Homeowners who are looking for assistance may find free help from housing counseling resources available from programs like the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline as recent information has shown that numbers from August to September have remained strong in terms of the homeowners who are calling in and receiving free housing counseling assistance. Obviously, homeowners may be able to get information related to their mortgage servicer specifically, how the modification program works, or alternative plans that may be helpful for that particular situation as some homeowners are simply a loss of how they can benefit from plans that are currently in place.
Yet, this does not mean that homeowners are in a position to benefit from this counseling assistance as simply speaking with a counselor does not necessarily mean that a homeowner will be able to use the information they have to their advantage as there are those who simply do not qualify for current programs or, as we have seen in some cases, there are homeowners who continue to struggle with their mortgage payment even if mortgage assistance plans are offered. Payment reductions are obviously the main goal of many but different types of assistance that may make payments for homeowners, offer payment assistance to lower payment agreements, or even opportunities to acquire forbearance can be helpful in the short-term for some that may not always be beneficial.
Yet, as of September 2011, cumulative totals released by the Treasury Department showed that over 2.5 million homeowners had called for mortgage assistance from the Homeowners HOPE Hotline, with 1.2 million homeowners receiving free housing counseling assistance. Also, in September the number of homeowners receiving free counseling was reportedly at 31,509, and this type of aid could potentially help homeowners when it comes to better understanding their position and the opportunities specifically available to them.
Housing counseling has also been an area of hindrance for some homeowners as there are scams still in place, which is why many officials want homeowners to consult these reputable resources as not only has the HOPE Hotline been helpful but there are some homeowners who may have received assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, homeowners do need to be aware of these scams that are out there as some may ask homeowners to take actions that could be contrary to what their servicer wants, may cause further financial distress, or again simply put homeowners in a worse position as some scams have gone so far as to ask homeowners to make payments directly to them.
In the end, counseling is in place to provide help through information, and then entities such as financial institutions or state housing agencies will be consulted and programs applied for through their assistance plans that are in place directly from these sources, rather than through a counseling agency.