HUD Kicks Off Six-City Financial Literacy Campaign To Help Troubled Homeowners
|January 15, 2009|
H.R. 384 "TARP Reform and Accountability Act of 2009"|
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U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Steve Preston unveiled HUD's latest effort to prevent foreclosure by launching an aggressive consumer education campaign in six cities. HUD's "Keep Your Home. Know Your Loan." campaign will kick off in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Phoenix. Preston launched the public awareness initiative at Neighborhood Housing Services, a New York City agency that offers clients free mortgage delinquency and default resolution counseling.
[Logo: Keep Your Home. Know your Loan.]
HUD's financial literacy campaign builds on the Department's continuing commitment to support its 2,600 housing counseling agencies across the country. In 2008, demand for HUD-approved counseling increased significantly. Meanwhile, the number of foreclosure rescue scams has also increased in response to the nation's housing crisis.
"This campaign is a call to action for families at risk of losing their homes," said Preston. "We want people to pick up the phone and call a HUD-approved housing counseling agency before they reach a point of no return. Keeping your home may be as easy as dialing (877) HUD-1515."
Many troubled homeowners seek help late in their financial crisis thereby limiting their loan modification options. HUD's campaign will target homeowners who are three-to-six months from defaulting on their mortgage, facing a reset on their adjustable-rate mortgage, or are experiencing a family crisis such as unemployment or skyrocketing health care costs in 2009.
The "Keep Your Home. Know Your Loan." campaign will include print, radio and television public service announcements, as well as a tool kit for non-profit counseling agencies that will support the effort. In each PSA, consumers are directed to call HUD's toll-free counseling hotline (877-HUD-1515) to arrange free face-to-face meetings with a counselor near them. Since most HUD-approved counseling agencies lack the resources for marketing and outreach, the Department is launching this campaign to help consumers earlier in their financial crisis and to fight the explosion of "pay-to-play" loan modification scams.
HUD's support for housing counseling agencies has grown significantly, from $20 million in 2001 to $50 million in 2008. In addition, federal support has now grown exponentially with $360 million in additional funds in 2008 specifically for foreclosure prevention counseling. HUD has requested another $65 million to support local housing counseling agencies in FY 2009.