Treasury steps up efforts to help struggling homeowners

The federal government is ramping up its efforts to reach out to struggling homeowners about the benefits of a foreclosure prevention program.

The Treasury and Housing and Urban Development departments have teamed up with the Ad Council to launch a new series of ads starting on Wednesday to let homeowners know about free foreclosure prevention assistance through the Making Home Affordable Program.

ADVERTISEMENT

This latest phase of the campaign aims to reach struggling homeowners who may be current on payments but are affected by other circumstances that is creating financial trouble.

“As the economy continues to heal from the Great Recession, many homeowners still struggle to make their mortgage payments,” said Sarah Bloom Raskin, deputy Treasury secretary.

Nearly 1 in 17 homeowners has fallen behind on their mortgage, according to the agencies.

Since its inception in 2009, the foreclosure prevention program has expanded its options to reach a wider group of homeowners.

The program was recently extended through Dec. 31, 2016.

“Although the housing market and economy are making a steady recovery, many struggling homeowners would still benefit from the one-on-one counseling services a HUD-approved housing agency can provide them,” said Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Carol Galante.

The program allows a range of options including lowering monthly mortgage payments and helping the unemployed or underemployed who owe more than their homes are worth.

All told, the program has helped more than 1.5 million families.

All ads are run in donated space by media organizations, which over four years have provided more than $135 million in airtime and space.