$63.1 Million Awarded to Stave Off Foreclosures Author: Colin Robins March 19, 2014

NeighborWorks America announced Tuesday in a press release that $63.1 million had been awarded to 29 state housing finance agencies, 18 HUD-approved housing counseling intermediaries, and 67 community-based NeighborWorks organizations.

The money, provided through the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program, is earmarked for counseling to families and individuals facing the threat of foreclosure.

The organization notes that although the number of households facing foreclosure is below the peak seen a few years ago during the housing crisis, “[M]any hundreds of thousands of homeowners will still face trouble with their mortgages this year.”

More than 167,800 families who face foreclosure are expected to be directly assisted by the funds.

NeighborWorks America notes that more than 1,100 nonprofit counseling agencies and local NeighborWorks organizations across the country are expected to be engaged with the NFMC program as a result of the award.

The agencies provide, “[F]ree assistance to families at risk of losing their homes, determine homeowner eligibility for the various state and federal foreclosure prevention assistance programs, help homeowners understand the complex foreclosure process, and identify possible courses of action so their homeowner clients can make informed decisions and take action,” according to the release.

Additionally, funds will go to the training of 2,000 counselors who can assist in foreclosure-related issues.

The NeighborWorks America program has been effective. The release cites a 33 percent decline in serious mortgage delinquencies for homeowners who received NeighborWorks pre-purchase guidance, compared to similar homeowners who received no pre-purchase help.

However, the $63.1 million awarded is not enough to satisfy all demand for NFMC funding. Requests for awards totaled in excess of $100 million dollars, which suggests that the many families seeking assistance will not get it.

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