Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management, a Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counseling agency, has launched two new counseling programs aligned with the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program (HAFA). HAFA, which goes into effect today, provides incentives in connection with short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure.
In response to the ongoing foreclosure crisis, Springboard, introduced a counseling approach to the loss mitigation process that includes budget and lifestyle counseling, debt management, loss mitigation assistance and servicer engagement activities. In partnership with the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF), Springboard is now offering Safe Haven and Soft Landing – two new programs that offer a holistic approach to foreclosure prevention counseling.
"We believe that counseling agencies must work collaboratively with investors, insurers and servicers to implement creative programs to bridge gaps in the loss mitigation process," says Melinda Opperman, Springboard's senior vice president of community outreach and industry relations.
Springboard developed the Soft Landing program for homeowners who could not maintain their home under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). In alignment with HAFA, the Soft Landing initiative allows homeowners to work with servicers and, in some instances, receive cash for keys or moving assistance. The goal of the program is to allow the homeowner a structured transition out of the home with dignity.
Springboard's Safe Haven program is designed for homeowners struggling to make their primary mortgage payments due to high monthly expenses and a limited monthly budget surplus. Homeowners enrolled in the program agree to a formal debt management or budget action plan. The objective of the program is to qualify homeowners for successful loan workout programs and/or increase the probability of mortgage payment adherence.
"Since launching this program, we know that more than 90% of homeowners who qualified for a HAMP trial modification and receiving Safe Haven counseling have made their trial-period payments," adds Opperman.
Both the Soft Landing and Safe Haven programs are being piloted through HPF.