a customer receives counseling from NHSSF

With the help from my friends… Counseling assistance mediates towards housing stability

When the Miami musician H. Rojas reached out to NHSSF, his loan was in default and he was afraid of losing his home. Through the Keep People Housed initiative -powered by Wells Fargo- and the Housing Stability Counseling Program, both designed by NeighborWorks America and implemented through NHSSF, Housing Counseling Agencies (HCAs) like us, help homeowners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic find the light at the end of the tunnel.

No more concerts lead to a risk of losing his home

Mr. Rojas is a musician based in Miami and when the COVID-19 pandemic started, his career was at a halt: anything involving social gatherings stopped for months. He bought a house recently and has been diligently paying his mortgage bill since then. When COVID-19 hit, everything changed. Since he wasn’t able to generate any income for months, and couldn’t keep up whit his mortgage payments, Mr. Rojas was placed on forbearance with his previous mortgage servicer for 12 months.

His loan was then bought out by another mortgage servicer, and they were the ones advising him that his loan was in default status. They sent Mr. Rojas a breach demand letter, which basically means that due to late payment(s), the borrower is officially in breach of the terms of their loan, and that a failure to cure that breach will result in the loan servicer initiating the foreclosure process.

For obvious reasons, Mr. Rojas was worried and afraid of losing his home to foreclosure. That’s when he contacted us - Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida.

Counseling and mediation assistance for Mr. Rojas

After Mr. Rojas completed our intake packet, an action plan was assessed. Our forbearance specialist, Jamie Escoto, was the housing counselor assigned to his case and together, they filled out a loss mitigation package and submitted it to Mr. Rojas’ mortgage servicer. He was missing several required documents as he is self-employed and required a profit and loss statement.

Part of the housing counselor’s job was to inquire if he had asked about any COVID-19 forbearance workouts with his mortgage servicer. He had not, but he stated in his hardship letter that he was impacted by COVID-19, and that was his reason for default. Nonetheless, he was not offered any COVID-19 workouts even when his loan is an FHA product. Ms. Escoto offered to speak with his mortgage servicer with him on the line, and he agreed, as he was not sure how to ask for assistance with a COVID-19 modification. That’s how they ended up calling Mr. Rojas mortgage servicer with him on the line and asked what COVID-19 workouts were available for his situation as he was truly impacted by the pandemic.

Further steps towards housing stability

On that same call, the mortgage servicer asked Mr. Rojas if he would like to be placed back on the COVID-19 forbearance plan, as he had time remaining, to which he agreed on.

After the call, the NHSF housing counselor then advised him that he should only utilize the COVID-19 forbearance for when he truly needs it and to not let his delinquency balance go higher. He was also told to make payments of any amount he could to his mortgage servicer, and he agreed. Mr. Rojas will remain on the COVID-19 forbearance plan for only 2-3 months as he is still playing catch up with his bills.

Checking in: Help down the road

Jamie Escoto - NHS Housing Counselor - has followed up on Mr. Rojas since that last call. He will come off the COVID-19 forbearance plan soon and the opportunity is open for NHSSF to keep assisting him. Mr. Rojas is eligible to apply for a COVID-19 recovery modification or COVID-19 Partial claim when he is ready to exit the forbearance.

 

If you’ve had trouble making mortgage payments due to COVID-19 hardships, or you are entering forbearance, need more time, or are ready to exit, NHSSF is here to help you!

Schedule an appointment with one of our housing counselors and get expert guidance on what to do next and what resources are available. Together we can develop a tailored plan of action that stabilizes your housing! Housing Stability Counseling Sessions are completely FREE!

Don’t wait any longer

GET EXPERT HELP NOW!

graphic featuring the NHSSF logo and photo of Kim Henderson, CEO

Americorps and CDFI Fund Launch Economic Mobility Corps

Today, the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund, a division of the United States Treasury announced its awardees to participate in a new initiative between the CDFI and AmeriCorps an agency known for making “service to others” part of our national culture. NHSSF is honored to be among just three organizations selected from a nationwide grant process selected to deploy 10 AmeriCorps members in localities facing gentrification pressures, affordable housing shortages, poverty, financial services and food deserts among other pressing social and economic challenges.

This collaboration between AmeriCorps and the CDFI FUND is one step forward on what I hope will be a movement not just a moment in history but a movement to address the economic divides that threaten our democracy and our collective hope for a better future.

This year funding to CDFIs in response to C19 recovery is unprecedented and will likely exceed $1 Billion spread across multiple federal agencies to spur economic activity in the most critical sectors of our economy. I believe those of us working in and adjacent to public service are doing God’s work in making this experiment in democracy and an open economy work for all Americans. NHSSF is not only announcing how honored we are to be selected but also making it clear we can’t do this work alone. Our banking partners and other stakeholders will be instrumental in the success of this initiative.

We humbly share the good news.

Kimberly T. Henderson
President and CEO

 

animated slideshow featuring Kim Henderson's press release


graphic featuring the CDFI, Americorps and NHSSF logos

Americorps and CDFI Fund Launch Economic Mobility Corps – Press Release

More than $2.5 million invested to place 156 AmeriCorps members for two years in Community Development Financial Institutions

 

AmeriCorps and the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) announced today (8/11/21) three Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) were awarded more than $2.5 million through the inaugural round of the AmeriCorps CDFI Economic Mobility Corps (EMC) program. NHSSF is one of the CDFI among the awardees!

“Providing far-reaching access to credit and capital in distressed communities requires the presence of a dedicated and committed team cadre with experience in delivering a range of financial education services,” said CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris.” Today’s EMC awards assists in building a deep bench of talent to help CDFIs deliver critical financial products and services in areas that are underserved by traditional financial services providers.”

A joint initiative of the CDFI Fund and AmeriCorps, this new national service program places full-time national service members in Certified CDFIs to support their work in distressed and underserved communities providing financial literacy, financial planning, budgeting, saving, and other financial counseling education.

“This partnership leverages existing strengths in responding to economic disparities. By using intentional educational programming these long-term community-based organizations will serve the people in their neighborhoods to build better economic fluency for them, their children, and so many more,” said Sonali Nijhawan, Director, AmeriCorps State and National.

In total, award recipients will receive approximately $1.27 million in grant funding each year for two years to support the placement of service members in CDFIs over a two-year period. For the two-year period, total award funding equals more than $2.55 million to sustain the placement of 78 AmeriCorps members each year. Of the 78 AmeriCorps members that will be placed in Certified CDFIs, 10 members (or 12.8% of all service members) will be located in Persistent Poverty Counties (PPCs).

As a result of their service, the AmeriCorps members supported by these awards are eligible for up to $989,000 in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards to help offset college, trade or university expenses.

Authorization for EMC was provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Pub. L. 116-93), which also provided $2 million in funding to support the first round of EMC. An additional $556,416 in funds appropriated to AmeriCorps by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Pub. L. 117-2) is being used to support this round of the program.

Certified CDFIs receiving EMC awards and the number of service members supported annually by each organization’s award, include:

  • LiftFund, Inc. (San Antonio, TX): $113,452/7 service members
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation (New York, NY): $992,800/61 service members
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida, Inc. (Miami, FL): $171,956/10 service members

 

About the CDFI Fund

Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $3.9 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program, and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $61 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, and guaranteed bonds for over $1.7 billion through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.

To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please visit the CDFI Fund’s website at www.cdfifund.gov.

 

About AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteering, brings people together to tackle the country’s most pressing challenges. AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serve with organizations dedicated to the improvement of communities. AmeriCorps helps make service to others a cornerstone of our national culture. Learn more at www.AmeriCorps.gov.

 

About Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida

Established in 1978, NHSFF is a certified Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) and an accredited community development nonprofit serving South Florida residents for over 40 years. NHSSF is committed to advance prosperity for all South Floridians through Lending, Real Estate Sales, Housing Development, Home Buyer Education & Counseling, and Community Transformation. NHSSF is also a chartered member of the NeighborWorks® America. In this capacity, we are part of a nationwide network of over 240 chartered community development organizations and one of the twenty that serve Florida residents. NHSSF provides its full spectrum of homeownership services in English, Creole, and Spanish to assist potential homebuyers in reaching their homeownership goals. For more information visit us at: nhssf.org.