Nonprofit organizations Finance of America Foundation and HLP announced this week they are creating a new assistance platform for homeowners facing foreclosure or other financial issues.
The nonprofits explained in a press release that the platform will be a central source of information about aid programs nationwide, including state and federal government programs and private charitable resources and will be free to use. consumers, government agencies, nonprofit counselors and the mortgage industry.
The platform will also provide free, on-demand chat services with nonprofit HUD-approved housing counselors for homeowners. The new platform, which is scheduled to launch in the third quarter of 2018, will be funded by a grant from the Finance of America Foundation and developed by HLP, with guidance from the foundation’s advisory board of executives and former government officials, the press release explained.
“Hundreds of new programs were created during the financial crisis, but many homeowners and mortgage company representatives had no idea how or where to find this information,” said Sara Sefcovic, president of the Finance of America Foundation. “The recent natural disasters highlight the fact that access to aid still remains fragmented and difficult to obtain. By partnering with HLP to build a comprehensive database and a secure way to apply for help, we can make an enormous difference by providing immediate assistance to homeowners struggling to find a way to keep their homes.”
HLP explained it is working with its technology partner IndiSoft, to build the center’s website and resource database while working to gather and regularly update information for the site. It will also work with mortgage companies, government agencies and other housing organizations to place links to the platform on their websites, the press release explained.
“This collaborative effort will offer universal access and better transparency to all homeowner assistance programs. We believe this will significantly increase the utilization of these programs and dramatically improve how we sustain homeownership nationally,” said Mark Cole, HLP’s chief executive officer.
“While we have made significant progress in many ways in the 10 years since the financial crisis, we have not yet implemented a solution that allows government, the lending industry and counselors to work together effectively on behalf of individuals facing financial distress,” said former U.S. Rep Barney Frank, who is advising Finance of America Foundation on the platform. “This platform will be a welcome source of assistance for individuals as well as an opportunity for mortgage companies to provide a better customer experience and demonstrate their commitment to sustainable homeownership. It will also provide more visibility for the wide array of government programs available throughout the 50 states and to the thousands of nonprofit housing counselors who work tirelessly to help people in need.”