C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling Is Free From HUD So Why Are You Paying Fees For This?

Carolyn Tann-Starr 2010

Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling Is Free From HUD So Why Are You Paying Fees For This?

So, I'm chilling in Home Depot the other day buying paint for my apartment when this woman who reads my blog walks up to me and starts asking about a referral to a company to counsel her on how to avoid foreclosing on her home. She tells me she's been contacted by a few firms who got her info from court records and wants to know what to do. I don't know what to do because I don't know why they contacted her and/or their relationship to her lender. I have never heard of the firms so I have no opinions about them, just a general question:

Why are you going to pay fees for "Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling" when you can get that free from HUD?

It appears none of the commercial companies that contacted her bothered to tell her that. I figure since I helped her in the paint isle I might as well pass along the info to the rest of my readers. If you are struggling to meet your mortgage payments you ought to consider hitting the government websites to discover what your options and rights are. When you are done with your overview and think you understand the process, feel free to hire the professional of your choice to help you with your issues if you believe that is the correct route for you to go. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, then educate yourself and be prepared to live with the choices you make.

Don't be afraid to ask for help but do be cautious when people start contacting you out of the blue because your home makes a commercial distressed property list.

Go to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and read up on President Obama's comprehensive Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan (HASP). There is a lot of free government info to point you in the right direction (plus your lender can send you info if you ask them directly). You shouldn't have to automatically pre-pay money so someone can send you their abbreviated version of what the government says. You are free to pay for what ever you want, but before you pay anyone anything, educate yourself so you can understand what it is you are paying for.

Here's the HUD New York page listing Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling providers and each state has their own list. I know that I wold be pissed off if someone sold me regurgitated government pamphlets I could get by clicking on a couple of Internet links in HUD.gov or the Federal Housing Administration. Research before you buy to try. Just sayin...



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Comment balloon 8 commentsC Tann-Starr • January 30 2010 09:30AM


Your info was excellent.  Thank you so much.  Charlie Gantz, Greenwood, IN; J.D., M.B.A.; Owner/Principal Broker, Atlas Commercial Real Estate, LLC

Posted by Charlie Gantz, J.D., M.B.A. (Keller Williams Commercial, Tampa Bay) over 10 years ago

Carolyn, Good job giving information out in Home Depot - and saving someone a lot of grief & money when they can get what they need without cost.  Nice color palette too!

Posted by Susan Brown (Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too)) over 10 years ago

As always, a great article. I will pass it along.

BTW, please share the room you are painting when done. I love the colors!

Posted by Jerri McCombs, Broker, Hendersonville NC Relocation (Dogwood Real Estate Services) over 10 years ago

"C" ---- great job, there in Home Depot -- thanks for writing this post for others -- great advice and giving them the link, too.

Posted by Liz Loadholt, Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC (Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC) over 10 years ago

This is a great informational post, C.  There are so many unscrupulous people out there, people need to know there is genuine help available.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 10 years ago

Took the shorties out food shopping, showed a couple of homes and we're moving furniture to paint another wall. Stephen picked out Thomas the Train stickers to float around the bedroom and we just laid a row out between the radiator and window sill (shorty's fave spot to scope planes and automobiles - LOL).

I am glad you guys found the info useful. I had a broker recently give me a card that said she could do loan modifications. I asked her if she had a license as a mortgage broker and she said no. If one doesn't work for a lender how does one modify loans? She started talking third party intermediary stuff and I told her it wasn't a good idea to tell people she could do something she really doesn't do... Financial planners, mortgage brokers and bankers get a license up here. If one doesn't have a license it is my belief one ought not to be dabbling in something that could negatively affect the licenses they do have. That's why I love quoting the government. Can't get into too much trouble if you tell people to go straight to HUD or the IRS for the answer to a question. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Great information for the general public C. It's so sad there are so many people out there preying on the victims of this mortgage crisis!

Posted by Connie Harvey, Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate (Pilkerton Realtors) over 10 years ago

Knowledge is power, and it can save you a lot of money as well. It's amazing how many people out there end up paying for something they could have had for free.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 10 years ago

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