Consumer counseling in the area of housing has been made available over the past months, particularly related to the federal Making Home Affordable Program, and data that was released in the early part of June has shown that homeowners who are receiving assistance from these housing counseling plans may be in a better position to find success in foreclosure prevention. June brought new data from HAMP which indicated that homeowners are still continuing to call the HOPE Hotline in order to find guidance that they need through the modification plan. This data was tracked through the month of April and showed that there were homeowners who have continued calling in from March to April and there were those who did received free assistance.
In the month of April, it was stated that close to 33,000 homeowners received free housing counseling assistance, with a little over 68,000 making a call to housing counselors in that month. Those numbers were slightly lower than the March report, which indicated that a little over 39,000 homeowners received free housing counseling assistance and over 81,000 calls were fielded. Obviously, some homeowners who may have called the HOPE Hotline were only there to wage complaints or may have had general questions that did not require official housing counseling, but some homeowners are finding that this resource, or approved housing counselors that can help guide homeowners through the modification program, can be greatly beneficial when it comes to finding affordability and preventing foreclosure.
It must be understood though, housing counselors can not automatically guarantee a homeowner will move through the modification process without any problems or difficulty, nor can they guarantee that a homeowner will successfully acquire and complete a trial modification period. Also, homeowners have fallen prey to scams in some cases, so it goes without saying that homeowners need to choose their counselors wisely and only deal with reputable organizations.
Yet, what these housing counselors hope to do is essentially guide homeowners through the application process and what will be required of them in terms of qualifying for a modification, as well as, to help homeowners explore alternative options that may be available when factors like unemployment are weighing down on their financial ability to make their mortgage payment.
Homeowners should know that when it comes to affording monthly trial payments or keeping up their end of the bargain, so to speak, within the modification program these counselors will not be able to necessarily prevent any problems that may arise in terms of a homeowner meeting qualifications. Counseling assistance for consumers can be helpful in terms of aiding homeowners when it comes to understanding what the requirements of modification program are, if they do indeed potentially qualify for federal home loan modification assistance, or what options available directly from a servicer or state housing agency may be available if HAMP programming is of no use.
While June is sure to see more foreclosures and, with potential homeowners facing unemployment throughout this month or the summer, it’s understandable that there will be a continued need for foreclosure prevention through these modification efforts, and if homeowners are finding that they are unsure of where to begin or may be having trouble with communications or other aspects of foreclosure prevention, these counselors may be of some aid, but again are no guarantee when it comes to preventing the loss of a home.