HereÕ one huge drag on troubled homeowners

1 in 5 paying double the average interest rate

Roughly 18% of homeowners have not been helped by lower mortgage rates.

Despite 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates hovering near 4% for several years, almost one-out-of-five homeowners seeking foreclosure counseling hold a mortgage at an 8% interest rate or higher, according to the NFMC Program Congressional report.

“A number of factors keep homeowners from reducing their mortgage interest rate – whether they face foreclosure or not – according to research conducted by the University of Chicago in partnership with NeighborWorks network member, Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago," said Chuck Wehrwein, acting CEO for NeighborWorks America.

The report found that many homeowners didn’t believe that the programs that they heard about actually could deliver.

“The rate of home foreclosure is down dramatically from its peak across the country, but there still are hundreds of thousands of homeowners in hardest hit parts of the country who would benefit from working with nonprofit housing counselors to find the best solution to their mortgage troubles," Wehrwein said.

An analysis of the NFMC program by the Urban Institute found that homeowners who work with an NFMC counselor are nearly three times more likely to obtain a money-saving mortgage modification and are nearly twice as likely to get their mortgage back on track without a modification.

They say that dispelling the myths about foreclosure prevention programs is a key benefit of working with a NFMC counselor.

The NFMC Program analysis by the Urban Institute found that homeowners who worked with an NFMC housing counselor to find a foreclosure solution via mortgage modification saved, on average, nearly $5,000 each year.

More than 1.8 million homeowners have received foreclosure prevention counseling by local nonprofits, national intermediaries and state housing finance agencies participating in the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program administered by NeighborWorks America, one of the nation’s largest community development corporations. 

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