(July 2, 2012) - Legal Services Alabama, a statewide nonprofit law firm, reported today that it has provided foreclosure prevention counseling to more than 4,000 homeowners since bringing the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program to its community in 2008. Nationally, the NFMC program has helped more than 1.3 million homeowners – slightly more than half of whom are women-headed households. The NFMC program was created by Congress in December 2007 and is administered by NeighborWorks America, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit community development corporations.
Many Alabama homeowners are facing foreclosure. Many more are having trouble making their monthly payments. It is very important that homeowners with financial difficulties get housing counseling early. Jimmy Fry, Executive Director for Legal Services Alabama, says that LSA help identify benefits that homeowners may be eligible for, and that it can help people get control of their expenses so that they are able to make their mortgage payments. LSA can also help many homeowners get mortgage modifications to make their mortgages more affordable. LSA provides these services to homeowners for free.
"The NFMC program is a remarkable success, helping more than 1.3 million homeowners," said NeighborWorks America CEO Eileen Fitzgerald. "The program has had a real effect on families. The average homeowner who receives NFMC program help saves $2,100 each year after getting her mortgage modified, compared to a homeowner who doesn’t work with an NFMC counselor and obtains a mortgage modification. In all, it’s estimated that homeowners save more than $370 million annually because of the work of Legal Services Alabama and other NFMC program organizations."
The full report on homeowner savings is available at www.nw.org.
Avoid Foreclosure Related Scams
Meanwhile, the latest NFMC report released by NeighborWorks America stresses that the best resource for homeowners in danger of foreclosure is a HUD approved housing counselor. Legal Services Alabama is a HUD approved organization and provides help at no-cost to the homeowner. Homeowners should not pay for foreclosure prevention services. People or organizations who charge a fee often are scams. For tips on how to avoid a foreclosure or mortgage modification scam, homeowners should go to www.loanscamalert.org. For information on how to find a free foreclosure prevention counselor working with the NFMC program, homeowners should go to www.findaforeclosurecounselor.org.
Legal Services Alabama is a nonprofit organization providing free civil legal assistance to low-income individuals. Individuals may apply for services online at www.AlabamaLegalHelp.org or call Toll-Free 1-866-456-4995. Legal Services Alabama is funded in large part by a grant from the federal government through the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, DC.