Nationwide partnership between the federal government and local hud-approved housing counseling agencies helps families at risk of foreclosure apply for assistance from the making home affordable program for free

FITCHBURG -- The HomeOwnership Center of North Central Massachusetts is participating in a nationwide partnership to help families struggling with their mortgage payments apply for help from the Federal government's Making Home Affordable Program -- a key part of the Obama Administration's efforts to help families avoid foreclosure and strengthen the housing market recovery. More than one million homeowners nationwide have already benefitted from the Making Home Affordable Program, but hundreds of thousands of additional families are still eligible for help.

The HomeOwnership Center of Massachusetts -- a housing counseling agency approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) -- is working in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, NeighborWorks® America and more than 700 housing counseling agencies across the country to help homeowners complete application materials for the program free-of-charge and successfully submit them to their mortgage company.

Homeowners struggling with their mortgage payments often delay reaching out for help because they feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn. Many homeowners have expressed difficulties working with their mortgage company to submit the documents required to apply for help, which has postponed getting them the help they need.


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Unfortunately, some homeowners have paid to get help only to discover that they have become the victims of scams.

As part of this nationwide effort to help families apply for mortgage aid, the HomeOwnership Center of North Central Massachusetts offers these tips for homeowners struggling with their monthly mortgage payments:

* Homeowners should remember that they do not need to navigate through their mortgage difficulties alone. Homeowners can always work with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, like the HomeOwnership of North Central Massachusetts, free-of-charge to get help understanding their options and applying for assistance. Research shows that homeowners who work with a housing counselor are more likely to receive the assistance for which they are eligible.

* Homeowners should not delay reaching out for help if they are struggling with their mortgage payments. There are more options available today to help families avoid foreclosure than ever before. The Federal government's Making Home Affordable Program is the first step for many families to access the help they need.

* There is never a fee to apply for help. Homeowners should beware of anyone who asks them to pay a fee for counseling services or for a mortgage modification.

To make an appointment with the HomeOwnership Center of North Central Massachusetts to get free help applying for mortgage aid, homeowners should call 888-978-6261 or email info@homesncm.org.