WASHINGTON Dec 6 U.S. homeowners who could
face crippling mortgage payments will have a hard time getting
help if they call a telephone number President George W. Bush
recommended on Thursday -- he gave them the wrong number.
"I have a message for every homeowner worried about rising
mortgage payments: The best you can do for your family is to
call 1-800-995-HOPE," Bush said after a White House meeting
with administration officials and lenders on a new plan to
Unfortunately he was a couple digits off, it is actually
1-888-995-HOPE (4673). That gets you through to the
Homeownership Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit group which
offers free housing counseling for homeowners.
Moments after Bush completed his remarks, a White House
aide told reporters the president misspoke and gave the correct
Calls to the wrong number Bush gave out were met with a
busy signal. A search on the Internet showed it belongs to the
Freedom Christian Academy which offers religious-based
curriculum for home schooling and is located in Ponder, Texas
northwest of Dallas.
(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, Editing by David Storey)