Homeownership Preservation Foundation Comments on Latest HUD Studies to Prove Value, Efficacy of Housing Counseling
Homeowners Receiving Counseling Far Less Likely to Default on Mortgage Loans
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 16, 2012 – The Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF), an independent national nonprofit dedicated to helping distressed homeowners navigate financial challenges and avoid mortgage foreclosure through its Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline at 888-995-HOPE™, applauded study findings released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that validated the value and efficacy of housing counseling at facilitating sustainable homeownership.
The 18-month HUD studies examined the impact of HUD-approved housing counseling for families considering the purchase of a first home and for those facing foreclosure. According to HUD, housing counseling significantly improved the likelihood of continued homeownership for both study groups. Thirty-five percent of those receiving pre-purchase counseling became homeowners, with only one homeowner eventually falling behind on their mortgage payments, a greatly improved outcome over prevailing delinquency rates within the general population. Further, nearly 70% of those counseled for foreclosure prevention obtained a mortgage remedy, with more than half subsequently becoming current on their mortgages.
“The results of these studies could not be more clear: housing counseling works,” said Colleen Hernandez, CEO of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation.
She added: “These study findings released by HUD validate and confirm numerous other independent studies that have demonstrated the benefit of housing counseling. We applaud HUD for its diligence at quantifying and corroborating what our housing counselors have learned first-hand with the distressed homeowners they work with every day, which is that housing counseling helps homeowners avoid foreclosure and make better informed financial decisions about homeownership.”
Another significant finding released by HUD: the foreclosure prevention study also revealed that there was no discernable difference in the efficacy of phone-based counseling versus in-person counseling; in fact, those counseled via phone had more positive housing outcomes in terms of loan modification, principal reduction, and likelihood to remain in home and be current.
“It is our hope that these findings will serve as a clarion call for the continued support of housing counseling programs,” said Ms. Hernandez. “The housing crisis is far from over. Millions of Americans still face foreclosure and could greatly benefit from the reliable guidance and information available from HUD-approved counselors such as ours.”
About the Homeownership Preservation Foundation
The Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) is an independent national nonprofit dedicated to helping distressed homeowners navigate financial challenges and avoid mortgage foreclosure. HPF guides consumers onto the path of sustainable homeownership and develops innovative solutions to preserve and expand homeownership. Through its Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline, 888-995-HOPE™, HPF provides comprehensive financial education and confidential foreclosure prevention counseling for FREE, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, in over 170 languages. Since 2007, HPF has served more than six million distressed homeowners, an average of 5,500 each weekday, who depend upon HPF as a trusted, neutral source of information and assistance. For more information about the Homeownership Preservation Foundation or the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline, please visit www.995hope.org