Behind on Mortgage? Get Help Before Foreclosure or Bankruptcy
87% of Delinquent Borrowers Kept HomeWith Counseling, Review Finds

February 14, 2005 – For those behind on their mortgage payments, the most efficient way to avoid foreclosure may be as simple as getting high quality financial counseling – fast. According to a recent loan performance review conducted by Self-Help, a North Carolina based community development lender, early delinquency intervention in the form of financial counseling helps the vast majority of defaulted mortgage borrowers keep their home.

Data for the review was collected from a collaboration between Self Help and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco (CCCS-SF), a nonprofit credit counseling and financial education agency. In the twelve-month period ending August 2004, CCCS-SF received referrals for 809 families whose mortgage payments were more than forty-five days late. The results were overwhelmingly positive: 87 percent of the delinquent borrowers who were referred for counseling retained their homes; only eight percent had gone to foreclosure and five percent filed bankruptcy.

The program was created in 2002 to help homeowners in financial crisis avoid foreclosure by providing them with emergency money management and housing counseling. Program participants receive a detailed action plan for their housing and non-housing financial issues, budget and debt management education, and learn how to effectively interact with the loan servicer.

Self Help attributes the program’s success to the immediate, comprehensive counseling given by CCCS-SF, and a variety of loan servicers who are willing to work with the counseled borrowers.

“We have been providing housing counseling to help families avoid foreclosure for many years and it strengthens our resolve to see solid, verifiable results of our counseling efforts,” said Rick Harper, Vice President of CCCS-SF, of the review’s statistics.

Since 1969, CCCS-SF has been helping Americans manage their money, repay debt, and achieve and maintain homeownership. Self-Help Credit Union reaches people who are underserved by conventional lenders.

Copyright © 2005 CCCS of San Francisco
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