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Posted on September 02, 2009

MMI offers solutions for struggling homeowners

Money Management International (MMI), a national HUD-approved nonprofit housing counseling agency, is prepared to meet the challenging needs of individuals and families still struggling to remain in their homes.

While many economic experts are optimistic about an economic recovery, many homeowners are still struggling. According to Realty Trac, there were more than 1.5 million foreclosures filed in the first half of the year and the second half of the year is predicted to look the same - which is more than three times the normal average. With so many homeowners unemployed or underemployed and with the unemployment rate expected to increase and remain high until 2011, the road to recovery will be a long one for many.

MMI is committed to looking for every opportunity to expand its counseling efforts, programs, and services to provide immediate support to distressed homeowners. Through partnerships, grant programs, and educational outreach activities specifically focused on helping families remain in their homes, MMI has already assisted more than 126,000 homeowners this year.

Following are some examples of how MMI is able to help struggling homeowners:

Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline – MMI is proud to be one of the organizations supporting the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline, providing foreclosure prevention and loss mitigation counseling services. Every day thousands of homeowners from across the nation call the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline. Through this service, MMI counseled nearly 84,000 homeowners and recommended approximately 41 percent for loan modifications in lieu of foreclosure filings.

MMI PHASES Program — The Preserving Homeownership and Savings Education Strategy (PHASES) program is made possible through grant funds totaling $2 million from HSBC-North America. This program is available to homeowners in select states and provides qualified applicants with grants to pay past due mortgage payments and other outstanding debts. So far, MMI awarded grants totaling $1,123,742 to families trying save their homes from foreclosure.

FICO Mortgage Recovery Initiative (FICO MRI) – Through a long standing relationship and partnership with FICO, MMI is pleased to be the first housing counseling organization to pilot the FICO MRI program. The program is supported through the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline and is designed to provide FICO customers with foreclosure prevention information and advice. Since April, MMI processed more than 15,000 applications from individuals and families looking for loan modification and other workout solutions.

“Homeowners looking for foreclosure prevention counseling can count on MMI’s housing counselors to help them make wise choices about their future, avoid the financial and emotional trauma of foreclosure, and help them understand their options in what is often a very confusing process,” said Cate Williams, vice president of financial literacy at MMI. “MMI’s housing counselors understand that losing a home is not just a housing issue; it is one of the most emotionally disruptive, distressing, and financially draining things that can happen to a family.”

About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, and counseling services; including housing counseling, bankruptcy counseling and education, and debt management assistance. MMI has been helping consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan, and repay debts since 1958. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24/7 by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call 800.432.7310 or visit www.MoneyManagement.org.