FHA reaching out to 675,000 at-risk homeowners in second phase of direct mail campaignMortgagePress.comFHA, HUD, Brian Montgomery, foreclosure, homeowners
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. Bi-partisan 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 sub-prime
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
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