Tag Archives: HUD

housing.prices

TCA Assists 10K Arizona Homeowners with Counseling

Take Charge America, Inc., a non-profit credit counseling and housing counseling agency in Phoenix, marked a milestone this year. It has now assisted more than 10,000 Arizona homeowners with housing counseling. Most of this assistance was for foreclosure prevention, a free service that helps homeowners avoid foreclosure or mitigate losses caused by foreclosure.

As a response to economic conditions, Take Charge America introduced foreclosure prevention counseling in 2008. The organization is approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist distressed homeowners statewide with a variety of solutions that could potentially save their homes, such as accessing and sustaining loan modifications, refinancing and principal reduction.

To date, Take Charge America has helped more than 1,100 individuals and families save their homes, primarily through mortgage modifications. Specially trained counselors work directly with homeowners’ mortgage companies to achieve the best possible solution based on their circumstances.

“Headquartered in one of the hardest-hit states, we were compelled to help Arizona families navigate the housing crisis,” said David Richardson, chief executive officer of Take Charge America. “While we’ve made significant strides, there are still many homeowners who need our help. Foreclosures may be declining, but the threat is still far above normal levels.”

Foreclosure prevention counseling is a free service mainly funded by grants and government awards. Take Charge America was recently awarded $300,000 by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office to expand one-on-one foreclosure prevention counseling, enabling the organization to expand its reach.

Homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure can call Take Charge America at (623) 266-6382 or (866) 987-2008 to speak with a counselor.

Take Charge America is also HUD-approved to provide reverse mortgage counseling to senior homeowners and pre-purchase counseling to new homebuyers.

For more information about Take Charge America’s services, visit www.takechargeamerica.org.

foreclosure

TCA Awarded $300K for Foreclosure Counseling

Take Charge America, Inc., a non-profit credit counseling and housing counseling agency in Phoenix, was awarded $300,000 by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office over the next three years to provide free foreclosure intervention counseling to Arizona homeowners.

Take Charge America will use the funds to assist more homeowners with one-on-one counseling, primarily individuals and families with low-to-moderate income, and who are Spanish-speaking.

Housing counseling services at Take Charge America are approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Take Charge America’s counselors can help homeowners avoid foreclosure or mitigate losses caused by foreclosure with a variety of solutions, such as accessing and sustaining loan modifications, refinancing and principal reduction.

“Arizona families are among the hardest hit by the economic downturn, and many are still struggling to meet their mortgage payments,” said Take Charge America Chief Executive Officer David Richardson. “This award will enable us to assist even more residents in need, helping them navigate the complex mortgage loan industry and possibly save their home.”

Take Charge America is one of 16 organizations throughout Arizona selected by the Attorney General’s Office to receive a share of the $5 million in housing counseling assistance available through a national mortgage settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage loan servicers.  The funds help pay for the cost of the foreclosure intervention counseling that is provided free to Arizona homeowners.

Take Charge America introduced foreclosure prevention counseling in 2008 as a response to the mortgage crisis. It is HUD-approved to assist distressed homeowners statewide. To date, the non-profit has helped more than 10,000 homeowners with housing counseling.

Homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure can call Take Charge America at (623) 266-6382 or (866) 987-2008 to speak with a counselor.

For more information about Take Charge America’s services, visit www.takechargeamerica.org.

87702112

HUD Supports Native American housing in Arizona

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $563 million to 353 American Indian and Alaskan Native entities that represent 539 tribes across the U.S.  HUD awarded 16 Arizona Native American communities $127.5 million provided through the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) Program.  These funds are distributed annually to eligible Indian tribes or their tribally designated housing entities for a broad range of affordable housing activities (see local grants).

“Hardworking American families in tribal communities should be able to live in communities where they have a fair shot to reach their potential,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “The resources provided today will give these tribal communities the tools to maintain quality housing, prevent overcrowding, improve public safety and provide other basic building blocks of security and success.”

IHBG funds primarily benefit hardworking families, living on reservations or in other Native American communities, who don’t have the financial resources to maintain good homes, schools, or other key contributors to economic security.  The amount of each grant is based on a formula that considers local needs and housing units under management by the tribe or designated entity.

Indian communities can use the funding for a variety of housing activities, including building affordable housing; providing assistance to existing housing that was developed under the Indian Housing Program authorized by the U.S. Housing Act of 1937; or other activities that create new approaches to provide more affordable housing for Native Americans. The funding is also used to offer housing services to eligible families and individuals; and establish crime prevention and safety measures.  The block grant approach to housing was established by the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA).

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Obama releases September Housing Scorecard

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury today released the September edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard – a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market. Data continue to show signs that the housing market is strengthening – home equity has increased by $860 billion since the end of 2011 and August had the highest level of existing home sales in more than two years – although officials caution that the overall recovery remains fragile.   The full Housing Scorecard is available online at www.hud.gov/scorecard.

“As the September housing scorecard indicates, our housing market is showing important signs of recovery – with homeowner equity at a four-year high and summer sales of existing homes at the strongest pace in two years,” said HUD Acting Assistant Secretary Erika Poethig. “The Administration’s efforts to keep housing affordable and refinances strong are critical with so many households still struggling to make ends meet. That is why we continue to ask Congress to approve the President’s refinancing proposal so that more homeowners can secure the help they need.”

“Tens of thousands of additional families benefit from the Administration’s programs every month, which offer some of the deepest assistance available to prevent foreclosures,” said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad. “As the housing market continues to recover, we remain focused on helping eligible families access this assistance.””

The September Housing Scorecard features key data on the health of the housing market and the impact of the Administration’s foreclosure prevention programs, including:

· Rising home values have brought homeowner equity to its highest level since the third quarter of 2008 and helped lift 1.3 million families above water. Homeowner equity jumped $406 billion, or 5.9 percent, to $7,275 billion in the second quarter of 2012.  After a sharp first quarter rise, total equity has grown to $863 billion, or 13.5 percent, since the end of 2011. The number of underwater borrowers has declined by 11 percent since the end of last year, from 12.1 million in the 4th quarter of 2011 to 10.8 million in the second quarter of 2012.

The Administration’s foreclosure programs are providing relief for millions of homeowners as we continue to recover from an unprecedented housing crisis.  Nearly 1.3 million homeowner assistance actions have taken place through the Making Home Affordable Program, while the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has offered more than 1.4 million loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions. The Administration’s programs continue to encourage improved standards and processes in the industry, with HOPE Now lenders offering families and individuals more than three million proprietary mortgage modifications through July.

· Homeowners entering HAMP continue to benefit from deep and sustainable assistance. As of August, more than one million homeowners have received a permanent HAMP modification, saving approximately $539 on their mortgage payments each month, and an estimated $15 billion to date. In August, 81 percent of homeowners with eligible non-GSE mortgages benefitted from principal reduction with their HAMP modification. Eighty-seven percent of homeowners entering the program in the last two years have received a permanent modification.

87702112

Housing Indicators Show Sustained Progress in Home Prices

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury released the August edition of the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard – a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market. Data continues to show signs that the housing market is strengthening – as home price improvements in the first half of this year have helped lift 1.3 million families above water – although officials caution that the overall recovery remains fragile. The full Housing Scorecard is available online at www.hud.gov/scorecard.

“The Obama Administration’s efforts to speed housing recovery are showing clear signs of traction as the scorecard indicators highlight market momentum not seen since before the housing crisis,” said HUD Acting Assistant Secretary Erika Poethig. “With median sales prices the highest they’ve been since the earliest months of the Administration, underwater borrowers down by 11 percent since the end of last year and more than half a million refinances through our enhanced Home Affordable Refinance Program so far this year, it is clear that we’re making progress.  But with so many households still struggling to make ends meet, we have important work ahead. That is why we are asking the Congress to approve the President’s refinancing proposal so that more homeowners can receive assistance.”

Also featured this month in the Administration’s Making Home Affordable Program Report are detailed assessments for the largest mortgage servicers participating in the program with results from the second quarter of 2012. The Servicer Assessments – first introduced in June 2011 and published quarterly – have set a new standard for disclosure around servicer efforts to assist struggling homeowners.

“The Making Home Affordable Program has established critical standards that have changed the way the mortgage industry does business, leading to relief for millions of struggling homeowners,” said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad. “By shining a spotlight on individual servicer performance in key areas, and requiring improvements through our compliance process, the nation’s largest mortgage servicers are fixing their processes while being held publicly accountable.”
The August Housing Scorecard features key data on the health of the housing market and the impact of the Administration’s foreclosure prevention programs, including:

The Administration’s foreclosure programs are providing relief for millions of homeowners as we continue to recover from an unprecedented housing crisis.  More than 1.2 million homeowner assistance actions have taken place through the Making Home Affordable Program, while the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has offered more than 1.4 million loss mitigation and early delinquency interventions. The Administration’s programs continue to encourage improved standards and processes in the industry, with HOPE Now lenders offering families and individuals more than three million proprietary mortgage modifications through July.

Homeowners entering HAMP continue to benefit from deep and sustainable assistance. As of July, more than one million homeowners have received a permanent HAMP modification, saving approximately $538 on their mortgage payments each month, and an estimated $14.4 billion to date. In July, 77 percent of homeowners with eligible non-GSE mortgages benefitted from principal reduction with their HAMP modification. Eighty-seven percent of homeowners entering the program in the last two years have received a permanent modification. View the Making Home Affordable Program Report with data through July 2012.

Since inception of the Making Home Affordable Program, Treasury has required participating servicers to take specific actions to improve their processes through ongoing program reviews. The latest Servicer Assessments summarize performance on metrics in three categories of program implementation: identifying and contacting homeowners; homeowner evaluation and assistance; and program reporting, management and governance. Results for the second quarter of 2012 show that servicers are focusing attention on areas identified in previous program reviews and, as a result, are demonstrating significant improvement in program implementation:

Mortgage servicers show continued improvement in calculating homeowner income, which is used to determine a homeowner’s eligibility and modified payment amount under the program.  In the second quarter, the average income calculation error rate for the top servicers fell below two percent and two servicers had zero percent error rates.
Servicers are more effectively evaluating homeowners under program eligibility criteria as seen in the “second look disagree” category, which reflects the rate at which Treasury’s program reviews disagree with the servicers’ decision to find a homeowner ineligible for assistance.  In the second quarter, the average second look disagree percentage for the top servicers remained below one percent with two servicers having a zero percent disagree rate for the quarter.

For the second quarter of 2012, two servicers were found to need only minor improvement on the areas reviewed for program performance, while seven servicers were found to need moderate improvement.  Although servicer performance in a particular compliance category can fluctuate from quarter to quarter, in general, servicers continue to show overall improvement.  All servicers, however, will need to continue to demonstrate progress in areas identified in follow-up program reviews.