bay region, says foreclosures have not been this low in over six years. “I think there are a couple drivers that are causing some strong improvement in the housing market,” he says. “One-I think banks like Wells Fargo are having more success in reaching out and connecting with our customers; second-the economy itself has strengthened; then the third driver, which is especially good news, is we’ve seen home values start to rise.” Customers of Wells Fargo’s Home Mortgage, Financial and Home Equity services may be eligible to refinance loans that are “under water”-owing more on their mortgage than the value of their home. “Every customer situation is different,” he says. “That’s why this face-to-face opportunity is the best one because it really allows us to understand what can we do with those customers. We even invite those customers that have heard no in the past.” For many customers who may be facing dire financial circumstances, staying in their homes holds sentimental value. Foley recalls a man fighting to keep his home, which had been in his family for four generations, at a home preservation event done with a local church in Oakland. Foley says, “[This] gentleman came up to me and he said, ‘I just want you to know how happy I am I got a modification today. This home has been in my family for four generations and one of the reasons that I was willing to come in is because you did it in conjunction with my local church and it was face-to-face.’ ” Foley invites all Wells Fargo customers to come meet face-to-face with their representatives on Wednesday, February 13 at the Oakland Convention Center, 1001 Broadway, from 9am-7pm. Parking is free! For more information, visit www.wfhmevents.com/leadingthewayhome or call 1-800-405-8067.