June is National Homeownership Month
June 1st marks the beginning of National Homeownership Month, and HPF is taking this time to shine a light on how sustainable homeownership can be achieved with the help of a third party, independent housing counselor.
Whether you are dipping your toes into the housing market for the first time or are a homeowner who is struggling to make ends meet, housing counselors can help you develop a firm understanding of your financial situation and explain the different options and resources that may be available to you. Pre-purchase housing counselors can help prepare borrowers for their first leap into homeownership, while foreclosure prevention counselors can educate distressed homeowners on the various programs and initiatives available that may be able to help them avoid foreclosure.
In both situations, evidence suggests that the guidance of a housing counselor is crucial to success; according to NeighborWorks America, homeowners who receive pre-purchase counseling are one-third less likely to become seriously delinquent on their homes, while a HUD study found that 70 percent of distressed homeowners who completed housing counseling received a mortgage remedy.
HPF is also using National Homeownership Month to remind consumers that, despite significant improvements in the housing sector, there are still millions of distressed homeowners who continue to face myriad mortgage and financial challenges. Several mortgage relief programs have recently been extended to meet those needs, including the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), both of which are available to eligible homeowners through December 31, 2015. Additionally, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently introduced a new streamlined modification program for those who are severely delinquent on their homes.
We encourage homeowners with questions about these programs – or homeowners in need of mortgage and financial guidance – to call our HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE (4673) to speak with a professionally trained housing counselor for free.