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October 4th, 2013

What is a housing counselor?

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Below is a post by Chloe Paglia, first appearing on our partner site the Zing blog at Quicken Loans:

ApprovedHousing counselors are professionals who assist you in the process of saving your home from foreclosure. Once you meet with a housing counselor, explain your objectives and give them specific information about your situation, they’ll guide you through a series of actions to lead you in the right direction. Some services charge a fee, while others, like HUD, offer the help of housing counselors free of charge.

Services offered by housing counselors

Housing counselors will contact your lender and make you aware of any deadlines coming up, particularly the foreclosure sale date. This will help set the pace of the following actions:

  • One of your counselor’s first steps will be helping you draft your hardship letter, explaining why you fell behind on paying your mortgage and how you plan to change your payment pattern in the future.
  • Next on the list is creating a spending plan. This is something you’ll create on your own based on your current budget. If your current budget doesn’t leave a surplus to help you pay off your mortgage, your counselor will sit down with you and explain how you can alter your spending plan so that you have a surplus.
  • Housing counselors brainstorm ways that you and your family can bring extra income into your home and bring forth opportunities for additional money.
  • After that, you’ll sit down together and figure out if you currently have any unpaid fees, taxes or repairs. If so, the housing counselor is prepared to help you prioritize what needs to be taken care of first, and what can be put off in the meantime to save money for your mortgage.
  • Once you and your counselor contact your lender or servicer for exact information on the balance of your loan, your counselor will start paperwork to verify income and expenses, to avoid foreclosure.
  • Next, your housing counselor will assist you in filing an official request to delay the foreclosure sale date and decide if any other action is necessary, like filing for bankruptcy or going to court.
  • Once you’ve completed those steps, your housing counselor will keep you up- to- date on the situation and eventually let you know if your plan has been approved or denied.

Housing counselors are a great tool to use if you’re feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of getting foreclosed on. They’re educated on the process of avoiding foreclosure, and together, you can help save your home.

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One Response to “What is a housing counselor?”

  1. Thomas Says: October 9th, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    A housing counselor sounds like a great advantage to anyone who finds themselves in this sort of position. It sounds like they help you clean up your finances, a must for anyone who doesn’t want to find a bankruptcy attorney any time soon.

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HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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