SOURCE: Neighborworks America

NeighborWorks America

September 08, 2014 14:00 ET

Homeowners Delinquent or in Foreclosure Save Time, Headache and Money When Working With Housing Counselors

Realtors® and Lenders Benefit When Homeowners Have Foreclosure Prevention Counseling

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Sep 8, 2014) -  A new study for NeighborWorks America by the Urban Institute finds that homeowners have saved tens of millions of dollars annually because of the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program. Specifically, homeowners working with NFMC program counselors are nearly three times more likely to obtain a money-saving mortgage modification, are nearly twice as likely to get their mortgage back on track without a modification, about 60 percent less likely to re-default after curing a serious delinquency, and, if necessary, able to complete short sales faster than homeowners who don't work with housing counselors. The research is based on analysis of nearly 240,000 homeowners with outcomes observed through June 2013. More than 1.8 million homeowners have been helped by the NFMC program, administered by NeighborWorks America since it began in March 2008.

"If there was any lingering doubt about the value of NFMC counseling for homeowners and the broader real estate industry, the research announced today should put those doubts to rest," said NeighborWorks America acting CEO Chuck Wehrwein.

"Whether measured by benefits to homeowners through more likely mortgage modifications, sustainability of those modification or mortgage cures, the research answers all housing counseling benefit questions with a resounding 'yes.'"

Housing industry better served

The research suggests benefits to servicers and to Realtors working with homeowners in default. The NFMC program consistently shows that homeowners were able to cure delinquent mortgages more frequently with the assistance of an NFMC counselor than owners who do not receive such help. As a result, servicers likely saved lost revenues by having performing loans back on their balance sheets.

Moreover, servicers should take note that homeowners who work with NFMC housing counselors are more likely to cure their mortgage without a modification than other homeowners in default.

"The bottom line for the servicing industry is that housing counseling saves them time and money," explained Wehrwein. "Servicers that increase their partnership with NFMC program counselors are benefiting their shareholders and mortgage customers."

It's also good business for real estate agents helping their clients negotiate a short sale so that homeowners could put a troubled loan behind them more quickly.

About NeighborWorks America

NeighborWorks America has created 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 $22.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation's leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.

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