Services: What We Offer
Budgeting, Credit, and Managing Finances
Attendees learn the importance of budgeting. They are taken through the process of understanding where their money comes from and where it goes. The maintenance of good credit is emphasized, and attendees go through current trends in credit.
Our Housing Counselors will be able to:
- Coach a client to help the client create a household budget based on financial goals.
- Evaluate a client's current financial situation, including income and expenses, and future goals to help the client achieve short and long-term financial stability.
- Advise a client about strategies to increase income and reduce expenses and debt to achieve stated financial goals.
- Analyze a client's credit report in order to break down the information for the client into easily understood concepts.
- Evaluate a credit score and be able to explain to a client how this score is calculated.
- Advise a client on understanding credit challenges and methods to improve credit scores, including how to correct reporting errors, how much credit to have, and which types are better.
- Comprehend consumer rights protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), and the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), and be able to explain these rights to clients.
Managing and Protecting Assets
Managing Your Assets
- Comprehend key attributes of different banking accounts available at a bank or credit union, including fee structure and access to funds.
- Explain the importance of establishing an emergency fund and short-term saving funds for large purchases.
Protecting Your Assets
- Advise a client about common types of predatory lending and how to avoid these practices with improved credit habits.
- Describe to a client how to protect personal identity information and what action to take when confronted with identity theft.
- Explain how Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy affect credit scores, lending decisions, and rental applications.
- Comprehend what is appropriate to discuss regarding the topic of bankruptcy with a client.
Avoidance Strategies and Industry Practices
- Demonstrate comprehension of the events leading up to the most recent increase in foreclosure rates by naming three mortgage industry practices that increased rates of mortgage default by borrowers.
- Demonstrate comprehension of recent regulatory changes and nationwide legal settlements that may help a client avoid mortgage default and foreclosure.
- Apply knowledge of key foreclosure-related documents for both a judicial and non-judicial process when discussing the foreclosure process with a client.
- Evaluate a client’s financial situation and reason(s) the client is facing foreclosure.
- Apply knowledge of different options available to a homeowner facing foreclosure, such as establishing an emergency budget, helping to determine if the client should stay in the home, and the workout request process.
- Apply knowledge of payment assistance programs describing common attributes of those programs to clients seeking information.
- Apply knowledge of the Making Home Affordable program and options such as HAMP, HARP, and principal reduction programs, as well as state-funded and proprietary programs, when assessing a client's circumstances for foreclosure prevention options.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the necessary forms and requirements for a mortgage lender loss mitigation package.
- Apply knowledge of HOPE LoanPort, including how to upload a client's loss mitigation packet and track its progress.
- Evaluate a client's information to better discuss appropriate loss mitigation options for a client whose loan is insured by FHA.
- Apply knowledge of mortgage default scams to describe ways to avoid these scams and where to report being a scam victim.
- Explain the costs and consequences of foreclosure (judicial and non-judicial), short sale, or deed-in-lieu.
- Analyze a client’s information if the client seeks to transition away from homeownership, demonstrating knowledge of programs like HAFA and FHA cash-for-keys.
- Apply knowledge of the foreclosure timeline, processes, and next steps to occur if a client is unable to stay in the home, devising appropriate action steps to assist the client in recovering from a mortgage default as soon as possible.
Housing Counselors will be able to provide an understanding of the Fair Housing Act and federal, state, and local laws. Fair housing laws provide protection against discrimination in the sale, rental, occupancy, advertising, and financing of housing. Understand the laws regarding rent control and rent stabilization. Get an overview of Housing Court; getting repairs; how to get legal representation; tenant organizations, and associations. If your rights are violated, what you should do.
Learn how to protect yourself from various frauds relating to: mail scams; identity theft; foreign lotteries, and sweepstakes; how to prepare for future health problems and financial disasters.
Insurance - Educating clients on the importance of insurance for their financial futures. The type and purposes of life, home, rental, and mortgage insurance.
Property Taxes - Learn how to access and reduce your property taxes through tax exemptions. Learn the different tax exemptions and eligibility requirements.
Energy Efficiency Improvements - Energy saving options for a new home and an existing home to save on bills. Green options can be built, and programs offered to save energy.
How to Avoid Foreclosure Scams - A workshop on how to identify a modification scam company and how to avoid them.
What We Do
To provide basic human needs to individuals and families in need.
To strengthen individuals, families, and communities by developing and sustaining exceptional housing and programs for homeless and other vulnerable Texans.
Serving members of the Dallas/Fort Worth area and the surrounding communities.