By Mark Cole, HLP Chief Executive Officer
Many people afraid of losing their home to foreclosure feel trapped. They don’t want to ask for help from friends and relatives, yet are often too scared to call their lender to find out what solutions are available. A large number of these homeowners can’t even bear to open mail from their mortgage company, fearing they may soon not have a home.
But with a few clicks on the internet, distressed homeowners and people facing other financial problems can now quickly find out help for most financial issues at www.MyLoanHelp.me.
Funded by a grant from the Finance of America Foundation, MyLoanHelp.me is a central source of information about financial aid programs nationwide, including state and federal government programs and private charitable resources. It is free for everyone — consumers, government agencies, nonprofit counselors and the mortgage industry. And no one applying for help will have their personal information or data sold to a third party.
Once a person finds a program that may offer help, they can apply for many of these programs via HLP’s secure, online channel, www.hlp.org. And to provide additional help, anyone can chat online with a nonprofit HUD-approved housing counselor. Counselors trained to help distressed homeowners are able to help applicants understand how these programs work and if one offered by a government agency or mortgage lender that is right for them.
MyLoanHelp.me is the brainchild of the Finance of America Foundation. The goal is to provide solutions for homeowners and others in financial distress. It believes that while hundreds of new programs were created during the financial crisis to help homeowners, the solutions were confusing. In addition, homeowners had no central source for help.
At MyLoanHelp.me, people can get help quickly and find solutions available from government agencies, mortgage companies, nonprofit organizations and others. After submitting only six pieces of information, people can learn about various programs that may offer solutions.
Finance of America Foundation has spent several months testing its site and taking recommendations from a team of advisors. Barney Frank, former U.S. Representative from Massachusetts, is one of several outside advisors that has offered help in designing the new platform.
We know our economy and housing issues are cyclical, and we are already seeing early warning signs of future problems. In addition, the site can help people facing unusual, one-time issues, such as a hurricane or other natural disasters that causes major property damage or problems faced by workers as a result of the federal government shutdown.
By creating a comprehensive database and a secure way to apply for help, people facing these hardships will be empowered with the tools needed to help them keeps their homes.
MyLoanHelp.me’s platform now includes programs and resources from more than 300 different organizations from around the nation. But the number of programs listed there is expected to continue to grow.
The site’s program management tool enables the largest commercial banks, mortgage servicing companies, government agencies, private, local resources and nonprofit counselors to exchange data and documents with homeowners seeking loan modifications and other assistance. Program managers are able to keep their program information updated, add or remove programs and customize program eligibility requirements all from a simple interface.
To learn more, visit MyLoanHelp.me or watch this video.