On March 3, the Coalition of HUD Intermediaries sent a letter to Congress urging members to continue funding the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program in addition to continuing to provide funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Housing Counseling Assistance Program. The NFMC program provides a critical lifeline for millions of homeowners who are still in financial distress: facing foreclosure, burdened by negative equity and struggling to recover from the housing crisis. The Housing Counseling Assistance program provides grants to HUD-approved counseling agencies to facilitate a wide-range of counseling services, including pre-purchase counseling, foreclosure prevention counseling, and reverse mortgage counseling for seniors.
Although the President did not include support for the NFMC program in his budget request to Congress, the Coalition feels strongly that continued support for this program is imperative to assist millions of struggling households that are still burdened by the impacts of the financial crisis and uneven economic recovery across the country.
NFMC funding makes it possible for the nation's HUD-approved nonprofit housing counseling and State Housing Finance agencies to offer free, convenient and confidential assistance to homeowners across the country. Well-trained, certified housing counselors help people avoid foreclosure - through a refinance, modification or alternative - and assist those with existing modifications to manage the interest rate increases that are looming in 2016.
Since its inception, NFMC funding has provided assistance to nearly two million homeowners. Elimination of the program will leave an estimated 250,000 American families without an important source of suppoert over the next year. Housing counseling agencies cannot continue to provide services on the scale that our communities need without the NFMC program. As the housing crisis has endured - longer than we expected - mortgage foreclosure challenges have grown more complex, requiring greater investent in time and effort to provide the help that many millions of families continue to need. Even as the crisis continues to ease, thousands of consumers are still calling housing counselors every day for assistance in resolving their housing difficulties.
The Coalition urges congress to continue funding this criticial program for American families.