Money & Budget Management
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BUDGET & MONEY
Local banks, which are the lenders of choice in the North Country, have generally not engaged in the predatory practices which have resulted in the present foreclosure crisis that is impacting the US economy. The foreclosure rate in St. Lawrence County is significantly lower than in some areas. That is not to say that none of our neighbors are facing that challenge.
More than half of homeowners facing foreclosure do not call for help when they begin to fall behind on their payments, according to industry studies.
However, the early stages of delinquency are the most crucial – the same studies show that homeowners who are one or two payments behind are more likely to keep their homes than those who have fallen further behind on their payment schedule.
Many borrowers may be hesitant to call their bank because of embarrassment, fear, or lack of trust. Working with a certified counselor at the Housing Council may help alleviate this anxiety because a counselor has the ability to serve as mediator between the borrower and lender.
With the help of a counselor, a homeowner can work with his or her lender to develop a reasonable action plan that will offer relief to the borrower. Lenders are often willing to work with a borrower to develop a plan of action designed to put the family back on the financial road to recovery.
Because the Housing Council‘s Home Ownership Center provides homeownership education and counseling, its staff can assist with a range of services to help homeowners at risk in the communities they serve, including face-to-face budget counseling and rehab grants for repairs and maintenance.