NeighborWorks America Announces That More Than 1.3 Million Households Have Received Help From National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program

-- Women Comprise Largest Share of Homeowners Seeking Help: 51%

-- 38% of NFMC Program Clients Spend Half or More of Income on Monthly Payments

-- NFMC Program Saves Homeowners $372 Million Annually

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 1.3 million homeowners have received foreclosure prevention counseling by local nonprofits and state housing finance agencies participating in the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program administered by NeighborWorks America, one of the nation's largest community development corporations. The latest report on the NFMC program also found that 51% percent of homeowners seeking help are women, and overall that 20% of the people being served by NFMC counselors have mortgage rates that exceed 8%. The national level for the 30-year mortgage has averaged less than 5% since April 2010.

The NFMC program began serving homeowners in March 2008.

"The NFMC program is a remarkable success, helping more than 1.3 million homeowners," said NeighborWorks America CEO Eileen Fitzgerald. "The program has had a real effect on families. The average homeowner, who receives NFMC program help saves $2,100 each year after getting her mortgage modified, compared to a homeowner who doesn't work with a NFMC counselor and obtains a mortgage modification. In all, it's estimated that homeowners save more than $370 million annually because of the NFMC program."

According to the report, mortgage affordability remains a top concern, with 38% of NFMC program clients spending half or more of their income on their monthly payments. 23% of NFMC program clients spend more than $2,000 on monthly mortgage payments.

The full report on homeowner savings is available at www.nw.org/nfmc.

Foreclosure Prevention Roadblocks Persist

Nonprofit housing counselors experience many challenges in helping homeowners, according to the report. For example, although the servicing industry has significantly increased its response time, outreach tactics and overall synergy with nonprofit housing counselors, counselors report that the greatest challenge continues to involve servicer responsiveness.

And with the loss of or reduction in income still the top reasons for homeowners to fall behind on their mortgages, counselors report that homeowners' resources are an obstacle to successfully preventing foreclosure.

Avoid Foreclosure Related Scams

Meanwhile, the best resource for homeowners in danger of foreclosure is a HUD approved housing counseling agency. There are approved agencies throughout the country, all working at no-cost to the homeowner. Homeowners should not pay for foreclosure prevention services. People or organizations who charge a fee often are scams. For tips on how to avoid a foreclosure or mortgage modification scam, homeowners should go to www.loanscamalert.org. For information on how to find a free foreclosure prevention counselor working with the NFMC program, homeowners should go to www.findaforeclosurecounselor.org.

About NeighborWorks® America

NeighborWorks® America creates opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation's leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.

SOURCE NeighborWorks America



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