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Housing for Women Veterans Includes HLP Financial Counseling September 2019 Thank You for Your Service! HLP will provide services to Soldier On’s first permanent housing project for female military veterans Page 1

NFCC Connect Counselors and lenders learn how HLP’s new platform helps them collaborate to increase homeownership Page 1

As part of its commitment to provide military veterans with financial counseling and education, HLP will provide a variety of services to Soldier On’s first permanent housing project for women military veterans. The new facility is scheduled to open in January 2020 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Bruce Buckley, chief executive officer for Solider On, announced the project at the Tribute to Valor Foundation event in Dallas on September 14. HLP Chief Executive Officer Mark Cole was one of several executives attending the event that celebrated our nation’s living Medal of Honor recipients. Women military veterans are the fastest-growing segment of homeless military veterans. The Veterans Administration projects that while the overall veteran population will decline substantially over the next 25 years, the number of female veterans will increase. …continued on page 4

Soldier On Bruce Buckley discusses how HLP is aiding Soldier On to transition veterans from homelessness to homeownership Page 2

Big Help More than 1,000 people in financial distress have used MyLoanHelp.me to find resources to pay their mortgage and address other important issues Page 3

HLP Platform Playing Key Role in New NFCC National Housing Program HLP Chief Executive Officer Mark Cole recently updated representatives from nonprofit counseling organizations, lenders, and other mortgage industry leaders on how its technology platform will help them increase homeownership among people they help every day. Cole addressed the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) annual conference on September 16 in Washington, D.C. The conference focused heavily on the NFCC’s new Envisioning Home Ownership© program, which aims to help many of the organization’s 1 million clients become mortgage-ready. “Our platform will connect counselors with lenders to help thousands of people buy a home,” Cole told the counselors. “Technology plays a major role now in the mortgage …continued on page 3


Bruce Buckley is chief executive officer of Soldier On, a national nonprofit organization that provides formerly homeless veterans with permanent, supportive, sustainable housing—assisting them in their transition from homelessness to homeownership.

What have been Soldier On’s major accomplishments in the past year? We continue to make significant progress in helping veterans find new housing that helps them rebuild their lives. Brighton Marine is building 25 new units of permanent housing in Boston where we will provide services for formerly homeless veterans, as well as 14 units of permanent housing for formerly homeless women’s veterans. All of these veterans will receive other services provided by our partners, including HLP, so they are financially stable and prepared to buy their first home. With Freddie Mac’s support, in January we hired David Ramirez as our full-time housing program manager. A 17year banking industry veteran, David has already helped hundreds of veterans with a variety of financial issues, ranging from credit improvement to homeownership.

What is Your Success Rate in Keeping Vets in Housing? Our first permanent housing program began in 2011. Of the 177 veterans we’ve placed in permanent housing, 94 percent have been successful. This includes veterans that have rebuilt their lives by getting jobs, marrying and moving into other housing. Many others still live in the housing we provided them, including some that have jobs with Soldier On. We believe they do well because once they are in our care and surrounded by a community of people that understand their needs, they can thrive.

What Other Challenges to Veterans Continue to Face? Some veterans, particularly those from low-income areas,

often don’t have a broad knowledge of finance or the economy. While they performed a great service for our country, they don’t learn those skills. During their time in the military, all of their needs are paid for, so once they leave, their struggles in civilian life can start pretty quickly. We need to find a way to help them learn these skills. We’ve met with leaders of the US Army Soldier for Life program and submitted a proposal to identify and work with at risk veterans once they are discharged. We’re hopeful we can work something out.

How Do Solider On and HLP Work Together?

We have the ability to identify a military veteran, their financial needs and refer them to HLP for the proper service. Financial literacy is a key component. Many veterans want to rent, but with a poor credit score they don’t qualify. So HLP helps at the ground floor level. Using nonprofit housing counseling agencies, HLP tailors their counseling to help vets buy homes. Vets without strong financial skills often make poor financial choices and are vulnerable to predatory lenders.

Where Else Does HLP Fit in?

HLP services are available and promoted in all of our programs. We worked together to establish the Homes for Veterans program, which enables military veterans to purchase homes that have been donated and renovated at a reduced price. Marine Corps veteran Homer Reyna and his wife are working to take ownership of a home in Brownsville, Texas. Citi recently donated a second home in Melville, New Jersey that we plan to renovate soon and find another veteran to buy the home. One by one, we are making a difference in our veteran’s lives.


More Than 1,000 in Financial Distress Use MyLoanHelp—For Help More than 1,000 people in financial distress have now used MyLoanHelp.me to find help paying their mortgage and resolving other important issues. MyLoanHelp.me is a new national database with resources to help anyone in financial distress. Launched in January and funded by a grant from the Finance of America Foundation, it’s a free, central source of information about financial aid programs nationwide. It is free for everyone—consumers, government agencies, nonprofit counselors and the mortgage industry.

Homeowners in 47 states conducted searches for assistance, with Arizona, Texas, Maryland, Florida, and California as the top states for searches.

To date, one-third of the people searching the site have submitted a case for help. And nearly the same percentage have “chatted” online with a nonprofit counselor to find the right resources to help solve their financial issues.

People that submitted a case for help have a similar profile. They are a 42-year-old woman with a $41,633 annual income. She lives in a single-family home with a fixed rate mortgage and faces hardships because of a job loss. Two percent of those submitting a case are active service members or military veterans.

MyLoanHelp Stats

Homeowners in 38 states submitted a case, with Florida, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, and Ohio as the top states for submissions.

ACTIVITY

YTD

NOTES

Searches for Help

1,051

Cases Submitted

350

33% of searches

Live Chat Support

332

32% of searches

...NFCC—continued from page 1

process, and HLP’s platform will prepare consumers for homeownership and support following their home purchase. HLP’s platform includes:

• A dashboard for NFCC to oversee program activity; define key eligibility and performance standards; and issue readiness certificates.

• A  secure portal for counselors, lenders and clients to share information, communicate and manage their part of the process.

Moderate-income Americans continue to use the site to find financial help. The composite profile of the person seeking help is a 43-year-old woman with an annual income of $41,987. She lives in a single-family home with a fixed rate mortgage and is facing a hardship because of loss of employment. Five percent of these people are active or military veterans.

• D  ata standardization processes to ensure all critical information collected meets the appropriate MISMO data standards.

There are 368 new programs available on the platform, including mortgage assistance, direct financial aid, food/shelter/clothing and counseling. The programs are available in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC.

• Integration of three new tools (a) a national down payment assistance database, (b) an automated underwriting system, and (c) a secure lender offer/selection site to ensure more families successfully get their dream home.

A $350,00 grant from the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation helped the NFCC develop housing coaching curriculum, materials and training for NFCC certified counselors to identify obstacles to homeownership faced by each individual. The NFCC’s Housing Advisory Committee, consisting of mortgage lenders and other housing industry leaders, is developing a strategy to help implement the Envisioning Homeownership Program. To find out more about Envisioning Homeownership, visit the website at info.nfcc.org/eho.


...SoldierOn—continued from page 1

“Solider On’s experience working with homeless and at-risk female veterans was a catalyst in creating a housing model that can provide the level of safety and comfort necessary for successful reintegration after military service,” said Buckley. “As a national leader in providing affordable, sustainable, permanent supportive housing for veterans who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless, Soldier On is well-positioned to address the unique needs of female veterans.” HLP will provide financial literacy education programs to the women selected to live in the new housing. The education classes will include basic information on budgeting, banking and money management. As part of its partnership with Soldier On, HLP provides similar services to military veterans seeking financial guidance. HLP also provides financial counseling and education to prepare veterans for homeownership. “We are proud to be part of a team of organizations selected by Soldier On to help our women veterans make a successful transition into civilian life,” said Cole. “We are helping military veterans achieve their financial goals and look forward to working with a new group to help them be successful.”

How HLP Helps Military Vets Military veterans working with Soldier On, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating homelessness among military veterans, are taking advantage of a variety of housing and financial education services offered through HLP. Through June 30, more than 80 vets have received the following help in 2019: • 24 military veterans have obtained housing education for either rental or homeownership. • 19 veterans have used HLPGuru, our credit education, monitoring and improvement tool; and • 46 military veterans have been connected with MMI, HLP’s nonprofit counseling partner, to receive a variety of consumer and housing counseling services.

Cole to Moderate Five Star Panel on Loan Modification Loan modifications can still help homeowners keep their homes following a job loss, natural disaster or other setback. HLP Chief Executive Officer Mark Cole will moderate a panel titled “Beyond the Modification: Ensuring Enforcement,” on September 25 at the Five Star Conference & Expo in Dallas. The panel will discuss challenges facing servicers and proven best practices to help ensure modifications are successful. Panelists include Mark Cronenwett, director of litigation for Mackie, Wolf, Zientz & Mann; Erum Nayani, vice president, litigation and regulatory compliance for BSI Financial Services, and Natalie Owens, director of business development for BSI Financial Services.

mark.cole@hlp.org

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202.803.7933

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1101 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

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Suite 300

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Washington, DC 20004

Profile for Hope LoanPort

HLP Convergence — September 2019  

News and updates from HLP. In this month’s issue, we look at HLP and Soldier On have partnered to help women veterans—the fastest growing se...

HLP Convergence — September 2019  

News and updates from HLP. In this month’s issue, we look at HLP and Soldier On have partnered to help women veterans—the fastest growing se...