FORECLOSURE PREVENTION COUNSELING EFFORTS RECEIVE BOOST FROM
$180 MILLION APPROPRIATION
NeighborWorks® America Selected to Award Grants to Approved Intermediaries
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today NeighborWorks America announced that it was named in the FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act to administer a $180 million national mortgage foreclosure mitigation counseling program.
Under the legislation, NeighborWorks America (formally the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation) will make grants to housing counseling intermediaries approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and to qualifying state housing finance agencies (HFAs) and will provide foreclosure counseling training courses.
The legislation requires that NeighborWorks America grant at least $167,800,000 to qualifying organizations that provide mortgage foreclosure mitigation assistance primarily in states and areas with high rates of defaults and foreclosures primarily in the subprime housing market. The goal is to help eliminate the default and foreclosure of mortgages of owner-occupied single-family homes that are at risk of foreclosure.
Other than areas with high rates of defaults and foreclosures, NeighborWorks America is also able to provide grants to eligible applicants based on a geographic analysis of the nation by NeighborWorks America, which determines where there is a prevalence of subprime mortgages that are risky and likely to fail, including any trends for mortgages that are likely to default and face foreclosure. NeighborWorks America is currently conducting the research necessary to identify these areas.
Action within 60 Days of Enactment
The legislation requires that NeighborWorks America award $50 million of the funds within 60 days of the legislation’s enactment in states and areas with the greatest need. Additional funds may be awarded to HUD-approved intermediaries and qualifying state HFAs that have the need for additional funds in states and areas with high rates of mortgage foreclosures, defaults or related activities and the expertise to use these funds effectively.
The legislation allows NeighborWorks America to grant no more than 15 percent of the total funds (up to $27 million) directly to NeighborWorks chartered members with expertise in foreclosure prevention counseling, subject to certification by NeighborWorks America that the procedures for selection do not consist of any procedures or activities that could be construed as unacceptable conflict of interest or have the appearance of impropriety. There are approximately 200 NeighborWorks organizations with expertise in foreclosure intervention counseling.
Building Foreclosure Counseling Capacity
Of the total amount made available under the legislation, up to $5 million may be used to build mortgage foreclosure and default mitigation counseling capacity of counseling intermediaries through NeighborWorks America training courses with HUD-approved counseling intermediaries and their partners. However, the legislation requires that private financial institutions that participate in NeighborWorks America training shall pay market rates for such training. More than 200 homeownership counselors participated in foreclosure intervention counseling training at a recent NeighborWorks® Training Institute in Portland, Oregon.
Information about NeighborWorks America training programs can be found by visiting www.nw.org/network/training/training.asp.
NeighborWorks America Administrative Expenses
The legislation provides that up to four percent of the total made available (no more than $7.2 million) may be used for administrative expenses for NeighborWorks America to carry-out activities defined under the legislation, including a study to identify successful strategies and methods for preserving homeownership and the long-term affordability of at-risk mortgages. This report shall include recommended efforts that will or likely can assist in the success of this program as well as an analysis of any policy and procedures that failed to result in successful mortgage foreclosure mitigation. The report shall include an analysis of the details and use of any post mitigation counseling of assisted borrowers designed to ensure the continued long-term affordability of the mortgages which were the subject of the mortgage foreclosure mitigation assistance.
Reporting to Congress
NeighborWorks America is required under the legislation to provide a bi-annual report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations as well as to the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee on its efforts to mitigate mortgage default. The reports’ contents are required to identify successful strategies and methods for preserving homeownership and the long-term affordability of at-risk mortgages and shall include recommended efforts that will or likely can assist in the success of this program, as well as an analysis of any policy and procedures that failed to result in successful mortgage foreclosure mitigation.
For more information, read Frequently Asked Questions
About NeighborWorks America
NeighborWorks America creates opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. To date, we have assisted nearly 850,000 low- to moderate-income families with their housing needs. Much of our success is achieved through our support of the NeighborWorks network ― more than 230 community development organizations working in 4,400 urban, suburban and rural communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $12.4 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.
Contact: Douglas Robinson, 202-220-2360, email@example.com;
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