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Guidance for Homeowners
HUD sponsors housing counseling agencies throughout the country to provide free or low cost advice. Search online for a housing counseling agency near you, or call HUD's interactive voice system at: (800) 569-4287 for assistance.

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Foreclosure and How to Avoid It

There can be many different reasons why homeowners get behind on their mortgage payments. Perhaps you are behind on your mortgage payments because of a job loss, decrease in income or an increase in debts. If you are behind on your mortgage payments, you could lose your family's most important possession - your home. There may be ways your lender can work with you to prevent foreclosure. Click on the following links for more information about:

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Active Military Duty

Your ability to make your mortgage payments may be affected if you are in the military or are a reservist called to active duty. Read about the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act for information about programs designed to assist active duty military personnel.

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Disaster Recovery (Natural Disasters)

When the President declares a disaster area, HUD, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and state agencies join together to assist those that have been affected by the disaster. By working with disaster recovery teams, HUD, through the use of special programs, can assist victims in rebuilding safe and healthy housing.

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Escrow Accounts

Most FHA loans require that lenders collect a portion of your monthly payment to pay real estate taxes, hazard insurance, and other requirements as defined at settlement. The Real Estate Settlement Protection Act (RESPA) defines what actions the lender must perform, and how escrow accounts should be established and maintained. See Consumer Frequently Asked Questions about Escrow Accounts for additional information.

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Fixing up Your Home

Want to modernize your home or just make some improvements? Home improvement loans may be available for you to do so. Check out the possibilities at Home Improvements.

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Good Neighbor Mortgages

If you bought a HUD home at a discount under the Good Neighbor Sales program, read about your responsibilities and who to contact if you have questions about your Good Neighbor mortgage. Click here for additional information about other FHA Revitalization Area homeownership programs.

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Help with Your FHA Lender

Are you having difficulty working with your lender or do you feel the lender is not responding to your questions? Whether you are attempting to prevent your home from going into foreclosure or just do not understand why your mortgage payment changed, the FHA National Servicing Center may be able to help you get the answers you need from your lender.

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Manufactured Housing

HUD has regulations that are designed to ensure that when a consumer purchases a Manufactured Home, it is built correctly and complies with health and safety standards. For more information, read the Manufactured Housing Fact Sheet.

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Mortgage Glossary

Have you ever had difficulty understanding certain terminology that is used when your mortgage broker is speaking with you? This Glossary of Terms and Definitions is designed to help you understand mortgage terms.

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Mortgage Insurance

If you are an FHA-insured borrower, the Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) you pay as a part of your monthly mortgage payment is what makes the reduced downpayment on your mortgage possible. FHA uses these payments to insure your lender against losses if the loan goes to foreclosure. HUD regulations were changed in 2001 for some new mortgages to be eligible to stop making the premium payments after a certain loan-to-value ratio is reached.

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Mortgage Insurance Refunds

If you pay off your FHA loan early, you may be eligible for a HUD/FHA refund.

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Predatory Lending

Today HUD is finding more and more incidences of abusive practices by some business people involved in the selling or financing of homes. This is called Predatory Lending. Homeowners can find themselves in a just-purchased home that is not worth the amount of their mortgage loan, or there may be property defects that were not properly disclosed. Either of these can result in problems for the homeowner that could ultimately lead to foreclosure. To understand more about these practices and what you can do to protect yourself, read about Predatory Lending.

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Refinancing

Is your current home loan interest rate too high? Do you feel the market is right to refinance? Refinancing to lower your interest rate should lower your monthly mortgage payment. By refinancing your home loan you will be creating a new mortgage, but it will pay off your present one. If your home loan is still FHA insured you can use what we refer to as a Streamline Refinance. This will greatly reduce the amount of paper work you will have to produce. Learn more about how to Streamline Refinance Your FHA Mortgage.

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Reverse Mortgages for Seniors

Reverse mortgages are increasing in popularity with seniors who have equity in their homes and want to supplement their income. The only reverse mortgage insured by the U.S. Federal Government is called a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or HECM, and is only available through an FHA-approved lender. Click here for more information about HECMs and other reverse mortgages.

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Who Can I Call for Help?

The FHA National Servicing Center works closely with customers who have FHA insured loans with the goal of foreclosure prevention. We also stand ready to offer you guidance about questions you may have about your mortgage and how to effectively communicate with your mortgage lender.

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