Housing Counselor Resources
Welcome to OHFA's resource center for housing counselors. Like you, the Agency is committed to helping more Ohioans become successful homeowners and find ways to prevent foreclosure. We have also provided information not only on our products, but other resources that can help your clients.
HUD HC13 Pre-NOFA Question & Answers
- HUD Pre-NOFA Q&A (372 KB Adobe PDF File)
OSLSA Advanced Foreclosure Series:
Issue Spotting in Government Loans
This webinar for housing counselors reviews the mortgage servicing requirements of FHA, VA and USDA loans, giving counselors tips on how to help borrowers understand their rights.
- Issue Spotting in Government Loans Presentation (802 KB Adobe PDF File)
Counseling Homeowners Without Crossing the Line into Unauthorized Practice of Law
You deal with homeowners in crisis every day. You know a lot about negotiating loan modifications, the foreclosure process, and what happens in mediation. The reality is, more often than not, you are the only person the homeowner will turn to for help with foreclosure. Join the Ohio Poverty Law Center for a discussion of the unauthorized practice of law. Learn when you should refer homeowners to a lawyer, and get real answers to your questions about how to know when you have crossed the line. What is the unauthorized practice of law? What are the consequences if you cross that line? You may be surprised to learn that the worst case scenario isn't just a lawsuit...it's destruction of the entire counseling industry.
OHFA Homebuyer Education
OHFA's Streamlined Homebuyer Education allows homebuyers to gain necessary information, such as budgeting skills and steps to becoming a first-time homebuyer, on their own time. We partner with housing counseling agencies around the state to provide one-on-one telephone consultations that help homebuyers prepare for becoming owners. Learn more about OHFA's Streamlined Homebuyer Education.
Tips for Housing Counselors
The following stress-reducing tips were developed during a focus group with participants from HUD Intermediaries and State Housing Finance Agencies.
- QTIP (Quit Taking it Personally). Despite your best efforts, not every client can be helped.
- Coach your clients. Although we would like to hold everyone by the hand, there comes a point when the client needs to be responsible for their own case, with our support.
- Define a good day. Even with our many successes, we also fail at times. By defining what makes a good day, such as completing various tasks or assisting a client in a difficult situation, you will know when you have one.
- Appoint someone to keep a cool head. When you are fully immersed in the challenges facing homeowners, it is hard to know when you have reached your limit. Having someone to remind you can be helpful.
- Have weekly solution meetings. Sharing difficulties with your peers can offer the opportunity for a fresh perspective.
- Schedule time away from the office. Although many of you feel like the world will come to an end if you are gone a day, it is in everyone’s best interest if a good work life balance is maintained.
- Practice time management. Take some time each morning to schedule your day and prioritize your tasks. We often spend our whole days putting out fires and never get ahead.
- Give recognition to your staff. A kind word can make all the difference in someone’s day.
- Remember the goal. You are helping people facing a crisis. They will remember the difference you have made in their lives forever.
- Decide to keep a positive attitude. This is a daily decision, not a feeling.
In these turbulent economic times, we are all looking for ways to help Ohioans, not only with becoming successful homeowners, but with other areas of their lives. Below are some resources you can direct your clients to for assistance.