The $25 billion mortgage settlement received quite a bit of press when the documents were signed back in February, and for good reason. Encompassing several states attorneys general and the largest financial institutions in the country, the settlement was seen as a huge step toward remedying some of the lingering ills from the housing boom.
Now that the dust has settled somewhat, though, homeowners may be wondering how they fit in with the settlement’s features – and if they seek to benefit from it. So to answer those questions, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has coordinated with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and launched a public service campaign.
Beginning with a PSA television ad titled “Homeowner Help,” which can be viewed at the website’s for both HUD and the mortgage settlement, is specifically designed to educate homeowners about the resources available to them through the mortgage servicing settlement.
In addition, HUD will be airing 30-second television and radio spots – in English and Spanish – that are customized for both national and local media markets, a Homeowner Help website and a new Mortgage Assistance Guide. Some of the specific information the ads and websites offer include:
- Refinancing directions for borrowers with FHA, prime and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac financing.
- Descriptions of options for distressed homeowners, from loan modifications to special forbearance.
- Scammer disclaimers; already, shady figures have attempted to profit on the settlement, so HUD has a list of instructions to verify that assistance is legitimate.
As HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan emphasized, HUD’s campaign is aimed at educating homeowners about how the settlement may pertain to them.
“The National Mortgage Servicing Settlement represents the single largest-scale principal reduction effort we’ve seen since this housing crisis began, and the PSAs and online tools announced today will create an extended opportunity for homeowners, across the country, to gain access to information, options and opportunities that could help to keep them in their homes,” he said. “Already, the servicing settlement is helping homeowners and making a difference, and our goal is to ensure every eligible family is aware of the help it provides.”
The campaign by HUD, as we’ve reported the last couple of days, is not the only housing-related public service effort. The National Association of Realtors has been extremely busy as of late, launching not only a massive, nationwide email campaign to complement its $40-million advertising budget, but a new advocacy initiative directed at its members. So though many things can be said about the housing industry, it can not be accused of complacency!
And of course, all of the aforementioned aspects of HUD’s campaign contain all of the necessary phone numbers and contact information, so if any of your clients require any mortgage-related assistance, you can refer them to those sources.