HUD Archives: News Releases

Kristine Foye
(617) 994-8218
For Release
March 28, 2008


FITCHBURG, MA - Today, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Director Taylor Caswell
joined Twin Cities Community Development Corporation Executive Director Marc Dohan to outline programs that
could help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Twin Cities CDC is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, which provides advice and guidance to homeowners who are facing mortgage delinquency and default. In addition, housing counseling agencies help local families and individuals become first-time homebuyers by helping them to realistically evaluate their readiness for a home
purchase and understand their financing and downpayment options. Twin Cities CDC, one of 48 HUD-certified
housing counseling agencies in Massachusetts, can be contacted at (978) 342-9561.

"The value of housing counseling cannot be overstated," said Caswell. "Whether it is helping someone with
purchasing their first home, or assisting someone who is having difficulty paying their mortgage, Twin Cities CDC
and other HUD-certified counseling agencies help people navigate what can be an extremely confusing and difficult process."

Over the past year, Twin Cities CDC has seen an increase in the number of people at risk of mortgage default. In 2007, they provided foreclosure prevention assistance to 77 households. In addition, they provided homeownership education to 176 people, 80 of whom have become first-time homebuyers.

"Homeowners facing mortgage delinquency need to take action as early in the process as possible," said Dohan.
"The best chance of success is when homeowners call at the first sign of trouble."

In February, Twin Cities CDC was awarded nearly $35,000 in additional funding to provide foreclosure assistance counseling. The funding was awarded as part of a $180 million special appropriation (FY08 Consolidated
Appropriations Act) that was disbursed by NeighborWorks to 700 local HUD-approved housing counseling agencies nationwide.

In addition to housing counseling, other resources are available that may help homeowners who are having trouble paying their mortgage:

  • Refinancing into an FHA-insured loan: The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is the branch of HUD that insures mortgages against default. Under its new refinancing program, FHA Secure, families with strong credit histories who have an adjustable rate mortgage may be eligible to refinance the mortgage into a fixed-rate loan. Borrowers need to meet certain criteria, including a history of on-time payments before the ARM reset to a higher rate. Since being launched in September, 1,260 adjustable rate mortgages in Massachusetts have been refinanced into an FHA-insured loan. For information on FHA Secure, visit, or call (800) CALL-FHA.

  • Hope Now Alliance/Project Lifeline: Six major lenders (Bank of America, Citigroup, Countrywide, Chase, WaMu and Wells Fargo) have agreed to put a moratorium on foreclosures for borrowers who are seriously delinquent (90 days or more), while they work with homeowners one-on-one. For more information, visit, or call (888) 995-HOPE.

  • Mortgage Relief Fund: Five major banks in New England (Bank of America, Citizens, Soveriegn, TD BankNorth, and Webster Bank) have pledged to work with borrowers to try to refinance burdensome mortgages into new mortgages with better terms. For more information visit

For more information on housing counseling/foreclosure prevention services offered by Twin Cities CDC, call (978)
342-9561. For a complete list of housing counseling agencies, or for information on refinancing into an FHA-insured loan, visit or call (800) CALL-FHA.


Content Archived: June 27, 2011