Government Programs to Avoid Foreclosure
The U.S. Department of the Treasury's (Treasury Department) Office of Financial Stability manages several programs designed to assist mortgage borrowers who are struggling, including the Making Home Affordable (MHA) program and the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF).
Making Home Affordable (MHA)
MHA is a comprehensive plan implemented by the Treasury Department to stabilize the U.S. housing market by helping homeowners get mortgage relief and avoid foreclosure. The MHA Web site provides detailed information about various programs to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by securing a loan modification or refinancing an existing mortgage. Information about available financial counseling assistance and how to avoid scams is also provided on this Web site.
Hardest Hit Fund (HHF)
First announced in February 2010, the HHF provided $7.6 billion in mortgage assistance to the 18 hardest hit states, plus the District of Columbia. These states have developed locally-tailored programs to assist struggling homeowners. HHF programs are designed and administered by each state’s Housing Finance Agency (HFA) to help unemployed and underemployed individuals, by providing temporary mortgage payment assistance, forbearance assistance, second mortgage assistance, principal reduction, and other types of mortgage assistance. Although some states have already used their entire HHF allocation, the remaining state HFAs have until the end of 2020 to use their HHF funds.
Counseling and Foreclosure Prevention Resources
Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF)
Through the (888) 995-HOPE hotline, the HPF has a single mission: to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. The HPF is an independent nonprofit that provides HUD-approved counselors dedicated to helping homeowners.
NeighborWorks and its affiliates provide a variety of resources to prevent foreclosures, ranging from foreclosure counseling to training programs.
Homeowner Crisis Resource Center
This National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) Web site provides information about pre-purchase and foreclosure prevention counseling as well as contact information to connect with an NFCC-Certified Consumer Credit Counselor.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Information
The following Web sites developed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae contain information about avoiding foreclosure. Borrowers can use a lookup tool to identify if their mortgage is owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
- Freddie Mac
- Fannie Mae
- Know Your Options provides information about avoiding foreclosure.
- Fannie Mae Loan Lookup enables mortgage borrowers to use their street address, unit, city, state, and zip code to quickly determine if Fannie Mae owns their loan.
Government Information Resources
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Home Foreclosure and Debt Cancellation
This IRS Web page provides questions and answers on the tax treatment of home foreclosure and mortgage debt cancellation.
This Web site is dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics of financial education.
This OCC Web site helps provide answers regarding activities of national banks and federal savings associations, including questions related to avoiding foreclosure on a mortgage.
“Avoiding Mortgage Modification Scams and Foreclosure Rescue Scams,” 2011-1
This OCC consumer advisory provides information to help borrowers avoid mortgage modification and foreclosure rescue scams.
“Have A Mortgage? What You Can Expect Under Federal Rules” (PDF)
This guide from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides helpful information for consumers. It describes the rules that apply to mortgage payments, how consumers can get accurate and prompt information from a mortgage servicer, and how to seek help from a mortgage servicer when having problems making payments.
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Resources for Consumers
This consumer resource Web site provides information and links to agencies and organizations available to assist consumers having difficulty paying their mortgage or facing foreclosure.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
This foreclosure prevention consumer resource Web site from the FDIC provides information on avoiding foreclosure and links and toll-free phone numbers for credit counseling agencies.