Hawaii Housing Counselors Participate in Foreclosure Intervention Training

[Photo 1: 19 Housing counselors group pose.]
At a local reception, state leaders and legislators honored and recognized housing counselors from across the state for their hard, but important, work dedicated to serving homeowners.

Hawaii Housing Counselors Enhance Their Foreclosure Intervention and Default Counseling Skills and Knowledge through Place-Based Training.

In early March, the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs ("DCCA"), in partnership with NeighborWorks America, sponsored the first phase of a foreclosure intervention and default counseling certificate training. This week-long training was made available to new and existing housing counselors. It was part of a local effort to immediately assist distressed homeowners with the assistance of National Mortgage Settlement monies.

Counselors with varying experience levels from certified housing counseling agencies representing every county joined the class to make the training robust and Hawaii-centric. They included Hawaii HomeOwnership Center, Legal Aid Services of Hawaii, Hale Mahaolu, Hawaiian Community Assets, and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Hawaii. Staff from DCCA and HUD audited the class and learned firsthand the many roles housing counselors must play and the very sensitive and difficult situations they must handle.

DCCA and a group of housing counseling agencies were among the recipients who received monies from the Foreclosure Assistance Program. The Program is set up and administered by the State of Hawaii Department of the Attorney General. The purpose of the Foreclosure Assistance Program is to disperse the National Mortgage Settlement monies to enhance services to homeowners facing foreclosure, including housing and financial counseling, among many other activities.

[Photo 2: Open binder.]
NeighborWorks America's training material for the place-based foreclosure intervention and default counseling course.

DCCA is using its funds to undertake a statewide foreclosure intervention and prevention campaign and to bring awareness to mortgage foreclosure rescue fraud. Other activities include but are not limited to: training existing and new housing counselors, running public service announcements, and launching a clearinghouse for local foreclosure resources. Housing counseling agencies also received monies from the program to increase the number of housing counselors serving homeowners and families, and homeownership services in the islands.

The week-long training included a reception hosted by NeighborWorks America to recognize the foreclosure intervention efforts in Hawaii. This event highlighted and thanked the housing counselors in the state for the necessary and important work they do each day.

[Photo 3: Handouts and materials.]
Handouts and materials that provide information about local foreclosure prevention initiatives, training opportunities, and loan scams.

In attendance were: DCCA Director Keali‘i Lopez; NeighborWorks America, Pacific District Homeownership Management Consultant Lupe Hernandez; Attorney General David Louie; Director of the Office of Consumer Protection Bruce Kim; Hawaii HomeOwnership Executive Director Dennis Oshiro; and state legislators concerned with the foreclosure issue in Hawaii and supportive of the work of the housing counselors.

For more information on Hawaii's Foreclosure Information Center, please visit HFIC.Hawaii.gov (http://hawaii.gov/dcca/hfic).

For more information on place-based training, such as the HO345 Foreclosure Intervention and Default Counseling Certification course, please visit NeighborWorks America (www.nw.org/network/training/courses/PBT.asp).


Content Archived: February 3, 2015