White House Rolls Out 3 Foreclosure Prevention Efforts

April 9, 2013

The Obama administration announced the extension or debut of three programs aimed at helping distressed home owners avoid foreclosure. The three initiatives are:

Increasing outreach in the Making Home Affordable Program: The U.S. Department of Treasury is partnering with NeighborWorks America as well as the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program to increase support for struggling home owners who seek assistance through the Making Home Affordable Program, which includes the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). HAMP reduces monthly payments by more than $540 each month, on average. “Through the new initiative, housing counseling agencies will help struggling home owners successfully complete and submit application documents to their mortgage company free-of-charge,” according to the White House blog. 

Informing the unemployed about programs: The Department of Labor will be encouraging American Job Centers to inform unemployed home owners about federal foreclosure prevention options that are available to them. For example, there is unemployment forbearance through HAMP that allows qualifying home owners who are unemployed to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months. 

HUD’s new Housing Counseling Office: The Department of Housing and Urban Development has launched a Housing Counseling Office, which offers at-risk home owners free or low cost information about foreclosure prevention and loan modification programs. It also offers general information on buying or renting a home, handling foreclosures, and how to avoid scams. The office is made up of a network of 2,500 HUD-approved housing counseling agencies. 

“While we are encouraged that the housing market is on the path to recovery, our job is far from finished,” according to the White House blog. “There are still many struggling home owners who need assistance. By connecting eligible home owners with existing foreclosure prevention programs, our new counseling initiatives will enable more borrowers to remain in their homes and go a long way in ensuring a brighter economic future for these families.”

Source: The White House Blog