The following resources were originally posted on the Peaceful Property Solutions website. Please keep in mind that the information is subject to change and there is no guarantee as to the accuracy of the information listed below. Additionally, links that were previously valid may no longer work.
List of Resources
Agencies & Organizations
HUD is a government agency. Their Housing Counseling Program can provide free advice on topics such as buying a home, renting, credit problems, foreclosure avoidance, and reverse mortgages to those who qualify.
HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies
Created by Congress, NeighborWorks America is a national, nonprofit organization. Among other things they can offer:
A campaign initiated by NeighborWorks America, this program is intended to inform and protect Americans against mortgage and loan modification scams. Learn how to avoid a scam, read true stories of scammed individuals, or report a suspected scam.
Credit Counseling Providers
If you're searching for a credit counseling service to hire, it's important to find one that is qualified and reputable. These two agencies may be able to help:
The Financial Counseling Association of America
Find financial counseling based upon your needs or search their directory of member agencies. A state by state search option is also available.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling
Find a certified counselor or search for accredited member agencies.
The Federal Trade Commission has a number of informational articles that you may find useful if you're looking for help making your mortgage payments and/or avoiding foreclosure. These brief articles are aimed at helping you to become more informed about legitimate sources of help and avoiding the ever increasing number of scams and frauds trying to take advantage of people when they're feeling the most vulnerable. Some of the articles include the following:
When Paying the Mortgage is a Struggle
Finding Help When You're Having Trouble Paying Your Mortgage
Avoiding Foreclosure Rescue Scams
Forensic Loan Audits (a type of scam)
The Federal Trade Commission put out a short information sheet designed to inform homeowners who are behind on their mortgage loan payments. It describes some of the options available, warns against scams, and provides references for additional information.
La Comisión Federal de Comercio sacó una hoja de información diseñada para informar a los propietarios que están bregando para pagar sus préstamos hipotecarios. Se describen algunas de las opciones disponibles, advierte en contra de las estafas, y proporciona referencias para obtener información adicional.
An informative article on what a debt management company is, how they generally work, how they make money, and the general pros and cons of hiring one to try to reduce your debts.
This act was designed to eliminate abusive and deceptive debt collections practices. For example, it prevents debt collectors from threatening you with violence if you do not pay your debts or using profane language in an attempt to intimidate you.
It is available here as a PDF and on the FTC website.
When you're facing a genuine financial hardship, such as possible foreclosure, you may be permitted to take a hardship distribution from your retirement plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b). The IRS has put together a page of frequently asked questions about this topic.
Every case will be unique and we encourage you to speak with your accountant, retirement account custodian, and attorney to fully understand your options and any applicable consequences before taking action.
About Your Credit
The federal government established a law that makes all US citizens eligible to receive a copy of their own credit report free of charge once per year. Click here for confirmation from the FTC that this is indeed the only website authorized to provide your free annual credit report which you are entitled to by law.
You will however have to pay extra if you would also like copies of your credit scores, which do not come automatically with your credit report.
Please be careful of websites and commercials who claim to offer a free copy of your credit report. There is typically a catch. Usually they are selling you a credit monitoring or other service and will only provide you free copies of your credit reports if you sign up and pay for their service, or if you don't cancel after a trial period.
Your credit score is used by lenders and creditors to help them determine whether or not to extend you credit, such as a loan, and in determining the interest rate they'll charge you. For that reason it's useful to learn about your credit score, what goes into calculating it, and how you can improve your score.
This website provides just that, and although we do not promote, endorse, or recommend any specific services or products they may be offering, we do feel that the website as a whole provides some good, quality information.