From the Public Policy Office: HUD Releases Guide to Help Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure
January 2, 2018
In a press release issued on December 20, 2017, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the Homeowners Guide to Success as a part of a public-private partnership between federal agencies and industry partners. The guide provides homeowners with information on the critical first steps to take if they are at risk of missing a mortgage payment or facing foreclosure.
We all know that hardships such as family emergencies, job loss, or natural disasters may fall on anyone at any time. Unfortunately, these hardships may be long-term. The Guide is a valuable tool in helping determine what action needs to be taken to avoid foreclosure. HUD Secretary Ben Carson said, “This guide arms consumers with easy to understand, reliable information about the assistance available to help them keep their homes.” Here is how the guide works:
If a homeowner is having trouble paying their mortgage, the mortgage company will provide the homeowner with a mortgage servicer or a HUD-approved housing counselor to offer basic solutions on managing payments and avoiding foreclosure. The mortgage servicer or the housing counselor will coach the homeowner on the best solution moving forward. The mortgage servicer will even help with composing a “hardship letter” that may offer the homeowner more time to weigh solutions.
Which mortgage assistance option will best fit a homeowner’s needs? The HUD-approved housing counselor can help. Whether it’s a reinstatement, forbearance, repayment plan, modification, a short sale, or a Deed-In-Lieu of foreclosure, the housing counselor will determine the best course of action.
HUD’s Homeowners Guide to Success can be a resource for REALTORS® who may know a consumer or former client who is going through a hardship avoid foreclosure.