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What is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, and how can they help me?

A housing counselor though a HUD-approved agency is specially trained and certified by the government to help you assess your financial situation, evaluate options if you are having trouble paying your mortgage loan, and make a plan to get you help with your mortgage. 

HUD stands for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It’s a government agency that helps people get and maintain quality affordable housing. They train and sponsor housing counselors all over the country. Because of this, you can have confidence that a trained housing counselor is well equipped to help you understand and evaluate your options.

HUD-approved housing counseling agencies provide foreclosure prevention counseling free of charge. They can also help you talk to your mortgage servicer and understand any options your servicer has offered. A housing counselor can also help you learn about the homebuying process.

How to find a HUD-approved housing counseling agency

There are different ways to find a trained housing counselor: 

  • Use the CFPB's Find a Counselor tool to get a list of HUD-approved counseling agencies in your area.
  • Call the HOPE Hotline, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at (888) 995-HOPE (4673).
  • Call the CFPB at (855) 411-CFPB (2372) to be connected to a housing counselor over the phone.

What happens when you call a housing counselor

If you’re calling because you’re having trouble paying your mortgage, the housing counselor will ask you for information about your mortgage loan, such as the amount you owe and the date of your last payment. This information is generally on your last mortgage loan statement. The housing counselor may also ask for information about your pay stubs, tax returns, recent bank statements, and other bills you pay each month, such as car loans and credit cards. The counselor is asking for this information to understand your financial situation and how much you can afford for a monthly mortgage payment. 

If you’re having trouble paying your mortgage

A housing counselor at a HUD-approved agency can't promise that you will get to keep your home. They will help you look at your options and make a decision that’s right for you.

If you are facing imminent foreclosure or have been served with legal papers, you may also need to consult an attorney.