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MSHDA Announces Nearly $674,000 in Housing Counseling Grants

National Mortgage Settlement (NMS) Funds Help Homeowners Impacted by Foreclosure

LANSING, Mich., Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Executive Director Scott Woosley today announced three counseling agencies will receive National Mortgage Settlement (NMS) Fund grants to assist homeowners with counseling needs stemming from the national foreclosure crisis.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110419/MM85741LOGO)

The grants were open to MSHDA's existing statewide network of counseling agencies and reward successful, results-driven activities. They also provide foreclosure program support funds which are often not available through federal and state sources.

Northeast MI Affordable Homes in Alpena County and Northwest MI CAA in Grand Traverse County each received $225,000 awards. Bay Area Housing, Inc. in Bay County will get $223,867.

This is the third funding round of grants aimed at supporting individuals impacted by the foreclosure crisis. Awards totaling $6.2 million were issued in the first two funding rounds.

"We continue to see the effects of the recent foreclosure crisis," Woosley said. "These funds will give a much-needed boost to counselors who, every day, are on the front lines of helping families rebuild their lives."

The goal of the grants is to increase, sustain or prevent a reduction in a counseling agency's ability to deliver thoughtful, effective foreclosure-related counseling services to homeowners in need.

"It allows agencies to focus on staffing consistency, implementing best practices, quality of service and positive case resolution," said Mary Townley, MSHDA Homeownership Division Director.

The money for the grants comes from a settlement between 49 state attorneys general (including Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette) and five leading bank mortgage servicers over deceptive foreclosure practices. In the settlement, the State of Michigan received a direct payment of $97 million from the servicers. Schuette worked with the legislature and Gov. Snyder to establish the Michigan Homeowner Protection Fund to ensure the funds are directed toward victims of foreclosure. MSHDA received $15 million of those funds to expand free homeowner counseling services for citizens seeking to avoid foreclosure.

To access MSHDA's existing statewide network of counseling agencies, visit www.mshda.info/counseling_search/

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.*

*MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/mshda.

SOURCE Michigan State Housing Development Authority

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