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Homework Helps Homeowners Hold on to American Dream

Christiansburg, Va. – Receiving housing counseling before you buy a home just might determine whether or not you are able to hold on to it in the future, local nonprofit Community Housing Partners (CHP) announced today. The assessment comes from research done for NeighborWorks America by Neil Mayer and Associates and Experian and is based on approximately 75,000 mortgage loans originated in 2007, 2008, and 2009. The report indicates that first-time and repeat homebuyers who participated in pre-purchase counseling and education taught by qualified housing counselors were one-third less likely to fall behind on their mortgages 90 days or more, two years after taking out the loan, compared to homebuyers who did not. 

“As a NeighborWorks America Chartered Member who offers free homebuyer counseling and education, CHP’s goal is to teach our clients how to make wise consumer choices and become successful long-term owners,” stated CHP Homeownership Specialist Ryan Stenger. “And we recognize that client education begins well before any closing documents are ever signed. Pre-purchase counseling helps stave off family stress, financial difficulties, and related community costs often associated with unmanageable mortgages.”  

Kamilia Lawson, CHP’s Director of Homeownership, commented that, “the NeighborWorks research clearly tells us what we have known anecdotally, which is that addressing potential housing issues ahead of time makes stronger, more stable homeowners and communities.”  

Estimates vary, but total losses due to foreclosure borne by local governments, servicers, and households can exceed $50,000 per foreclosure, according to a report from the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress.  

About NeighborWorks America

For nearly 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals. For more information, go to www.nw.org.