CCCS and the NFCC celebrate National Homeownership Month
June is National Homeownership Month, and CCCS and the NFCC are using this month to call attention to the opportunities consumers have to achieve sustainable homeownership through access to professional housing counseling and homebuyer education.
Over the last several years, HUD-approved housing counseling organizations have provided effective foreclosure prevention counseling to millions of struggling homeowners. Recent studies have demonstrated that struggling homeowners who receive housing counseling are 67 percent more likely to remain current on their mortgage after receiving a loan modification than are non-counseled borrowers. These studies demonstrate the important role that housing counseling agencies can play in assisting the nearly five million homeowners who are delinquent or in foreclosure.
As the economy recovers and the housing market continues to improve, housing counseling can help first-time homebuyers understand the home buying process by enabling many homeowners to better manage the responsibilities of homeownership and avoid falling into default. Several studies released over the past year have shown that first-time homebuyers who receive pre-purchase housing counseling are 29 percent less likely to become seriously delinquent on their mortgage.
In addition to the recent research studies that show the effectiveness of housing counseling, many leaders in government are recognizing the important role that housing counseling serves in ensuring a healthy, stable housing market going forward. The Bipartisan Policy Center's Housing Commission noted in its recent report that "housing counseling can improve prospective borrowers' access to affordable, prudent mortgage loans, especially for families that otherwise might not qualify or who may experience other barriers to mainstream lending."
Sarah Gerecke, Deputy Assistant Secretary of HUD's Office of Housing Counseling, also recognizes the importance of housing counseling: "For those of us involved in HUD housing counseling programs, every month is Homeownership Month, as our focus on helping homeowners understand all of their housing options continues year-round," she said. "Working with partners on the ground, we can shape a housing market that is stronger and safer than before. In doing so, we continue to restore the dream of homeownership, creating a stronger middle-class and a stronger America."
"Whether you are considering homeownership for the first time or are a homeowner who wants to maintain or improve your financial footing, a HUD-approved housing counseling agency can help free of charge," said the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Acting Chief of Homeownership Preservation Mark McArdle. "Additionally, the Federal government's Making Home Affordable Program was just extended through 2015 to ensure that there are continued resources available to help Americans maintain homeownership."
As a HUD-certified housing counseling agency, CCCS of Chattanooga offers first time homebuyers' education as well as foreclosure prevention assistance. To learn more about available services, click here or call (423) 490-5620.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), founded in 1951, is the nation's largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit 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. NFCC Members annually help millions of consumers through more than 700 community-based offices nationwide. For free and affordable confidential advice through a reputable NFCC Member, call (800) 388-2227, (en Español (800) 682-9832) or visit www.nfcc.org.