Help First-Time Homebuyers Increase Financial Literacy and Avoid Foreclosure
Become a Co-Sponsor of the Housing Financial Literacy Act of 2017
Co-sponsors: Stivers, Heck, Johnson (TX-30), Scott (GA-13), Serrano, Cummings, Meeks, Kaptur
For many Americans, homeownership is the foundation for achieving the American Dream. It has proven to be one of the most effective ways for lower- and middle-class families to build wealth. However, for many prospective first-time homeowners, the process of purchasing their first home can be confusing and overwhelming, leaving many uninformed buyers victim to unaffordable or predatory loans.
It is imperative that first-time homebuyers are adequately equipped with the financial literacy skills necessary to become a successful first-time homeowner. That is why I have introduced the Housing Financial Literacy Act of 2017. If enacted this legislation would provide a discount on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance premiums of 25 basis points (0.25%) to first-time homebuyers who complete a housing counseling program certified by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Currently, HUD’s Housing Counseling Assistance Program provides counseling to consumers across the entire spectrum of housing counseling needs—from finding and financing to maintaining and owning a home. Studies have shown that homebuyers who receive pre-purchase housing counseling courses are nearly one-third less likely to face foreclosure and that housing counseling can improve prospective borrowers’ access to affordable, prudent mortgage loans. In 2015 alone, HUD’s housing counseling programs have counseled over 1.3 million households and helped prevent over 92,000 foreclosures. Not only does HUD’s housing counseling programs assist first-time homebuyers, but it has the added benefit of strengthening the FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund by reducing delinquencies and defaults from better-informed first-time homebuyers.
For many Americans, their home is the largest financial asset they will ever own. Please join me in supporting financial literacy for first-time homebuyers by becoming a co-sponsor of the Housing Financial Literacy Act of 2017. To co-sponsor, or for more information, please contact me, or my staff Scott.Farnin@mail.house.gov or at 202-225-4324.