Consumer Agency Shifts Away From Foreclosures
When the Center for Financial Health in Michigan started, the staff spent 80% of their time assisting people facing foreclosures.
That’s now down to about 50%, as home buyer education becomes a major focus in a preventative approach to help people avoid mortgage problems. The statistics show some success. In 2012, 199 homes were saved compared to only 34 lost to bankruptcy.
“Our homebuyers’ education class is probably our most popular. We have that class every three weeks, and cut registration off at 50. That kind of education is required with certain mortgages, but we find half of the participants take the class simply because they want to learn more about becoming successful homeowners. It looks as though we’ll serve about 400 to 500 people this year just on homebuyer education.”
Adding education to foreclosure help, the center served just over 1,000 clients last year. With a staff of six, including interns and AmeriCorps volunteers, it operates on a budget just under $300,000.