Freddie Mac Encourages Homebuyers to Utilize Housing Counselors

For first-time homebuyers looking for information or a guide through the complicated buying process, the best option is a conversation with a housing counselor, according to a blog post from Freddie Mac on Monday.
For those buyers who have no idea how to begin the process, might have less-than-perfect credit, might have questions about whether or not they can even afford a home, or concerns about how to avoid being cheated by those deals that seem “to good to be true,” Freddie Mac recommends the best course of action is visiting with a housing counselor.
“Counselors are trained to help in a variety of situations – from giving advice to someone who’s exploring homeownership for the first time, to helping a future homeowner overcome past credit problems (or lack of any credit history at all),” Freddie Mac wrote on its blog. “The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) maintains a list of approved housing counselors across the country, and these services are offered free of charge.”
Counseling may reduce the risk of a first-time homebuyer becoming seriously delinquent by an average of 29 percent on affordable mortgages that required pre-purchase housing counseling, according to research from Freddie Mac. The study also found that one-on-one counseling, classroom counseling, and home study via the Internet, which are the three most common types of housing counseling, are equally effective.
In order to help buyers achieve successful and sustainable homeownership, Freddie Mac is offering pre-purchase counseling and financial literacy education on its expanded Borrower Help Centers and Network. There are also resources available on housing counseling on Freddie Mac’s new My Home website, just launched last month.

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Homebuyer Assistance Programs Well Funded in Georgia….

Georgia is rated among the states with the greatest number of down payment programs, according to new research released from Down Payment Resource.  The states with the greatest number of down payment programs are California, Florida, Texas, Maryland, New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois and Colorado.

Great news for your homeownership counseling clients!

See the full data from Down Payment Resource along with a state-by-state index of programs.

Resources for Counselors from the NeighborWorks Store…

The New NeighborWorks Store: NeighborWorks Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling (NCHEC) is a leading resource on pre-purchase and post-purchase homeowner education. Prospective homeowners learn the entire home-buying process, from managing money and understanding credit to securing a mortgage loan and shopping for a home in Realizing the American Dream. The manual’s teaching companion, realizing the American Dream Trainer’s Manual, provides instructors with teaching tools, activities, worksheets and visual aids. Are you counseling homeowners? Keeping the American Dream will give them the skills they need to remain secure in their new home purchase. To learn more about these publications or make a purchase, visit

Read the New Edition of “The Bridge” Newsletter

The New Edition of “The Bridge” Newsletter: “The Bridge” is HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling Newsletter for Housing Counselors. You can read the new edition of “The Bridge” on-line.

The Bridge Newsletter and LISTSERV Subscription Drive::The HUD Office of Housing Counseling frequently publishes “The Bridge” Newsletter and this LISTSERV.  The Bridge Newsletter focuses on Housing Counselors and highlights their hard work and the innovative best practices that contribute to improving the lives of American Families. The LISTSERV provides news and information for housing counselors on industry announcements, new policy notices, grant opportunities and guidance, employment opportunities, contracting opportunities, events, meetings, webinars and live training.  We want to make sure housing counselors do not miss out on the latest information. If you would like to sign up your staff or a new counselor at your agency, or recommend a housing counseling industry colleague to receive the Bridge Newsletter and LISTSERV, please visit our subscription website to sign up today. This service is free of charge.

Also see our LISTSERV archive of past messages. And the archive of past issues of The Bridge Newsletter

Housing Counseling Works Media Campaign

October 03, 2014 – Webinar: “Housing Counseling Works” Media Campaign. As a HUD-approved participant in the HUD housing counseling network, your agency has an important and positive influence on the lives of residents and homeowners nationwide. Please join the HUD Office of Housing Counseling (OHC) in its effort to spread the word about the value of housing counseling and the many services available through HUD’s “Housing Counseling Works!” public awareness campaign. HUD is seeking to help consumers understand the true value of housing counseling and education services by making them aware of the many services offered and the positive results that can be achieved. The Webinar and conference call will take place at 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern Time. Register on-line. After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining this webinar.

Conference Call-in number: (866) 254-5934

Participant Access Code: 337607

Metro-Georgia Connect – Community Fair

Metro-Georgia Connect  a Collaborative of Counseling Agencies

Will host a Community Fair

“Get a Financial Checkup and more!!!”  For the Citizens we serve

 When: October 18, 2014,  10:00a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Where: Center for Pan Asian Community Services; 3510 Shallowford Road, Atlanta, GA 30341

MGC Mission: Metro-Ga Connect’s mission is to serve as a collaborative bridge, connecting nonprofit organizations that work to serve the defined community with their housing and social services needs.

More to Follow!


Save the Date: 13th Annual Fall Affordable Housing Conference

Attention: Housing Counselors, Housing Counseling Managers, Financial Education Providers and Training professionals!

Please save the date for the 13th Annual Fall Affordable Housing Conference, scheduled for October 29, 2014.  We will hold the conference at the State Bar of Georgia Conference Center, 104 Marietta Street, Atlanta, GA 30303.  The conference will have sessions of interest to affordable housing developers as well as housing counselors.  The opening speaker will be Matt Hauer with UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.  Plan to arrive at 8:30 a.m. for a continental breakfast and then don’t miss a word of Matt’s presentation, beginning shortly after 9 a.m.

 Registration will open September 15th.  

  Kate Little