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What to do if you're in danger of losing your home

Home owners in fear of facing foreclosure and seeking free mortgage counseling assistance should call the Homeowner's HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE (4673).  Calls to the hotline - provided by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved counselors HPF is a private, nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis dedicated to preserving homeownership and preventing foreclosures.

Home owners having trouble paying their mortgage can call the hotline for free budgeting help, a written financial plan or assistance contacting their lender. Live online counseling is also available on the foundation's Web site at www.995HOPE.org.

According to HPF, home owners are beginning to call for help before they get too far behind on their mortgage payments. Calling earlier increases the likelihood that they will be able to effectively manage mortgage payments and stay in their homes.

"We can't stress enough how important it is for home owners to ask for help sooner rather than later," said Colleen Hernandez, president and executive director of HPF. "The earlier we hear from home owners, the more options we can offer to address their individual financial situations."

Home owners who prefer face-to-face counseling can call 888-995-HOPE for a referral to their local NeighborWorks® office or other counseling organization. They can also search by state or ZIP code on the NeighborWorks® Web site.

HUD and the Department of Justice also maintain searchable lists of approved free or low-cost credit-counseling agencies on their Web sites.

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