Most people hear “mortgage assistance” and think of individuals trying to keep their homes. However, many individuals still need help after falling behind on mortgage payments, regardless of proximity to foreclosure. Although they may not be in jeopardy of losing their home just yet, the inability to stay up on mortgage payments makes it impossible to move and can render them unable to reach life milestones, make exciting new changes or invest in their futures.

 

Relocation

If someone is looking to relocate, they won’t be able to sell their home without covering the losses. That can make buying their next home more challenging. Relocation isn’t just something people do frivolously or when they’re looking for a change. It can be a major factor in the trajectory of a person’s life. For example, you might want to take a job opportunity that requires you to find a new place to live, or you could even be looking for a safer neighborhood. Whatever the reason, you should be able to do so without the financial burden of late mortgage payments. 

 

Downsize or expand

Over time, a home can sometimes become too small or too big! If you have a family that’s growing in size or a roommate that’s moving out, you might be looking to move to a space that better fits your needs. Whether you’re planning for the future or adapting to new circumstances, mortgage payments shouldn’t hold you back.

 

Gain capital 

Another reason individuals may be looking to move is a need for additional capital. When you purchased your home, you made a significant investment. If you were to sell it, there’s a possibility you may make more than you initially paid for it. This extra capital could go toward your savings or even a down payment on a new place to live. But once again, you can’t sell your home for additional capital if you’ve fallen behind on paying your mortgage.


While the inability to stay up on mortgage payments can make dreams of moving or changing seem impossible, United Housing is here to help. Through our COVID-19 Mortgage Relief Program, we’re helping people like you keep your home, relocate, downsize or to sell. To learn more or to see if you qualify for mortgage assistance, click here. And if you’d like to hear more about the other homebuyer resources we offer, visit our website today.

Over the last year, grant programs and funding options have become available to nonprofits to help us alleviate our clients’ burdens caused by COVID-19. UHI secured varied funding to provide emergency support to our clients and maintain housing stability in Memphis. One avenue of CARES support came through our Home Repair Loan program. Read stories from UHI clients about the impact this program had on their lives:

Senior UHI client, Joyce, found herself in need of major home repairs. Not only did her foundation need to be stabilized, but most of her plumbing had to be repaired or replaced. As a former real estate agent, Joyce had a lot of experience in financing home repairs, and was familiar with many programs like UHI’s Home Repair Loan program. However, her experience was like none she had ever had before:

“In over 50 years of working with the public, I have never had the type of help that I received from United Housing,” said Joyce. “It’s a great program, not only for seniors, but for anyone that can qualify.”

Another one of UHI’s Home Repair Loan recipients, Barbara, discovered a wiring issue in her newly purchased home that created a fire hazard. Unable to get the money or loans for repairs, Barbara was left in a dangerous home without options. Luckily, she found UHI and was able to apply for our Home Repair Loan which covered the cost of her essential repairs. 

“I would not be at my current home if not for United Housing,” said Barbara. “Without United Housing, I do not know where I would be.”

UHI client Pam was searching for funds to repair her mother’s house. Pam’s elderly mother uses a walker, which meant she required an accessible bathroom. She also had uneven floors in her kitchen which posed a falling hazard. Pam was able to get in touch with UHI and apply for the Home Repair Loan. Her mother’s newly repaired home has given her self-confidence:

“The home repairs have given my mother back her dignity and pride,” said Pam. “Now, she’s able to do a lot of things for herself.” 

If you’re interested in learning more about our home improvement repair loan, click here. If you or a loved one is in need of home improvement, don’t wait, visit our website and apply today

COVID-19 has created a housing insecurity crisis. Families across the country are struggling with newfound uncertainty and increasing fragility surrounding their living situations. Unfortunately, scammers use crisis situations like these to prey on people’s fears and insecurities. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to and learn more about housing scams.

Luckily, our friends at NeighborWorks America are partnering with the Wells Fargo Foundation, National Fair Housing Alliance and National Foundation for Credit Counseling to create a public education initiative aimed at helping consumers take action to protect themselves and their homes from scammers. They have already offered helpful tips to identify and avoid scams:

Do not pay anyone who is not your mortgage lender.

If someone contacts you and asks about home payment, do not pay them. The only entities that should be dealing with your mortgage payments are you, your lender and your certified housing counselor if you’re working with one. Additionally, if anyone gets in contact with you to tell you to stop paying your monthly mortgage payments, do not listen to them. Trying to get someone to halt their payments is a sure sign of a scam.

Do not give any personal or financial information to someone you do not know.

A great general rule is to not give any personal information to anyone who is not a licensed professional or personal friend, especially over the phone. That being said, if someone calls requesting information regarding your personal finances or housing situation, do not answer their questions until you can credibly verify who they are. If you cannot, there is no reason to move forward with any further conversation.

Do not listen to promises.

Someone might try to contact you and tell you that they can fix whatever housing insecurity you might be facing. For example, the person might promise to prevent your home being foreclosed on, or might promise to give you money for your next monthly payment. All payment plans should be arranged directly with your mortgage lender and your housing counselor – and neither will EVER promise you they can stop foreclosure or eviction. They will only provide the best options and counseling with the goal of preventing home loss. Promises of “free” money without certified counseling and expert intervention are a sure sign of a scam, as nobody can guarantee you will not be foreclosed upon or evicted. Also, if someone promises to provide a housing-related service for you, such as lawn care, do NOT pay them before the service has been completed, no matter how sincere their “promise” to get it done is.

Find out what your options are

One of the best ways that you can fight against scams is by becoming informed and arming yourself with knowledge as early in the process as possible. Talk to one of United Housing’s HUD-certified housing counselors, or any one of our team members. We want to help you find housing stability and give you real, practical ways to help you with whatever obstacles you may be facing. Regardless of moratorium deadlines, we can help you get on the path to foreclosure prevention now. The earlier you start the process, the better. Visit https://www.uhinc.org/education/foreclosure-counseling to get started with one of our counselors.

If you are suspicious that someone has tried to scam you or a neighbor, whether they were successful or not, please report the situation to the appropriate authorities such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. For more resources on stopping scams, visit https://www.stophomescams.org/.

If you’re facing foreclosure in Memphis because of hardships caused by COVID-19, there is help out there for you. By connecting with United Housing, you’ve come to the right place. 

No one expects you to know what to do on your own when you’re facing foreclosure. Our team of educated housing counselors can help you better understand the options you have that could help you keep your house. They will also walk you through the process – you do not have to go through this alone. You can start the housing counseling process by filling out this online form. If you’re facing foreclosure, we encourage you to sign up as soon as possible.

Before you start housing counseling, there are a few things you can do on your own. By taking these steps, you’re gathering information that will help your housing counselor and could help you keep your home. 

To help you create a plan, our housing counselors need to know who owns your loan. If you’re not sure, you can use this free online tool to find out. Why is this important? Different lenders handle foreclosure support differently. Knowing who owns your loan will help us create the best repayment plan for your family.

Government support can be confusing, especially when it comes to homeownership. Even if you read or watch the news and try to keep up with the most recent changes, it’s easy to misunderstand what help is available. This online tool from Freddie Mac explains important topics you should understand before you attend your counseling session: forbearance and CARES Act support. Read through this guide and click on the “+” icons to expand specific topics. Reading through this page a few times can help you better understand these topics and how they apply to your situation.

  • Prepare questions for your counselor.

You don’t have to come to your housing counseling session knowing everything about the CARES Act and forbearance. But reading about these topics ahead of time can help you prepare questions. As you read through the interactive online guide from Freddie Mac, write down questions for your housing counselor. They will be able to answer your questions and explain topics in more detail.

  • Continue to follow United Housing for more help.

United Housing is here to help. When you follow us on Facebook, you can learn about upcoming workshops or classes from United Housing and other trustworthy organizations in Memphis. These classes and workshops are a great way to learn more about housing, homeownership and specific topics like foreclosure. 


If you live in Memphis and need help to keep your home, reach out to United Housing today. You can visit our website or call 901-272-1122.

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P: +1 901.272.1122

2750 Colony Park Drive
Memphis, TN 38118

 

Hours:

Monday-Thursday – 8:00am to 4:30pm
Friday – 8:00am to 3:30pm
Saturday-Sunday - Closed

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