HUD study highlights benefits of housing counseling

Two new studies by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) illustrate the positive impact housing counseling has on consumers in two distinct situations: those who are considering buying a home and those who are struggling to stay in their home.

The “Foreclosure Counseling Outcome Study” revealed that with the help of a HUD-certified counselor, nearly 70 percent of those counseled obtained a mortgage remedy to retain their home. In addition, 56 percent cured their defaults and became current on their mortgages.

Through the “Pre-Purchase Counseling Outcome Study,” HUD found that 35 percent of participants became homeowners within 18 months of pre-purchase counseling.

“These two studies underscore the need to continue supporting housing counseling programs across the country, especially during this period when so many families are struggling with mortgage issues,” said Jo Kerstetter, vice president of financial education and community relations for Money Management International (MMI). “HUD-certified pre-purchase counseling and foreclosure prevention counseling improves the likelihood that a homeowner will remain in their home.”

“Here at MMI, we see first-hand the positive impact our housing counseling services have on consumers,” said Daniel Fenton, senior director of housing for MMI. “We are pleased to see that HUD’s results validate what we already believe to be true.”

Whether a first-time homebuyer or facing foreclosure, MMI is approved by HUD to deliver a variety of housing counseling services and financial educational programs to help consumers obtain and keep their piece of the American Dream:

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 to get help and advice for handling their past due mortgages.

Reverse Mortgage Counseling — MMI is approved by HUD to provide counseling required by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to complete an application for a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage, also known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), is a type of loan that allows homeowners who are 62 years of age or older to convert part of the equity in their homes into tax-free income.

First-time homebuyer workshops — MMI offers community workshops designed to provide consumers with the information they need to make informed decisions about becoming a homeowner, as well as useful information to assist with correcting credit issues, obtaining a mortgage, shopping for a home and completing the inspection and appraisal process.

Housing counseling services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone and online. In-person credit counseling is also available by appointment in the local markets in which we operate.

Tanisha (Warner) Smith is a former communications manager at MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.