HUD-Approved Housing Counselors
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sponsors housing counselors who can talk to you about your situation and help you decide what to do. HUD approved housing counselors are prohibited from charging you a fee for foreclosure prevention counseling services (you should be aware of this because there are people out there claiming to be a part of HUD and charging you for help – this is illegal). Call 800 569-4287 or go to www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm.
Hope Now Alliance is a cooperative effort by mortgage counselors, lenders, and others to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. Hope Now has a Homeowner’s Hope Hotline that provides foreclosure prevention counseling free of charge at 888 995-4673 or go to www.hoepnow.com.
Neighbor Works America
This is a nonprofit organization that administers housing counseling agencies funded through the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program. For its list of foreclosure counseling agencies, call 202 220-2300 or go to www.nw.org.
Making Home Affordable
The Making Home Affordable Program provides government subsidized refinances and loan modifications for homeowners in distress. Under the Home Affordable Refinance, eligible borrowers of loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which are GFE’s (Government Sponsored Enterprises), can take advantage of historically low interest rates by refinancing up to 125 percent of current market value. Under the Home Affordable Modification, eligible borrowers can obtain more affordable mortgage payments by modifying their existing loans. For more information, go to www.makinghomeaffordable.gov.
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
This is the federal governmental agency that regulates all national banks. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has a number of resources for consumers, community groups, and bankers to help them preserve their home ownership, avoid foreclosure, and protect themselves against foreclosure and debt elimination scams. Contact 800 613-6743 or www.freddiemac.com/avoidforeclosure/workshops.html.
There are many resources on foreclosure prevention. You may want to go to HUD’s website at www.hud.gov/foreclosure, or Fannie Mae’s website at www.fanniemae.com. For tax information, go to www.irs.gov or www.ftb.ca.gov. For credit information, go to www.fico.com. For information about the HAFA program and short selling your home go to www.GoTracy.com .