from Maryland HOPE...
Here’s your Consumer Information Kit
Hope Hotline 1-877-462-7555
Crownsville, MD 21032
100 Community Place
Act Now. Before It’s Too Late.
PeRMiT no. 35
ou have taken an important step toward preserving homeowner-
ship. The enclosed information includes foreclosure prevention
tips and steps to take before meeting with a housing advisor or
contacting your lender.
Governor Not everyone will be able to avoid foreclosure in these difficult times.
However, the faster one acts, the more options will be available. We are
Anthony G. Brown
Lt. Governor here to help you understand your options and find the best solution.
Raymond A. Skinner
Homeowners Preserving Equity (HOPE) is a program of the Maryland
Secretary Department of Housing and Community Development, in partnership
with the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, community
Clarence J. Snuggs organizations, and lenders.
Call us at the Maryland HOPE Hotline, 1-877-462-7555,
if you have any questions along the way.
Raymond A. Skinner
Maryland Department of
Housing and Community Development
Take Action NOW!
1. Contact your lender: 4. Avoid foreclosure “rescue”
Contact your lender as soon as you
realize you have a financial challenge. Free and objective assistance from
Open and respond to all mail from a nonprofit housing counselor and
your lender or their agents. Lenders your lender is available!
do not want to take your home! But Some companies will promise you
delays will reduce your options.
mortgage help for a fee. Some ad-
vertise their services on signs on
2. Talk with a nonprofit telephone poles and in median strips.
housing counselor: Some may be legitimate, but others
have taken costly advantage of Mary-
Free foreclosure prevention help is land consumers.
available from Maryland’s network of
nonprofit housing counselors listed If you feel you have been the victim of
in this kit. Help is also available, 24/7, a scam, you can report this to Mary-
via a national hotline at 1-888-995- land’s Department of Labor, Licensing
HOPE, or www.hpfonline.org. & Regulation, www.dllr.state.md.us,
Housing counselors can help you un-
derstand your mortgage options and Don’t sign any legal documents with-
negotiate with your lender. Get ready out getting objective advice from a
with the enclosed information! qualified attorney. More information
Do the following before meeting with about legal assistance and predatory
Step 1: a nonprofit housing counselor or legal advisors:
3. Try to refinance to a more
real estate practices is available at Step 2:
Prepare 1. Complete a Consumer Information form (enclosed). The Maryland Department of Hous-
ing and Community Development 5. Prioritize your spending and
2. Make a copy of your most recent mortgage statement or payment coupon. (DHCD) has safe and affordable fi-
nancial options. See one of our HOPE
SAVE money: Action
3. Make a copy of all mortgage documents given to you before and at the nonprofit housing counseling part- Review your finances and cut spend-
ners in order to review your eligibility: ing where you can. Look especially at
closing for your current loan.
DHCD’s Lifeline Refinance Program variable expenses like entertainment,
4. Gather all mail you may have received from your lender about mortgage is aimed at homeowners who are not clothing, and memberships.
lateness, including any letters regarding potential foreclosure actions. behind on their payments but who are Do you have assets you can sell? Can
facing an interest rate increase.
anyone in your household work more
5. Write a hardship letter (format enclosed). hours for additional income? Efforts
DHCD’s Refinance Program is for
What is a hardship letter? A hardship letter is required by most lenders homeowners that may have missed a such as these demonstrate to your
before they will consider offering relief to borrowers. The letter can be hand few payments but who can afford to lender that you are willing to make
written. The letter must include this information: sustain a reasonable mortgage pay- sacrifices to keep your home.
• “I would to like stay in my house.”
DHCD’s Bridge To Hope Program is 6. If foreclosure is unavoidable:
• “I fell behind on my mortgage payments as of _______ date.” emergency 0% loan assistance to help
• “The reason I fell behind is _______.” homeowners catch up on payments Other supportive services in your area,
while they work out a solution with such as emergency housing, can be
• “The situation has changed and I will be able to make my mortgage
their counselor and lender to stay in found by contacting United Way’s 211/
payment because _______.” First Call for Help, 1-800-492-0618.
6. Complete a Household Monthly Budget form (enclosed). Also, “FHA Secure” is a HUD refinanc- If you need to locate affordable rental
ing program which you can learn housing, see DHCD’s housing locator
7. Make a copy of pay stubs for all household earners for the two most recent pay about by calling 1-800-CALL-FHA service at www.mdhousingsearch.org
periods, and also copy two months of bank statements. (1-800-225-5342). or call 1-877-428-8844.
Tips to Avoid Being Scammed Consumer Information
f you are behind on your mortgage payments and are facing foreclosure, consider the lease complete this form before meeting with your housing counselor.
Be sure to take it with you to your first appointment. If you have any questions, please call the
following DOs and DON’Ts: HOPE Hotline at 1-877-462-7555 or go on-line to www.mdhope.org.
Borrower First Name: Last Name: Date:
• Contact your lender and try to refinance the loan or work out a Co-Borrower Name:
payment plan. Borrower Annual Household Income: Co-Borrower Annual Household Income:
• Contact an attorney.
• Contact a reputable counseling agency.
• Contact the Maryland HOPE Hotline at 1-877-462-7555 for Household type: (Check all that apply) Street address of property (do not use P.O. box):
referrals to free nonprofit housing counseling and legal services. Single adult
Two or more unmarried adults
• Get everything in writing. City:
Married with children
Married without children
DON’T: Female-headed single-parent household
County: State: Zip Code:
Male-headed single-parent household
• Ignore warning letters from your bank or lender. The problem will
Senior Phone numbers work/home/cell:
not go away, and will only get worse if you ignore it.
• Sign a contract under duress.
Who owns the residence in question: Email address:
• Sign any documents without consulting with an attorney or
• Sign any agreement with blank lines or spaces.
I make my mortgage payment to: My total monthly mortgage payment is:
• Sign over your deed to a third-party or agree to any deal that
supposedly allows you to rent the property and buy it back later.
• Sign any documents without reading them first.
I am or may soon be behind on my mortgage payment because: My payments are now:
• Enter into oral agreements. My income was reduced Current
• Make your mortgage payments to someone other than the lender. 30–60 days late
Loss of job
61–90 days late
• Make a deal with someone who solicits you uninvited by mail, Loss of income for another reason 91–120 days late
telephone, flyer or in person. Medical issues or expenses More than 120 days late
• Fall for promises that sound too good to be true. That’s a tell-tale Family issues Unknown or unsure
sign of a scam. Increase in expenses Have you contacted your lender?
• Pay anyone up front who promises to negotiate with your lender. Divorce or separation Yes
Death of a family member No
Failed business venture If “Yes,” what was their response?
Increase in mortgage payment
Other (please explain):
www.mdhope.org • 1-877-462-7555
Household Monthly Budget Hardship Letter Format
lease complete this form with your budget information so that you can review your financial situa- To (Name of Lender): Date:
tion with your housing counselor. Be sure to take it with you to your first appointment. If you have
any questions, please call the HOPE Hotline at 1-877-462-7555.
A. Household Expenses: B. Your Monthly Income: From Borrower(s):
Fixed Monthly Expenses Payment Before Taxes After Taxes
Mortgage Loan #
Gas & Electric I would like to remain in my house, but I fell behind on my mortgage payments as of (date):
Water & Sewer
Spouse or Partner’s Income:
Telephone Before Taxes After Taxes
Car Payment 1 The reason I fell behind is:
Car Payment 2
Other Household Income:
Alimony/Child Support Before Taxes After Taxes
Other / Minimum Credit Card Payment
Sub-Total, FIXED Expenses
C. Credit Card and Other Debts: I will be able to overcome these difficulties and make my mortgage payment because:
Variable Monthly Expenses Payment Creditor Name Min. Payment Balance - I have a new job
Groceries - I have a second job
- I have reduced my household expenses
- I have additional income form my son, daughter, etc.
and/or - I can make the payments at my original interest rate. If you
Bus/Taxi/Parking freeze my interest rate, I can make my payments.
Day Care D. Surplus/Deficit:
Total net monthly household income
Subtract total monthly expenses
= Monthly surplus or deficit
Cell Phone Borrower Signature Co-Borrower
Sub-Total ,VARIABLE Expenses
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES