Washington, D.C.-based non-profit NeighborWorks America has announced the awarding of $44.8 million to various organizations in the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program to help distressed families and individuals whose homes are facing foreclosure.
While foreclosure numbers have declined significantly since the peak years of 2010 and 2011, a recent uptick in foreclosure starts demonstrates the need still exists for loss mitigation programs such as the NFMC to help families and individuals stay in their homes when their mortgages become delinquent. The current demand for NFMC grant funds ($87 million) was nearly double the amount of $44.8 million that was awarded.
The latest grants were awarded Friday to 25 state housing finance agencies, 18 HUD-approved housing counseling intermediaries, and 68 community-based NeighborWorks organizations. This is the ninth round of grant funding conducted through the NFMC program, and it is expected to directly assist approximately 130,000 homeowners who are facing foreclosure. A NeighborWorks study prepared last year by the Urban Institute found that homeowners who work with NFMC counselors were twice as likely to cure a serious delinquency or foreclosure and three times as likely to receive some type of permanent loan modification.
Through the latest grand funding awards, more than 1,100 nonprofit counseling agencies and local NeighborWorks organizations are expected to participate in the NFMC program, which provides free assistance to homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure and determines their eligibility for state and federal loss mitigation programs to help prevent foreclosure. Foreclosure prevention counselors will work with the homeowners to help them understand the foreclosure process and assist them with identifying courses of actions to take so that the homeowners can make informed decisions with regards to their homes.
In addition to directly helping families, the funding will also go to training foreclosure counselors through the NFMC program. NeighborWorks estimates that this round of grant funding will go toward training about 1,600 foreclosure counselors.
The latest round of grant funding brings the total awarded through the NFMC program since March 2008 to more than $750 million.