We are dedicated to helping you achieve your dream of homeownership. Our agencies’ comprehensive home buyer counseling services are designed to address any issues that may prevent or delay affordable mortgage financing, ensuring you have the knowledge and tools to navigate the home buying process successfully.
HUD-approved housing counseling agencies have expert counselors that will guide you through every step of the home buying journey. They have the knowledge and experience to provide you with valuable insights and advice, helping you make informed decisions.
How a HUD Certified Pre-Purchase Housing Counselor Can Help You:
- Down-Payment and Settlement Assistance Program: Closing costs and down-payment requirements can be significant barriers to homeownership. Down-payment and settlement assistance programs are designed to provide financial support to eligible home buyers, helping them cover these costs and make homeownership more affordable.
- Mortgage Readiness: Becoming mortgage ready is crucial when preparing to buy a home. The counselors will assist you in developing a personalized strategy to help you become mortgage ready. This includes a focus on crucial aspects such as budgeting, improving credit scores, and building savings for a down payment.
- Financial Education: Our counseling sessions include a thorough review of your current financial profile. Our specialists will analyze your income, expenses, debt, and credit obligations to assess your affordability for homeownership. They will work with you to create a budget that aligns with your financial goals and develop strategies to improve your credit and increase your savings.
- Mortgage-Readiness Assessment: As part of their services, they provide a mortgage-readiness assessment to determine your readiness to obtain a mortgage. This assessment considers various factors such as your financial stability, creditworthiness, and readiness for homeownership. Based on the assessment, they will provide you with personalized guidance on how to address any areas of concern.
Once you see a housing counselor, you’ll be mortgage ready. Their ultimate goal is to ensure that you are fully prepared and confident when applying for a mortgage. With their expert guidance, comprehensive counseling, and personalized strategies, you’ll have the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the home buying process successfully. By the time you complete their counseling sessions, you will be equipped with the skills and confidence to secure a mortgage and achieve your dream of homeownership.
HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are available to provide you with the information and assistance you need to avoid foreclosure. As part of President Obama’s comprehensive Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan (HASP), you may be eligible for a special Making Home Affordable loan modification or refinance, to reduce your monthly payments and help you keep your home.
How a HUD Certified Foreclosure Prevention Counselor Can Help You:
- Assess your mortgage situation
- Explain various workout options that may be available
- Provide budget counseling and develop a crisis budget to present to your lender
- Assist with submitting a request for a loan modification
- Facilitate with communication between you and your lender
- Help you understand your individual correspondence related to your mortgage
- Define mortgage terms and program guidelines
- Provide you with additional resources and referrals
Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure
Are you having trouble keeping up with your mortgage payments? Have you received a notice from your lender asking you to contact them?
- Don’t ignore the letters from your lender
- Contact your lender immediately
- Contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency
- Toll FREE (800) 569-4287
- TTY (800) 877-8339
If you are unable to make your mortgage payment:
- Don’t ignore the problem.The further behind you become, the harder it will be to reinstate your loan and the more likely that you will lose your house.
- Contact your lender as soon as you realize that you have a problem. Lenders do not want your house. They have options to help borrowers through difficult financial times.
- Open and respond to all mail from your lender. The first notices you receive will offer good information about foreclosure prevention options that can help you weather financial problems. Later mail may include important notices of pending legal action. Your failure to open the mail will not be an excuse in foreclosure court.
- Know your mortgage rights. Find your loan documents and read them so you know what your lender may do if you can’t make your payments. Learn about the foreclosure laws and timeframes in your state (as every state is different) by contacting the State Government Housing Office.
- Understand foreclosure prevention options. Valuable information about foreclosure prevention (also called loss mitigation) options can be found online.
- Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds free or very low-cost housing counseling nationwide. Housing counselors can help you understand the law and your options, organize your finances and represent you in negotiations with your lender, if you need this assistance. Find a HUD-approved housing counselor near you or call (800) 569-4287 or TTY (800) 877-8339.
- Prioritize your spending. After healthcare, keeping your house should be your first priority. Review your finances and see where you can cut spending in order to make your mortgage payment. Look for optional expenses–cable TV, memberships, entertainment–that you can eliminate. Delay payments on credit cards and other “unsecured” debt until you have paid your mortgage.
- Use your assets. Do you have assets–a second car, jewelry, a whole life insurance policy–that you can sell for cash to help reinstate your loan? Can anyone in your household get an extra job to bring in additional income? Even if these efforts don’t significantly increase your available cash or your income, they demonstrate to your lender that you are willing to make sacrifices to keep your home.
- Avoid foreclosure prevention companies. You don’t need to pay fees for foreclosure prevention help–use that money to pay the mortgage instead. Many for-profit companies will contact you promising to negotiate with your lender. While these may be legitimate businesses, they will charge you a hefty fee (often two or three month’s mortgage payment) for information and services your lender or a HUD-approved housing counselor will provide free if you contact them.
- Don’t lose your house to foreclosure recovery scams! If any firm claims they can stop your foreclosure immediately and if you sign a document appointing them to act on your behalf, you may well be signing over the title to your property and becoming a renter in your own home! Never sign a legal document without reading and understanding all the terms and getting professional advice from an attorney, a trusted real estate professional or a HUD-approved housing counselor.
Rental counseling is offered to provide assistance in locating rental housing, help you understand lease agreements, inform about resources, and explain your rights as a tenant.
A counselor will help you find appropriate rental housing by:
- Review your credit history
- Review your rental history
- Explore subsidized and other housing options
- Advise about Security Deposit Assistance programs
If you become delinquent in your rent, a counselor will advise of your rights as a tenant. You will learn how to handle delinquency, understand the consequences of breaking a lease, eviction procedures, and be advised on possible legal remedies. You may also be advised about moving out of a rental property and having your security deposit returned.
Credit & Budget
There are a variety of credit and budget counseling programs for people looking to improve their own money management skills. Training is focused on providing practical, real world, education solutions that empower participants with the knowledge they need to make the right financial decisions.
Benefits of Financial Literacy Training
Credit and budget counseling has long-term benefits that directly impact our lives. Studies show that by receiving money management lessons people are more likely to save, invest, stay out of debt and have more money saved for retirement.
Besides the obvious benefits mentioned above, credit and budget counseling also impacts many other areas of our lives. As many are aware, money issues are the leading causes of: stress, relationship strain, unhealthy coping behaviors, divorce and reduces our productivity. All of which can affect our emotional state and impact those we care about most.
The subject of money is an emotional issue that reaches people on many different levels. Make sure the credit and budget counseling you chose is fun; it will help to sooth past financial regrets and keep you focused on your goals. A quality financial education program will help you understand the connection between your emotions and the decisions you make with your money.
Once you’ve successfully journeyed down the road of homeownership and found the home of the your dreams, post-purchase counseling is available to explain mortgage contracts, settlement documents, and more.
What To Expect
Post-purhase counseling is offered throughout Delaware to guide homeowners through the settlement process and empower them to make financially sound decisions.
- Budget and money management
- Mortgage refinancing
- Deal with home improvements
- Energy efficiency
- Recognize home equity scams