Posts by Dwight Robinson
Dwight P. Robinson is senior vice president of the Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion division and chief diversity officer of Freddie Mac. He is a member of the company's senior operating committee and reports directly to CEO Don Layton.
For many individuals, now is a great time to buy a home: mortgage rates are low and house prices are lower than they’ve been in years. But gathering enough funds for the down payment, fees, and closing costs is a challenge for some families. Although no down payment mortgages are primarily a thing of the past, if you’ve done your homework, and are financially ready to be a homeowner, you may be eligible for down payment assistance from a variety of sources. However, Freddie Mac does require that borrowers contribute roughly five percent from their own funds to be used for down payment and closing costs.
Some first-time homebuyers may be eligible for assistance in the form of grants and tax credits. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a directory of state, county, local and municipal programs on their website. These sources have thousands of dollars of homebuying assistance available to well-qualified, mortgage ready borrowers. Each program has different requirements, and assistance may be limited to first-time homebuyers and/or low- and moderate-income homebuyers. Assistance can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on your needs, your qualifications, and where you choose to purchase your home.
Many individuals who are in danger of foreclosure simply aren't getting the help they need. Across the country, people are losing their homes and some are not responding to repeated efforts to help them. Not surprisingly, many borrowers are frustrated to the point of despair. Housing counselors may be able to help them.
Research from NeighborWorks America shows that homeowners who received credit counseling were 60 percent more likely to avoid foreclosure than those who weren't counseled. That's good news because it shows that credit counseling can work.
Last year Freddie Mac helped nearly 250,000 delinquent borrowers avoid foreclosure through loan modifications, forbearances, repayment plans or other alternatives, including modifications under the Obama Administration's ambitious Making Home Affordable program. These numbers reflect a vigorous commitment and ground-breaking tactics to reach borrowers in financial distress, connect them to their servicers, and expedite the workout process as much as possible.
On January 28, just a few weeks into the new year, Freddie Mac began building on that accomplishment.