As the rates on many adjustable-rate mortgages continue to increase, many Idaho homeowners may realize they cannot keep up with their rising house payments. This concern is affecting families in Idaho, where foreclosures on subprime and conventional adjustable rate mortgages doubled from September 2006 to September 2007, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. However, there is now an opportunity for Idahoans who may be having trouble meeting their mortgage payment to speak with an experienced professional through Idaho Housing and Finance Association’s (IHFA’s) free housing counseling program. This free program counsels homeowners, homebuyers and renters.
“IHFA’s housing counseling services meet the demands of Idahoans who want to assess their housing situation,” said Gerald Hunter, President and Executive Director of IHFA. “Through our partnership with Idaho Partners for Homebuyer Education, Inc., we will help homeowners, homebuyers and renters determine the best solution for their housing needs.”
IHFA housing counselors conduct free, confidential interviews with clients statewide to discuss their housing needs and help them find resources to meet housing challenges. For more information on housing counseling, visit www.housingcounselingidaho.com. Housing counselors can assist with a wide range of situations, including:
- Identifying resources for housing problems;
- Providing financial planning tools, either short- or long-term;
- Reviewing credit reports and helping with a debt reduction plan;
- Prioritizing and budgeting for housing stability;
- Helping identify solutions for maintaining necessary utilities.
Call 1-877-888-3135 today to discuss your housing concerns with a knowledgeable housing counselor. It is important for homeowners to contact a housing counselor as soon as they suspect they may have trouble paying their mortgage payments. Housing counselors do not provide financial assistance, but help people determine the best way to address their housing situations.
Housing counselors also help renters identify financial planning tools to resolve housing problems; and provide information to those homeowners who are looking at the possibility of obtaining a reverse mortgage on their property. There is also an opportunity for those people considering purchasing a home to gain valuable information through the Finally Home!® Homebuyer Education classes provided at several locations statewide and online (in both English and Spanish). A recent study by Freddie Mac of almost 40,000 mortgages determined that borrowers receiving classroom counseling obtained 26% reduction in delinquency rates.
Idaho Partners for Homebuyer Education, Inc., in partnership with IHFA, has launched a statewide marketing campaign to promote its housing counseling services throughout the state. Utilizing the slogan, “A turtle always has a home . . . will you?” this campaign encourages homeowners and renters not to hide or be slow about getting help with their housing concerns. The campaign includes direct mailers to housing and community resources, advertisements in phone books statewide, posters and fliers to be placed in government agencies and housing developments throughout the state, and a Public Service Announcement distributed to television stations across Idaho. It also promotes the Finally Home!® Homebuyer Education classes for first-time homebuyers. This marketing campaign was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The Idaho Housing and Finance Association, a financial services and housing business organization, provides funding for affordable housing in communities where it is most needed and when economically feasible.