Housing Counseling Grants Help Fight Foreclosure
Neighbor to Neighbor, a Fort Collins/Loveland non-profit that provides free counseling services to Larimer County residents was recently awarded a housing counseling grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and UrbanDevelopment (HUD). HUD’s Regional Director John Carson presented a check for $46,743 to Neighbor to Neighbor Board President Laurel Buchanan and Executive Director Wendie Robinson. The grant helps Neighbor to Neighbor continue to provide housing counseling services for homebuyers, homeowners, renters and seniors that are considering a reverse mortgage. Mr. Carson explained, “housing counselors not only educate people prior to buying a home, but they also help homeowners that might get in financial trouble keep their homes and avoid foreclosure. FHA’s new loan product FHASecure is designed to help homeowners that have adjustable rate loans and may be facing foreclosure to refinance into fixed rate mortgage loans.”
Alan Batchen spoke about his experiences and how a Neighbor to Neighbor counselor helped him successfully avoid foreclosure. Mr. Batchen faced a difficult decision – pay for vital prescriptions for his wife, or pay the mortgage. Health insurance didn’t cover enough of their medical expenses, and their adjustable rate mortgage payment increased making their house payment unaffordable. “When I got into trouble, I didn’t know where to turn; I didn’t know what more I could do, but Neighbor to Neighbor came through and helped me. I was lost and overwhelmed by the process. Without their help, I would have lost my home,” Mr. Batchen said.
“It’s important in these situations to find someone who can help you navigate the complicated foreclosure process and find someone who understands. Neighbor to Neighbor had the knowledge and the experience to help me,” said Mr. Batchen.
“Consumers need to learn about homebuying and develop their decision-making skills, especially before purchasing a home or refinancing an existing mortgage,” said Wendie Robinson, Executive Director of Neighbor to Neighbor. “Without access to quality information and guidance, many Larimer County residents may miss opportunities to get the most out of what is likely to be the biggest investment of their lives, or worse, fall into mortgage traps that eventually lead to foreclosure and financial ruin,” Ms. Robinson said.
Neighbor to Neighbor is a HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agency and a member of the national NeighborWorks® network, the nation’s largest force of certified homeownership educators who have counseled more than half a million homebuyers.