HOUSTON, June 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- June is National Homeownership Month , a month-long initiative designed to highlight the benefits of owning and maintaining a home and to recognize the important role successful homeownership plays in building and maintaining viable communities. Money Management International (MMI) celebrates this month-long initiative by providing potential and existing homeowners with valuable tools and resources for protecting their piece of the American Dream.
One of the biggest lessons learned throughout the process of recovering from the housing crisis, is that counseling and education is key to successful homeownership. In fact, a recent NeighborWorks America study found that homeowners who received pre-purchase housing counseling and education services are about one-third less likely to become seriously delinquent on their mortgages within the first two years of owning their home when compared to homeowners who don't receive housing counseling and education.
In addition, a recent study by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) found that nearly 70 percent of homeowners who sought counseling prior to falling behind on mortgage payments remained in their homes and in a current status some 18 months later. In contrast, only 30 percent of homeowners counseled six months or more after falling behind reached the same level of stability during the same timeframe.
"Education and housing counseling prior to purchasing a home or falling behind on mortgage payments can make the difference of experiencing the true American Dream or an American nightmare," said Jo Kerstetter, vice president of financial education and community relations for MMI. "Our housing counselors and educators are trained to match homeowners with the best programs and services to fit their housing needs, while delivering the training needed to build the skills necessary for developing and maintaining a budget appropriate for successfully managing all homeownership expenses."
As a HUD-approved housing counseling organization, MMI offers first-time homebuyer workshops and web seminars as well as housing counseling programs designed to help struggling homeowners overcome foreclosure. Since the beginning of the housing crisis, MMI has delivered counseling and financial education to more than 22,000 homebuyers and nearly 600,000 consumers struggling to pay their mortgage.
With the economy still in recovery, both homeowners and homebuyers are encouraged to take advantage of the homeowner financial education and counseling services offered during National Homeownership Month. For many American consumers, even the smallest economic shift downward could force a minor financial setback into a major financial emergency. To register for a workshop or counseling session, or to learn more about the housing programs and services offered by MMI, visit MoneyManagement.org.
About Money Management International
Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI's counselors are both HUD certified to deliver housing counseling services, including delinquency mortgage counseling, and approved by the EOUST to deliver bankruptcy counseling and education. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24/7 by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call 800.432.7310 or visit www.MoneyManagement.org.
SOURCE Money Management International