HUD Office of Housing Counseling

HUD Office of Housing Counseling HUD was founded in 1965 and launched a new division, (OHC) Office of Housing Counseling community awareness campaign in 2012.

Operating as usual

RENTERS INSURANCE When an individual considers purchasing insurance for property, they only think of homeowners insuranc...


When an individual considers purchasing insurance for property, they only think of homeowners insurance. You rationalize that such purchases, are required of people who actually own homes, and never consider renters. You likewise may need to contemplate purchasing renters insurance. Renters tend to think they don’t have anything much worth insuring. If they are giving the consideration to purchase renters insurance, they generally focus only on the big ticket items – electronics, flat screen TVs, Bose radios, laptops, jewelry, etc. Little consideration is given to the items they used daily.

Rarely, do renters consider the costs of repurchasing items, such as, bedding, curtains, towels, clothing, furniture, and the list goes on and on. Sitting down, and inventorying all that you have in your apartment, condominium, or flat will help you determine the cost to replace these items, as well as perhaps, the need to rethink purchasing renters insurance. Having insurance that covers the loss of personal property may put our minds at ease, if a sudden disaster strikes, such as a fire, tornado or flood. You feel confident knowing that your renters insurance will cover the repurchase cost of all items, covered under the policy.

So, why do most renters forego purchasing renters insurance? As previously mentioned, most don’t think they have anything worth insuring or at least only their big ticket items, so they decide it’s not worth the trouble and added expense. Others think renters insurance is too expensive. Some mistakenly believe that, the owner of the complex is responsible for replacement of personal property lost, when disasters strike. How wrong are they? It is not the responsibility of the apartment owner to replace the loss of personal property, of residents when disasters occur, either natural or man-made. These costs are incurred by the resident. This is why renters may want to take a closer look at the benefits of having renters insurance.

Renters’ insurance policies can cover much more than simply your personal property. It can cover accidents and thefts. Consider this scenario. You arrive home after a hard day at work, and you decide to take a nice, hot bath. You start drawing the bath water when the phone rings, you answer and it is a good friend from high school. Excited to hear from your friend, you engage in a conversation forgetting about your bath. Suddenly, there is loud knocking on your door, you step on the carpet in your bedroom and it is soaked. Then you realize you forgot to turn the water off in the bathtub, you also realize why someone is pounding on you door. Your apartment is flooded, and the resident under you has water damage to nearly all the rooms in his apartment.

With the right type of renters insurance, all or nearly all the damages to the property of the resident living beneath you, may be covered, as well as damages to your personal property. However, you decided to forego renters insurance, because you thought it was too expensive! Before deciding against renters insurance, talk with a HUD housing counselor. The housing counselor can certainly assist you in understanding the benefits, of having this insurance and may even be able to help you estimate how much it will cost.

As the old adage goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry!” Explore all options, before deciding against purchasing renters insurance. A HUD housing counselor can assist you in making an informed decision!

What to Expect Before Your Purchase Your Home Buying a home is the single largest investment you will ever make.  Sadly,...

What to Expect Before Your Purchase Your Home

Buying a home is the single largest investment you will ever make. Sadly, most of us were never taught personal finance in school or exposed to our parent's finances at home. When you’re thinking about buying a home, a lot of questions spring to mind. You might find yourself asking things like: Should I buy a home now? Can I afford it? Are there any hidden costs I should know about? Can anybody help simplify the process? If you’re asking these questions, then you are doing the right thing. But you still may need help preparing for this financial milestone. This is where pre-purchase counseling comes into play.

You have looked at your credit report and have amassed a large savings plan for the down payment on your house. Now, you need to be prepared for the various steps to take before you purchase your home. Keep in mind that purchasing a home may be a long and tedious step. You need patience and determination. As you enter the pre-purchase process, you may find that it can sometimes be overwhelming. It would be in your best interest to engage a housing expert to help you along the way. Pre-counseling has shown a direct correlation to mortgage delinquencies. Recent data shows a 34 percent reduction in delinquency rate for homeowners who participate in pre-purchase counseling.

The purpose of Pre-Purchase Counseling is to address issues that may prevent or delay affordable mortgage financing, while offering specific steps to help you to achieve your goal of homeownership. The counseling also helps you to understand how to avoid potential problems that might jeopardize your ability to retain your home.

What Does Pre-Counseling Include?

It includes a complete review of your current financial profile (including an analysis of your income, expenses, debt, and credit obligations). This review will cover your current affordability for home ownership, and a personalized strategy for increasing savings for a down payment. You will see how credit plays a role in the home buying process and will learn how to bring your credit reports in sync with lender guidelines. The housing counselor also reviews the debt-to-income requirements for various home buying programs, the types of loans and the pros and cons of each, and how to avoid predatory lending. You can also expect to gain a familiarity with the terms and forms used in the mortgage industry.

Homeowners who prepare are far more likely to get their most positive outcome. So expect to spend some time with your mortgagor to learn about your options, your eligibility and the steps you must take to apply for assistance. Learn all you can and become familiar with the features of the programs offered. Find the one you think fits your situation best. The time you spend on this site could pay big dividends for your future as a homeowner.

• Two most recent pay stubs for all household members contributing toward the mortgage payment
• Last two years of tax returns
• If self-employed, the most recent quarterly or year-to-date profit and loss statement
• Documentation of income you receive from other sources (alimony, child support, social security, etc.)
• Two most recent bank statements
• A utility bill showing homeowner name and property address
• Unemployment insurance letter, if applicable
• Account balances and minimum monthly payments due on all of your credit cards
• Information about your savings and other assets
• It may also be helpful to have: A letter describing any circumstances that caused your income to be reduced or expenses to be increased (job loss, divorce, illness, etc.)

Consult the Housing and Urban Development Office of Housing Counseling for pre-purchasing assistance. With so many financial terms to remember and a process that can be complicated, you would benefit greatly from the help of a housing expert from a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. Remember! There is no charge to work with a HUD-approved counseling agency. A housing counseling expert can provide a range of services, including the following:

• Identifying mortgage assistance options that are suitable for your situation.
• Explaining required documents and, in many cases, submitting those documents to your mortgage company for you.
• Helping you create a budget that supports your mortgage and other expenses.
• Providing information about local resources that may also be helpful to you.

What to Expect from a Housing Expert

If you decide to work with a HUD-approved housing counselor, you can expect that they will work as your advisor and advocate. As your advisor, your counselor needs as much information about your situation as you can provide to know which MHA options you should pursue. As your advocate, working with your mortgage company on your behalf, your counselor needs documentation to champion your cause. Your counselor will need documented information about your loan, your financial situation and your prospective income going forward. The more documentation you can provide, the more thorough your counselor can be in finding the best solution for your situation. Expect to spend time gathering the documents your housing counselor and/or mortgage servicer will need to evaluate your situation.

Unfortunately, and far too often, homeowners looking for mortgage help end up victimized by scam artists. Know the warning signs to protect yourself, your money, and your home. Help is a Phone Call Away: 888-995-HOPE (4673) - Hearing impaired: 877-304-9709 TTY.

Let a HUD-approved housing counselor help you understand your options, prepare your application, and work with your mortgage company. Contact them today!

Provide & Protect the Family Homeless in the USA   In the United States 10 million families with children are homeless; ...

Provide & Protect the Family Homeless in the USA

In the United States 10 million families with children are homeless; that’s 35% of the 3.5 million people who are homeless in America. Out of this 10 million nearly 1 million are children, our most vulnerable population.

Families with children are the hardest hit of the homeless population as often their condition is caused by drastic change in their life’s condition; usually tragic; such as the loss of a spouse or a job. Disabling illnesses, mental disorders, divorce, natural disasters; there are a myriad of reasons for homelessness. Yet, and still the power to resolve homelessness resides within our community, our organizations, but most of all ourselves.

Prevention is always the best remedy for homelessness, but more often than not, individuals do not adhere to preventative measures and find themselves in dire situation called homeless.
What do you do when you find that you and your children are homeless?

1. Seek Shelter – if you have family, friends who are willing to offer you shelter this may be preferable to a homeless shelter. If not, find the nearest homeless shelter for you and your family. These shelters are not known for their accommodations but they enable you to get your family off of the streets.
2. Seek assistance – there are many programs that offer assistance for the homeless, especially families with children. Social Welfare organizations, National Coalition for the Homeless, local churches and numerous other organizations can provide assistance.
3. Research Directories for Assistance - You can visit a local library and access the internet and research orginazaitons in your area that are willing to help.
4. Seek Counseling – Many organization offer counseling services to the homeless.
5. Plan to succeed – Though it may be hard to imagine better times when you are homeless it is critical that you begin making plans to improve you and your family’s life. Every little step towards the right direction can help. If you can go on interviews – even if you’re not sure you can get the job. Staying hopeful and persistent might make the difference.
6. Never give up – No matter what, never give up trying to improve your quality of life. Stay focused, even if you’re in a shelter, consider it a temporary situation and strive every day to change it.


Foreclosure prevention

Your home is a treasure not only for you, but your family as well. Foreclosure can leave you and your family homeless, and can seriously damage your credit rating. Foreclosure is a nightmare many people try to avoid, yet there are ways to avoid this nightmare!
Here are some tips and steps you can take to avoid foreclosure!

If you are not making payments, try to talk to the lender and work out a deal. If that does not work, consider file for bankruptcy, and/or get government help. Sometimes it is even better to sell the home yourself. Selling your house yourself, allows you to keep whatever equity that you invested in your house.

When negotiating with your lender, it is better to do it early, then let the missed payments pile up. Lenders are usually willing to negotiate to avoid letting the home go to foreclosure. It is important to do this early though, because after too many missed payments it may be too late. Talking to your lender, may result in partial payments or they may redo the terms of your loan all together.

When negotiating with your lender you will have to call the “loss mitigation department” and ask for one of the following:
● Forbearance- which means that you agree upon a time partially pay or not pay at all.
● Loan reinstatement- which means that you agree to pay all the payments you have missed by a specific date.
● Loan Modification- where the terms of the loan are changed so that you can better afford it.

Another tip to helping control the situation is consider hiring a housing counselor. A housing counselor can help get your finances back on track and talk to your lender for you. Be careful not to fall into scams, because often times these people just steal your money.

There are other steps you can take if you find yourself in on the brink of a foreclosure.

● Make the lender produce the “note” - If the lender cannot find the note, the foreclosure can be postponed or canceled all together
● Question the chain of the title- In order to go through with the foreclosure the ownership of the house must be clear and unambiguous. Because mortgages are bundled up in complex securities and traded on the market place often times it is not clear. If you can succesfully question the title the foreclosure can be canceled.
● Negotiate the deed in lieu of foreclosure- Ask the lender if they can accept the deed in lieu of the foreclosure. This is where you give the deed to the lender in exchange for walking away owing nothing.
For more assistance check out the:
● Home Affordable Modification Program- This programs helps people who have been struggling financially. This program can get your payments reduced or the terms of their loan changed.
● Home Affordable Refinance Program- This program is designed to help people who specifically have loans from Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.



You’re 62 years of age or older, retired on a fixed income, in a home you’ve owned for years when something unexpected happens and cost you a great deal of money. Now you’re worried about paying your mortgage. Before you fall behind in your mortgage payments consider a reverse mortgage.

What’s a Reverse Mortgage?

A reverse mortgage is a loan for individuals 62 years or older that allows them to convert the equity in their home into cash leaving no monthly payments to pay. Generally, as long as you live in your house as your primary residence, pay the property taxes and insurance you can take advantage of a reverse mortgage.

What do Most People Take Advantage of a Reverse Mortgage?

Perhaps the greatest reason to get a reverse mortgage is to pay off your mortgage. Being mortgage free can alleviate a great deal of pressure and allow you to spend your funds to enjoy live. There are many other reasons; such as medical expenses, home renovations, elimination of excessive debt, all of which serve to improve the borrower’s quality of life in their senior years.

Types of Reverse Mortgages

There are 3 types of reverse mortgage loans:
1. Single purpose – loans are designated for a specific purpose such as paying back taxes, insurance or repairs
2. Proprietary - loans given and backed by a private company
3. Federally-insured – Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM)

All three types of loans are based on the equity in your home and is usually tax free and won’t impact Medicare, Social Security or retirement benefits.

When Does the Loan Have to be repaid?

If the borrower (s) die, moves or sells the home the loan must be repaid; or when the home is no longer the principal residence.
Realities of a Reverse Mortgage

As with any loan there realties: processes, fees, disadvantages, that must be addressed.
1. Fees -- such as closing cost, servicing and insurance premiums are usually accessed.
2. Interest Rate could change – unless you have a fixed rate you loan changes with the market, which, depending on market, can increase or decrease your rate
3. Non-tax deductible - You cannot deduct your interest on a reverse mortgage
4. You must maintain - your property taxes, insurance, utilities, fuel and any other cost related to the upkeep of your home
5. Interest is added on the money you owe- as with most loans so you pay more over time
6. Spouses that are not on the loan will not receive the money from reverse - if the borrow passes. Arrangements are often made with the lender if the spouse has the ability and desire to stay.
7. Fewer assets to pass on to your heir- the money taken in a reverse is used against the equity which could mean less to pass on to your heirs

Before you consider a reverse mortgage read the blog – “The First Thing You Should Do When Considering a Reverse Mortgage.”


451 7th St SW
Washington D.C., DC

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 12am - 11pm


(800) 569-4287


Be the first to know and let us send you an email when HUD Office of Housing Counseling posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Nearby government services

Other Government Organizations in Washington D.C.

Show All


I'm excited to announce that I've created a place for HUD Certified Housing Counselors to join together in collaboration to strengthen our profession and industry. Please consider joining if you are already a HUD Certified Housing Counselor.
The City of Bloomington, Indiana, is seeking a full-time loan and housing counseling program manager. Please see details at
What's Happening With HUD in Puerto Rico. Lately there's has not been any supervision to the local Government. HUD simply gives money for Section 8, to the local Governments and allows their handling without stipulations. The Local Government, both Municipal and State, have been lowering the amounts it grants, unilaterally, not allowing the Property owners arguments being heard. They don't even allow for raise solicitations to be considered. Then they allow the Inspectors to torment the owners with exaggerated specifications, and not allowing reason to kick inn. It that was all, ok, but at the same time they lower the rents payed, they increase the property taxes. This is a sure equation for bankruptcy for the Owners , without any considerations for them. I foresee a lack of interest on behalf of renting to Section 8 and not only owners but lots of needy people suffering the consequences.