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Counseling & Educational Classes

Pre-Purchase Counseling involves individual counseling in a one-on-one setting for individuals and families interested in pursuing homeownership. Participants enter into a formal counseling agreement and develop an Individualized Action Plan. Counseling includes review of family budget, review of credit report, savings plan goals, and includes defined action steps that clients need to take to become mortgage-ready. After certain benchmarks are achieved, pre-purchase clients also participate in Homebuyer Education Class.

An eight hour Homebuyer Education course is offered on the second Friday of every month or on special arrangement. The Housing Authority uses the curriculum Realizing the American Dream from Neighborworks America and all participants receive a class manual. This curriculum follows a specific chapter study starting with the very basics of the pros and cons of Homeownership and ends the course with Predatory Lending. The FMHA uses a wide range of adult teaching techniques including visual aids (flip chart, dry erase boards, videos, power point, etc.), games, group activities, case studies, class participation, etc. There are often guest speakers who participate, including local realtors, insurance agents, bankers, loan originators, appraisers and inspectors. Participants will take a comprehensive exam at the end of class and receive a certificate of completion.

Under circumstances in which on-site Homebuyer Education is not the best fit for the client, Online Homebuyer Education is offered through eHOME America. The course is self-paced, taking approximately eight hours to complete, and is based on the Neighborworks America Realizing the American Dream curriculum. Clients completing the online course complete an intake, activities, quizzes, a final assessment, and an evaluation. Upon completion of the course, clients are contacted for one-on-one counseling and receive a certificate of completion. There is a fee for this service.

Delinquency/Default Counseling is always offered in a one-on-one session and usually is of an urgent nature. Counselors will work with clients to reassess their financial status, reconfigure budgets, and develop plans to prevent foreclosure. In some cases this may include completing loan workouts, or other creative options that may prevent families from losing their homes. Long range counseling can be scheduled to monitor budget structures and progress, but in most cases, this counseling is intense, urgent, and short term.

Non-Delinquency Post-Purchase Education is offered in a classroom setting. This four hour session has a specialized curriculum that involves learning about energy efficiency, maintenance and home repair activities, and financial maintenance and refinancing. Attendees are encouraged to interact with maintenance demonstrations and other activities. Participants will take a comprehensive exam at the end of class and receive a certificate of completion.

Non-Delinquency Post Purchase Counseling is offered in a one-on-one setting. Most often clients need information on repair programs and maintenance related issues. These clients usually have short term counseling needs, which involve advocacy, referral and case management activities by the Housing Counselor.

Have more questions? See our FAQ-Housing Counseling page or contact Theressa Nichols at 304-363-0860 ext 127