Ongoing effort urges homeowners with mortgage trouble to learn about free foreclosure prevention assistance through the Making Home Affordable Program
WASHINGTON – In an effort to increase awareness of the Making Home Affordable® (MHA) Program’s free resources and assistance for struggling homeowners, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Ad Council today launched a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) as a part of their Foreclosure Prevention Assistance campaign.
MHA launched in 2009 and is a critical part of the Administration's strategy to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, stabilize the country's housing market, and improve the nation's economy. The program offers a range of solutions, including lower monthly mortgage payments for struggling homeowners, as well as options for unemployed or underemployed homeowners and those who owe more than their homes are worth. To date, MHA has helped more than 1.5 million families nationwide.
“Families and neighborhoods across the country continue to recover from the financial crisis, and we must not lose our resolve to help them, even as the economy continues to expand,” said Secretary Lew. “From day one, the Obama Administration has worked to provide relief to struggling homeowners and stabilize hard-hit communities. Today’s announcement continues that effort. These new actions will help provide more affordable options for renters, assist homeowners facing foreclosure or juggling bills to pay their mortgages and expand access to credit for prospective borrowers.”
This latest phase of the campaign aims to reach struggling homeowners who may be current on payments, but are, as a result of some hardship, juggling expenses to make ends meet. Many of these homeowners may be unaware that MHA has expanded its options, and may have a solution available to address their particular financial situation.
Nearly 1 in 17 homeowners has fallen behind on his or her mortgage, underscoring the continued need for MHA, which was recently extended through at least December 31, 2016.
“As the economy continues to heal from the Great Recession, many homeowners still struggle to make their mortgage payments,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin. “The good news is that help is still available. This new PSA campaign is our latest effort to raise awareness of the free government resources available through Making Home Affordable to assist struggling homeowners in avoiding foreclosure.”
“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. “More than 1.5 million families have already benefitted from the Making Home Affordable Program, and we hope this effort to educate homeowners will lead to many more families using these free services and getting the help they need to stay in their homes.”
“While MHA has already helped so many across the country, our research shows that many families continue to rebalance their finances to meet their mortgage payments. They know they need help but don’t know where to find it,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “We hope the advertising will reach those in need, letting them know they don’t have to face this problem alone and inspiring them to reach out for help.”
Ad Council research shows that many homeowners are juggling their finances each month in order to pay their mortgage. They may fall behind on other bills, work two jobs, and find ways to fix things around the house themselves in order to make ends meet. Even if these struggling American homeowners are not behind on their mortgage payments, they could still reach out for help from Making Home Affordable. With that in mind, Chicago-based advertising agency Schafer Condon Carter (SCC) created pro bono the new TV, print, radio, outdoor and digital PSAs to strongly encourage homeowners not to give up hope and remind them that there are free resources available to help.
"This new campaign will broaden the reach of MHA and extend the message of its benefits to more Americans who are struggling every day to meet the financial demands of their mortgages," said David Selby, President and Managing Partner of SCC. "The advertising seeks to resonate with these homeowners by acknowledging the commitment they make to keep their homes while letting them know that there is additional help available."
The PSAs, which are available in English and Spanish, direct homeowners to call 888-995-HOPE (4673) to speak one-on-one with experts at HUD-approved housing counseling agencies about solutions based on each family’s individual circumstances. The Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, the campaign drives homeowners to MakingHomeAffordable.gov for program eligibility and information.
Per the Ad Council model, all PSAs will be aired and run in time and space donated by media organizations. Since the campaign was launched in 2010, media outlets have donated over $125 million in airtime and space.