Issues for Advisors
✰ NEW – HUD Releases Training Material for Housing Counselor Certification
HUD released its new website for housing counselor certification, http://www.hudhousingcounselors.com/, in June 2015. The website currently contains a training course for the six areas that counselors will have to show profiency in to pass the upcoming certification exam: financial management, housing affordability, fair housing, homeownership, avoiding foreclosure, and tenancy. The practice exam and certification exam will be available at a future date.
CXHE Requests $8.2 Million from New York State
CXHE requests one-time funding from New York State’s mortgage settlement funds to address federal cuts in housing counseling while our industry transitions to more stable funding sources. Housing counseling helps households obtain better, more affordable financial products that make them more successful homeowners and tenants. You can read the letter below, and find it available for download here.
Letter NYS Governor Cuomo on the Mortgage Settlement
As of November 6, 2014, CXHE has submitted a letter to NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo advocating for the use of mortgage settlement funds from the JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and other settlements for pre-purchase counseling, post purchase programs and Sandy relief. These kinds of programs help households avoid foreclosure. You can read the letter below, and find it available for download here.
Letter to HUD Re: Homeowners Armed With Knowledge (HAWK) Pilot Program
As of July 11, 2014, CXHE has submitted a letter to HUD on the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Homeowners Armed with Knowledge (HAWK) for New Homebuyers pilot program. You can read the letter below, and find the PDF available for download here.
Settlement Conferences Preliminary Talking Points
Embedded below are preliminary talking points regarding the extension of Settlement Conferences. Settlement Conferences are set to expire as a law in February, 2015. We hope to get an extension of the law. These talking points will be changing as we get closer to advocating. Please keep an eye here for the most up-to-date version of these talking points.
HUD Releases Frequently Asked Questions on Housing Counselor Certification Proposed Rule – 1/30/2014
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document regarding the Proposed Rule to require Housing Counselor Certification. HUD has updated the FAQ to reflect comments that were submitted prior to the comment deadline of December 12, 2013. Specifically, we are very interested in Question 22; in which it is written that “HUD has hired a contractor to develop an on-line training, a self-study guide, a practice examination, and the housing counselor certification examination. HUD plans to launch the website prior to publication of the final rule allowing counselors access to the free on-line training, self-study guide, and practice examination.” You can read the entire FAQ below, and find the PDF available for download here.
Integrating Housing Counseling Into The Residential Marketplace – 12/16/2013
CXHE sees this chance to begin integrating housing counseling into normal mortgage proceedings as a great opportunity. Please forward this information on to your members of Congress, lenders you work with, Realtors or anyone else you may think could benefit from reading about integrating housing counseling. What follows is an excerpt from the report:
“On July 9, 2013, HUD housing counseling intermediaries and housing industry stakeholders gathered and reviewed recommendations of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Housing Commission, “that housing counseling and education must be a central component of any strategy to expand homeownership opportunities . . . .” We then set forth to craft a strategy to expand opportunities for homeownership by integrating housing counseling into the mortgage delivery system in an effective, efficient, and financially sustainable manner. At the convening, participants began to identify best practices, define the counseling process more clearly, and better frame the value of counseling in facilitating prudent access to credit and homeownership success for homebuyers. Sub-groups continued this work, gathering input from policymakers, major lenders, regulators, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as from other important stakeholders.” Please click here to download or view the document separately.
CXHE Letter to HUD Submitted – 12/12/2013
As of December 12th, CXHE has submitted a letter on HUD proposed Housing Counselor rules. We thank all of our member organizations for input and aid in crafting the letter. Please click here to read the final version of the letter that was sent to HUD.
Letter to HUD Re: Proposed Counselor Certification Rule – 10/31/2013
Embedded below is the draft letter from CXHE to HUD on the Proposed Rulemaking. We welcome your feedback on this letter. (Note: if on Google Chrome you may need to collapse the menu on the left side of the document to view it in full).
HUD Proposed Counselor Certification Rule Update – 10/21/2013
CXHE has been taking great strides in compiling the views of our many represented organizations on the proposed rule for housing counselor certification from HUD (please see below for full rule). CXHE has created a survey for our constituents to voice their opinions on the proposed rule. So far, from 41 participants, we have seen four main themes:
- A certification is necessary, but how comprehensive will it be?
- What will the format of the test be?
- How will agencies or individuals afford this test? What should the test cost?
- Who needs to be certified for an agency to be HUD certified?
We welcome your input on this survey by October 25th. We are asking that participants be as specific as possible with their examples and questions. CXHE will craft a message using this data, so please speak your mind. The link to the survey is below:
Letter to HUD from Partner Agencies for Release of Funding Availability – 9/24/2013
With the likelihood that Congress will have a series of Continuing Resolutions for FY 2014, housing counseling agencies face another year of unpredictable funding. CXHE has drafted a letter to HUD to urge a release Notification of Funding Availability as soon as possible. Below is the letter in full with agencies already supporting signed. If you wish to include your organization in support of the letter to HUD, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
HUD Introduces Certification for Housing Counselor Requirements – 9/16/2013
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has introduced a proposed rule that would require housing counselors to now become certified through a HUD course. A summary of the proposed rule and directions on taking action are below. To read the proposed rule in full, please click here.
Housing Counseling Program: New Certification Requirements
24 CFR Part 214 [Docket No. FR-5339-P-01] RIN 2502-AI94
SUMMARY: HUD’s housing counseling program provides, through HUD-approved counseling agencies and state housing finance agencies, including their affiliates and branches, counseling to individuals seeking information about financing, maintaining, renting, or owning a home. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act amended the Housing Counseling statute to improve the effectiveness of the program by, among other things, requiring that the entities and individual counselors be certified by HUD as competent to provide such services, and prohibiting distribution of grant funds to agencies found in violation of federal election laws or who have employees found in violation of federal election laws, and requiring the reimbursement of grant funds for misuse of funds. This proposed rule would revise HUD’s housing counseling program regulations to adopt the new requirements applicable to counseling agencies and individual counselors, and the use of grant funds.
Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposed rule to the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410-0500. Communications must refer to the above docket number and title. There are two methods for submitting public comments. All submissions must refer to the above docket number and title.
Comments are due by November 12, 2013.
1. Submission of Comments by Mail. Comments may be submitted by mail to the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410-0500.
2. Electronic Submission of Comments. Interested persons may submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. HUD strongly encourages commenters to submit comments electronically.