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2007-07-24 08:20:00

MMI and HSBC Join to Create Home Preservation Program

Money Management International (MMI), a national HUD-approved housing counseling agency and nonprofit credit and debt counseling firm, has announced the launch of its Preserving Homeownership and Savings Education Strategy (PHASES) program.

The MMI PHASES program is made possible with a $1 million grant from the Prospect Heights, Ill. - based HSBC-North America, one of the top 10 financial services companies in the United States. Through this pilot program, MMI provides qualified homeowners with grants to pay outstanding debts and one-on-one financial counseling sessions to help keep families in their homes.

According to a recent report released by the Mortgage Bankers Assn., the percentage of mortgages entering foreclosure in the first quarter of 2007 was highest in more than five decades. The MMI PHASES program, which pilots in Illinois, California, Florida, Ohio and New York, aims to tackle this trend by uniting business and nonprofit leaders to rebuild financial lives.

“Owning a home is the American Dream, and the last thing we want is for families to see their dream disappear,” says HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson. “FHA lending relief measures continue to help families around the nation work through difficult times and stay in their homes.”

“HSBC is delighted to partner with MMI in this important home preservation program,” says Tom Detelich, president of Consumer and Mortgage Lending, HSBC Finance Corporation. “We are committed to working with leading national and local community organizations such as MMI, and providing funding, counseling and other practical tools to help families manage through unforeseeable circumstances.”

Unfortunately, many consumers find themselves in financial difficulty because of circumstances beyond their control. “In many cases, a temporary financial setback such as unexpected medical expenses or a reduction in income leaves families unable to financially recover in time to save their homes,” says Ivan Hand, president and CEO of Money Management International. “We are privileged to offer this unique opportunity to help families get back on track.”

To learn more about the MMI PHASES program, call 800-762-2271 or visit www.mmiphases.com.

About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24/7 by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call 800-762-2271 or visit www.moneymanagement.org.

About HSBC - North America

HSBC – North America comprises all of HSBC's U.S. and Canadian businesses, including the former Household International businesses. The company’s businesses serve nearly 60 million customers in five key areas: personal financial services, consumer finance, commercial banking, private banking and corporate investment banking and markets. Financial products and services are offered under the HSBC, HFC and Beneficial brands. For more information, visit www.hsbcusa.com.

About the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

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