Save My Home Hotline provides information and advice on adjustable rate mortgage increases
WASHINGTON - Responding to the urgent need for mortgage education and advice in a turbulent market, Union Plus is launching a homeowner education program that includes a Save My Home Hotline to help union members facing mortgage payment problems.
A new national survey reveals that half of homeowners with ARMs admit they have no idea how their ARMs reset, and nearly three-quarters do not know how much their monthly mortgage payments will increase when they do.
The survey, conducted Sept. 13-25 by Peter D. Hart Research Associates for Union Privilege, reveals that ARM holders are generally not concerned about mortgage payments until their rates reset. Then anxiety sets in as they realize their payments have risen substantially. Some 2.5 million homeowners will be facing the shock of higher payments when their ARMs reset before the end of the year.
“Our poll shows that consumers are looking for government help, but the labor movement is not waiting,” AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney said. “We’re reaching out to union families to make sure they don’t fall through the cracks.”
Union Plus is stepping up with several initiatives to help homeowners and prospective homebuyers understand mortgages and how to take steps to protect themselves from foreclosure and financial ruin.
Have An Adjustable Rate Mortgage? Act Now.
Millions of Americans have adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) that will reset this year or next. If you have an ARM, here are three steps to take right now:
- Talk to your lender, now. Find out when your adjustable rate mortgage will next adjust, how often it can adjust, and how much it can change. Don’t ignore letters from your lender if you are having payment problems.
- Get help. Call the Union Plus Save My Home Hotline at 1-866-490-5361 to arrange a confidential, free consultation including a budget analysis and advice to get you back on the road to financial recovery.
- Review your budget. Once you know where you stand financially, look at your budget and prioritize your spending. A housing or credit counselor can be helpful in reviewing it with you.
The Union Plus Save My Home Hotline at 1-866-490-5361 will provide free, confidential advice from HUD-certified housing counselors. Face-to-face counseling is available at more than 100 local offices in 22 states and the District of Columbia.
Hotline counselors will help members to establish a budget, set financial priorities and explain all the strategies available to help them keep their home. Homeowners will receive a written “Homekeeper Action Plan” to follow.
“Half of union respondents said they wouldn’t know where to turn if they have trouble paying their mortgages,” said Leslie Tolf, president of Union Privilege, provider of the Union Plus benefits. “The Union Plus Save My Home Hotline will provide union homeowners with the advice and assistance that they need.”
Qualified homeowners in seven states who are experiencing temporary financial distress, are eligible for grants under a program established by Money Management International, the nonprofit, HUD-certified housing counseling agency providing the Hotline, from a million-dollar endowment from HSBC, provider of the Union Plus Credit Card.
In addition, Union Plus Mortgage will offer a mortgage education program that includes an annual “Mortgage Checkup” to make sure that the mortgage that they hold is still in their best interest.
To help members keep their home secure, the Mortgage Assistance Program helps Union Plus mortgage holders with interest free loans to pay their mortgages if they face financial hardship due to disability, strike, lockout or layoff. The program, the only one of its kind in the nation, has provided more than $3 million in mortgage assistance. Members can call 1-800-848-6466 for more information about Union Plus Mortgage. For more information about the Union Plus Save My Home Hotline members can go to UnionPlus.org/SaveMyHome or speak to a counselor directly by calling 1-866-490-5361 toll-free 24 hours a day.
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Union Privilege, founded by the AFL-CIO in 1986, develops and manages the Union Plus benefits program, which uses the combined buying power of America’s union members to obtain top-quality goods and services at competitive prices. In addition to the nation’s largest affinity credit card program, Union Plus benefits include free and discounted legal services, education services, discounted health services, a home buying program, travel and recreation discounts and much more. For more information, visit www.UnionPlus.org.