HUD No. 08-086
June 19, 2008
FHA REACHING OUT TO 675,000 AT-RISK HOMEOWNERS IN SECOND PHASE OF DIRECT MAIL CAMPAIGN
Hundreds of thousands of homeowners urged to consider safer, more affordable FHA-backed mortgages
WASHINGTON - This week, HUD's Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is mailing hundreds of thousands of letters to homeowners at risk of losing their homes through foreclosure and urging them to consider a safer, more affordable alternative to the high-cost mortgages they are currently paying. The first round of 280,000 letters was mailed in February. FHA's public awareness campaign will continue through September, ultimately reaching 850,000 distressed homeowners.
"This letter might be the most important piece of mail many of these families will receive all year," said HUD Secretary Steve Preston. "This information could not only help save their current home, it could help provide them with long term financial security. This outreach campaign will ensure families are aware of the safe mortgage alternative offered by FHA."
Letters are being sent to homeowners who have already faced or are experiencing the first reset of their adjustable rate mortgages. Through the end of the year, FHA can insure home loans valued between $271,050 and $729,750. Normally these loan limits are set between $200,160 and $362,790 but were expanded through President Bush's Economic Stimulus Package. Bipartisan FHA Modernization legislation awaiting final action by the Senate and House of Representatives would permanently increase the loan limits to an acceptable level.
FHA-insured loans are backed by the full faith and credit of the government, which typically allows lenders to offer mortgage products at a lower, more affordable interest rate. More than 90 percent of FHA-backed mortgages are 30-year, fixed rate products. FHA also provides a one-of-a-kind loss mitigation program that helps protect borrowers against foreclosure. Finally, FHASecure, which allows borrowers who are current and delinquent on their loans to refinance with the FHA, is saving tens of thousands of families on average $400 a month compared to their exotic subprime loans.
Below is a copy of the letter being sent to homeowners.
Do you need help with your mortgage?
Your area is experiencing a disturbing home foreclosure rate that has accelerated in recent months. News reports cite the damaging effects of "sub prime loans" as a major factor in the unsettled market. By focusing on education and safe mortgage alternatives, though, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is working diligently to address this unacceptable foreclosure trend.
Over the past few months, FHA has worked with mortgage loan servicers to identify solutions for the crisis facing current homeowners. Your current mortgage does not have to be FHA insured for you to benefit from our help. If you are facing financial difficulties due to a recent or imminent mortgage reset, or other housing-related difficulty, I urge you to contact us at 1 (800) CALL-FHA or to visit www.fha.gov. There you will have the opportunity to learn about foreclosure prevention, legal rights, and credit counseling, among other topics.
Many homeowners may also be able to take advantage of our recently announced FHASecure program. This new program allows eligible homeowners to refinance into a secure, fixed-rate FHA loan even if they are in default.
Additionally, a new partnership between mortgage companies and non-profit housing counselors called HOPE NOW is available to you. Their mission is simple: reach out to homeowners who may be having difficulty paying their mortgages. For more information or to see if your mortgage company is a member of this caring coalition please go to www.hopenow.com.
Again, please contact us at 1 (800) CALL-FHA (800-225-5342) or go to www.fha.gov. As part of the federal government, the Federal Housing Administration wants to help you protect and preserve the American dream - your home.
Brian D. Montgomery
Assistant Secretary for Housing
Federal Housing Commissioner
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov. For more information about FHA products, please visit www.fha.gov.