NeighborWorks Awards $59.5 Million for Foreclosure Counseling

Wed, Apr 21, 2010


Just four months after the fourth round of National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program funds were appropriated, $59.5 million has been awarded to 35

state housing financing agencies (HFAs), 15 HUD-approved housing counseling intermediaries, and 81 community-based NeighborWorks organizations to provide counseling to homeowners facing foreclosure, according to a recent announcement by Washington, D.C.-based NeighborWorks America, administrator of the NFMC Program.

On December 16, 2009, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-117) appropriated an additional $65 million to the NFMC program, including $59.4 million for counseling. This fourth appropriation also provided funding for training foreclosure counselors and administrative expenses associated with running the program.

At a time when foreclosures continue to rise and near-record unemployment rates hold steady, the need for this

funding is critical. In fact, demand for NFMC funds has far exceeded the amounts of funding available. So far, eligible applicants have requested more than $195 million in funding through this program.

NeighborWorks America said 48.3 percent of this round of funding was awarded to housing counseling agencies that will commit at least half of their award to provide foreclosure mitigation counseling services to minority and/or low-income homeowners or communities with high concentrations of minority and/or low-income homeowners. And 90 percent of the counseling units who received this funding will be targeted to areas of greatest need.

More than 1,300 nonprofit counseling agencies and local NeighborWorks organizations across the country are expected to be engaged in the NFMC Program as a result of this round of awards. These organizations provide invaluable, free assistance to families at risk of losing their homes, determine client eligibility for the Making Home Affordable programs, help clients understand the complex foreclosure process, and identify possible courses of action so their clients can make informed decisions and take action.

To date, more than 937,500 families in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Guam have received foreclosure counseling through the NFMC Program. It is estimated that more than 155,000 families facing the threat of foreclosure will be directly assisted with this fourth round of funding. And many more will be helped by the training of foreclosure counselors, as NeighborWorks expects to train more than 2,000 counselors with the fourth round of NFMC funding

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