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Tag Archives: Housing Counseling

FHA Program Aims to Expand Credit; Lower Risk

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) issued its "Blueprint for Access," which aims to expand credit access for underserved borrowers by utilizing housing counseling as a means to reduce the possibility of loans becoming seriously delinquent. The announcement highlights a new pilot program, Homeowners Armed with Knowledge (HAWK), which incorporates housing counseling into the home buying process.

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Feature: New World Order

The veterans of this business can remember when REOs ran in the neighborhood of 150,000 a year, delinquency rates were just around 4 percent, and you only needed a credit score of 620 to qualify for a prime mortgage loan. But the housing finance industry, and default servicing especially, has changed. In the cover story of it's September issue, DS News looks at the many factors--from a slew of new regulatory mandates to an altered public perception of debt obligations--that have altered the business into something far from customary.

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Unemployment, High Rates Still Obstacles for Many Facing Foreclosure

The National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program has provided counseling to almost 1.6 million homeowners across the country since the program started in 2008. According to an NFMC congressional report released this week, common attributes of struggling homeowners include unemployment or underemployment and high mortgage rates. The report also indicates a homeowner who seeks counseling is 97 percent more likely to obtain a loan modification and avoid foreclosure.

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CFPB Offers Additional Guidance on Mortgage Servicing Rules

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a bulletin and interim final rule Tuesday to provide greater clarity to the market concerning mortgage servicing rules that take effect in January 2014. The clarifications address contact with delinquent borrowers, communications with family members after a borrower dies, and treatment of consumers who have filed for bankruptcy.

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Borrowers Find Holistic Financial Advice Through Post-Mod Counseling

More than 11,000 homeowners have participated in Fannie Mae's post-modification counseling since 2011. Recognizing that many homeowners continue to struggle with their finances after receiving loan modifications, Fannie Mae developed the post-modification counseling program to take a holistic approach to individual finances and set borrowers on a sustainable path. Currently, there are 18 servicers that utilize the program.

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California Groups Awarded $9.4M to Provide Foreclosure Help

Grant funds secured through the national mortgage settlement will be used to provide a wide range of assistance to California homeowners impacted by the state's foreclosure crisis. California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced 21 organizations were awarded funds through a $9.4 million grant.

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HUD Secretary Speaks on Impact of Automatic Spending Cuts

In his written testimony before the Senate Committee on Appropriations, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan spoke on the potential impact to households across the nation if across-the-board automatic spending cuts were to take effect. The cuts are scheduled for March 1. Speaking from HUD's perspective, Donovan says the cuts, also referred to as the sequester, would be especially damaging on middle class families, communities, and the economy across the nation. More specifically, he warned the cuts would keep 75,000 households from receiving foreclosure prevention, pre-purchase, rental, or other counseling though HUD housing counseling grants.

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MortgageKeeper Collaborates with Family Credit Management

MortgageKeeper Referral Services announced Tuesday that it will begin working with Family Credit Management to help its counselors connect consumers to vetted community services via MortgageKeeper's MKDesktop product. Family Credit Management is a nonprofit consumer credit and housing counseling agency licensed in over 20 states. It's counselors will now have Web-based access to MortgageKeeper's nationwide database of more than 6,500 nonprofit and government services.

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