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NeighborWorks America Spotlights the Thousands of Homeowners Organization Creates Yearly as National Homeownership Month Begins

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WASHINGTON, May 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- June is National Homeownership Month, and NeighborWorks America is highlighting the 15,000 homeowners created in 2012 and, as new research proved, that NeighborWorks pre-purchase housing counseling and education leads to a better prepared homebuyer. NeighborWorks America, which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities, supports a network of more than 235 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
NeighborWorks America knows that pre-purchase homebuyer education and counseling is a critical component to successful and sustainable homeownership. New research from NeighborWorks America using data and analytics provided by Experian found that homeowners who received NeighborWorks pre-purchase housing counseling and education services are about one-third less likely to become seriously delinquent on their mortgages within two years of origination than homeowners who didn't receive NeighborWorks pre-purchase housing counseling and education services.
One way NeighborWorks America is providing homebuyer education and counseling is through a collaborative effort with Wells Fargo called the LIFT programs, a multi-market initiative with the primary goal to help stabilize communities hardest hit by the recent foreclosure crisis through the promotion of sustainable homeownership. This month the LIFT programs marked 3,000 homeowners created since first introduced in February 2012.
"NeighborWorks America empowers individuals looking to become homeowners, and borrowers in distress, by helping them get housing counseling and education – whether it's homeownership or foreclosure intervention," said Eileen Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of NeighborWorks America. "NeighborWorks organizations offer a variety of financial capability services that help individuals reach important goals like saving for a home. NeighborWorks organizations provide individuals access to a suite of homeownership services that includes pre-purchase preparation with education and individual counseling services an essential feature."
Besides helping to create 15,000 homeowners in 2012, NeighborWorks America through its support of the NeighborWorks network assisted more than 305,000 households with homeownership services and provided nearly 122,000 individuals and families with education and counseling. Notably, the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program administered by NeighborWorks America has assisted more than 1.5 homeowners with foreclosure intervention counseling since March 2008.
Many people who take part in NeighborWorks America's financial capability programs list saving for a home as a top goal. The organization has developed financial capability programs to help individuals develop sound personal financial management skills. NeighborWorks organizations offer a variety of financial capability services which include financial education, financial coaching, volunteer income tax assistance programs and individual development accounts.
To read more about the research on pre-purchase housing counseling and education services, go to http://www.nw.org/network/newsroom/netNews030713.asp. To read more about the LIFT programs, go to http://www.nw.org/network/neighborworksprogs/ownership/LIFT.asp.

About NeighborWorks America
For 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation's leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.

CONTACT: Lindsay Moore, lmoore@nw.org, 202-220-6317

Source: NeighborWorks America

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