Thursday, February 14, 2013

Foreclosure Filings Down but Help Still Needed

By Douglas Robinson, media relations manager, NeighborWorks America

Housing counselors at NeighborWorks
affiliate Wyoming Housing Network helped
this couple save their home from foreclosure
RealtyTrac recently reported that new foreclosure filings in January 2013 dropped to the lowest level since April 2007, and that's a big deal and a good sign that many homeowners' financial positions are stabilizing. But the news from RealtyTrac also showed that more than 150,000 new foreclosure related notices were filed in January. These notices are on top of the nearly 1.5 million households who received a foreclosure notice in 2012.

These families need to be directed to the right kind of help and that's where trained housing counselors come in. According to data from the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program, homeowners who receive help from a counseling agency that is a part of the NFMC program are more likely to obtain a mortgage modification, and get a better new mortgage rate if their loan is modified.

This week, the NeighborWorks Training Institute will convene in Atlanta and dozens of nonprofit professionals will take courses in foreclosure mediation, while dozens more will attend courses toward certification in homebuyer education. Homebuyer education prior to making the home purchase helps ensure that homebuyers know the full financial responsibilities of homeownership. NeighborWorks America believes that if more homeowners had the opportunity to work with a homeownership counselor prior to the housing crisis, the crisis would be much less severe.

More information about the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program can be found at: www.nw.or/nfmc. The full report to Congress on the NFMC program is available on the NeighborWorks America website

Information about NeighborWorks homeownership programs can be found at: