BEDFORD – April 22, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — HomeHelpNH, the state’s foreclosure counseling initiative, helped nearly 750 households avoid foreclosure over the last two years, Governor Maggie Hassan announced at New Hampshire Housing today.
“While foreclosure numbers are trending down, many Granite State homeowners are still struggling,” Governor Hassan said.“HomeHelpNH helped nearly 750 households avoid foreclosure over the last two years, and those critical services are still needed.Data shows that homeowners have a better chance at evaluating their options and possibly avoiding foreclosure with a trained counselor in their corner.Maintaining this vital program will continue to help middle class families achieve the best possible outcome given their housing and financial situations.By remaining committed to providing our citizens with the tools and resources they need, we can continue to strengthen the health of our housing market, communities and economy.”
Since its inception, HomeHelpNH has provided free counseling services for more than 1,800 Granite State homeowners, and 2-1-1 NH, the program’s intake provider, has handled more than 2,800 calls from homeowners who were at-risk of foreclosure.Many households who have sought HomeHelpNH’s services remain in counseling, since foreclosure situations can be complex and require time to explore all options.Of those households that have reached a resolution through HomeHelpNH, 95 percent were able to avoid foreclosure through mortgage modifications, bringing their mortgage current, sale of the property, or other means.
HomeHelpNH was designed as a three-year, statewide program funded with $3.5 million from the National Mortgage Servicing Settlement.The funding allowed the state to almost triple the number of trained foreclosure intervention staff from five to 13.These counselors, who are provided by five regionally-based nonprofit housing counseling agencies, have provided more than 10,000 hours of counseling services.The 2015 calendar year marks the third and final year of funding for the program.Given the program’s success over its first two years and that more than 2,000 Granite State homeowners lost their homes in 2014, alternate sources of funding are being sought.
For assistance, homeowners may dial 2-1-1 toll-free from anywhere in the state to receive referrals to a counselor in their area or, for those who qualify, to free or low-cost legal services.Homeowners can also go to www.HomeHelpNH.org.
Counseling is provided by five regionally-based nonprofit housing counseling agencies that provide free comprehensive foreclosure intervention and counseling services.These agencies are:
AHEAD, based in Littleton with offices in Conway and Colebrook;
HOMEteam, based in Manchester with offices in Concord, Laconia and Nashua;
Community Home Solutions, based in Seabrook;
Southwestern Community Services, based in Keene; and
The Way Home, based in Manchester.
2-1-1 NH, an initiative of Granite United Way in partnership with the State of New Hampshire, provides the intake and referral services for the HomeHelpNH network.HomeHelpNH also works in cooperation with the New Hampshire Foreclosure Relief Project, a partnership between the New Hampshire Bar Association, New Hampshire Legal Assistance, and the Legal Advice and Referral Center that provides low- or no-cost legal assistance to qualified homeowners who are facing foreclosure or foreclosure-related financial and legal problems.
HomeHelpNH is a statewide foreclosure counseling initiative sponsored by the New Hampshire Department of Justice, New Hampshire Banking Department and New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.The initiative’s goal is to help at-risk homeowners find solutions through free, comprehensive pre- and post-foreclosure counseling.Homeowners seeking more information should dial 2-1-1 or go to www.HomeHelpNH.org.