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Housing counselors help sort out debt, prevent foreclosure

New Jersey housing counseling agencies, among those in many other states, are set to receive about $660,000 in funding from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. This money is being made available to help reduce the number of foreclosures in the state. For several years now these organizations have been working to reduce foreclosures, and to educate low-income families about housing issues to help them avoid heavy debt in the future.

In the last three years alone, nearly six million borrowers nationally have benefited from this type of counseling to modify their mortgage rates and terms to be more manageable. Three million of these were borrowers that benefited in 2010 alone. Additionally, a recent study reveals that nine in 10 families that have received foreclosure counseling have remained in their housing 18 months later and are no longer in the same danger of debt.

Debt, by its nature, piles up when there is not sufficient income to support it. For those individuals and families overwhelmed by financial obligations that have rocketed out of control, bankruptcy protection may offer the debt relief they need. But many are often unfamiliar with the laws and procedures to enable themselves to fight their way back to solid financial ground again. These financial counseling agencies in New Jersey and across the country, combined with related strategies, are often able to help families sort through their debt to put their finances in order so as to avoid the stress and difficulty that foreclosure can bring.

Source: Philly.com, "PA. gets money to help reduce foreclosures," Alan J. Heavens, March 17, 2012

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