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2007-06-04 08:05:00

Counseling Standards Advance Sustainable Homeownership

Washington, DC -– A group of leaders from lending institutions, community development organizations, real estate, mortgage insurance companies and the secondary mortgage market have released national standards for consumer homeownership education and counseling that if broadly adopted will help prevent in the future the wave of foreclosures that the housing market is experiencing today.

The standards are the product of a two-year development process led by industry stakeholders, and is the first time that representatives from all corners of the housing industry have reached agreement on a set of benchmarks for the delivery of quality education and counseling to consumers across the nation. Industry standardization will strengthen the professional credentials of more than 10,000 homeownership professionals currently working in the industry and help ensure that millions of potential and existing homeowners receive quality and comprehensive housing information and services.

“The development of national standards for homeownership education and counseling together with a national code of conduct was spearheaded in a collaborative spirit by a variety of providers and stakeholders which recognize the great need to advance the relevance and professionalism of these services throughout the country” said Mike Haley, assistant commissioner of Minnesota Housing and National Advisory Council Chair. “The ultimate beneficiaries will be homeowners that receive these services and become better equipped to enjoy successful, sustainable homeownership.”

A goal of the National Industry Standards is to provide consumers in every neighborhood across the country with an easy way to identify qualified homeownership educators and counselors. These professionals will be capable of assisting them in making sound financial decisions, leading to long-term, successful homeownership.

“Together with our partners we have developed national standards for homeownership education and counseling that will create a level of quality and consistency across the industry, advancing sustainable homeownership and the achievement of the American Dream for low- and moderate-income families,” said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks America.

NeighborWorks America’s commitment to quality, objective homeownership education and counseling extends beyond our network and the homeownership educators and counselors we train and certify through the NeighborWorks Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling. We hope these standards will enable families to make informed, responsible choices on the path to homeownership.”

A detailed description of the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling guidelines and Code of Ethics is available at www.homeownershipstandards.com.

National Homeownership Industry Standards Advisory Council

Bank of America
Chase
Chrysalis Consulting Group, LLC
Citi
Community Development Corporation of Long Island
Consumer Credit Counseling Services of San Francisco
Countrywide Financial Corporation
Fannie Mae
Federal Reserve
Freddie Mac
The Housing Partnership Network
Minnesota Housing
Mortgage & Credit Center
Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation
National Association of Real Estate Brokers – National Investment Division (NID)
National Association of Realtors®
National Council of La Raza (NCLR)
National Council of State Housing Finance Agencies
NeighborWorks® America
NHS of Great Falls
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Wells Fargo

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