The value of housing counseling cannot be overstated; it reduces loan delinquency. A study of Freddie Mac’s affordable lending program showed counseling lowered 90–day delinquency rates by 19% overall. Borrowers who received individual counseling experienced a 23% reduction in delinquency rates, while borrowers who received classroom and home study education obtained 25% and 21% reductions, respectively.
Delinquency/foreclosure counseling also has purpose. It helps the borrower understand the importance of timely mortgage payments; empowers the borrower to recognize the warning signs of mortgage delinquency; and helps the borrower develop preemptive strategies for delinquency. Lastly, it guides the borrower through the transition from homeowner to renter.
Mortgage default counseling is both group and one–on–one counseling. It consists of telephone screening to determine the hardship (reason for default), amount of the arrearage (past–due amount required), customer’s ability to become current, and to gather database information. One–on–one counseling will consist of a review of the screening inquiries (in particular the Making Home Affordable screening), documentation collection, consultation with Mortgage Company to determine re–payment plans/negotiations, budget counseling and money management. Group workshops will include financial literacy and the foreclosure process. Referrals are made if necessary. If default is not preventable and foreclosure is foreseeable, the customer is advised on foreclosure procedures and alternatives to foreclosure (i.e. quick sale in lieu of foreclosure, deed–in–lieu, etc.).
Renee Carroll, Housing Services Program Manager
Phone: 301.322.5700 x 120 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christal Marshall, Housing Counselor
Phone. 301.322.5700 Ext. 119 / Email: email@example.com