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321 E. 25th Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

In this E-Newsletter you will find:
Afraid to Purchase A Home?Afraid
          Pete Parran, Director of Homeowner Counseling, spoke with Deborah Owens of WEAA, Wealthy Radio about the fears of homeownership and why owning a home matters. To listen to their podcast, click here or on the link above. 
Banks Leaning Towards Discretionary LendingBanks

        The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) hosted a conference in Baltimore in early September at the Convention Center.  

        One of the presentations focused on changes in bank lending. Banks are realizing that they are missing out on a target population when they rely on a FICO credit score to determine mortgage readiness. Banks are now leaning towards discretionary underwriting, or looking at the borrower as a whole person. To get an understanding of the borrower's payment history, banks are taking into consideration their payment of rent and utilities. This could mean that the door to home ownership could be opened to many new potential homeowners.

        NFHA also found banks are changing the way they sell foreclosed properties. Typically when a bank seizes a property, they sell the home as is. Now banks are learning that they have a better return if they renovate and keep the property well maintained.

        To read NFHA's full report, go to their website  

Counseling Works!Counseling
Jacqueline Grant talking with Representative Elijah Cummings at Making Home Affordable

            The simple truth about foreclosure prevention counseling is here. A new study by the Urban Institute finds that homeowners have saved tens of millions of dollars annually because of our National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program. Their report state that homeowners who work with housing counselors are, on average, almost three times more likely to obtain a money-saving mortgage modification, nearly twice as likely to get caught up on missed mortgage payments and about 60 percent less likely to fall behind again. To read the full report, click here.

New People At St. AmbroseNew

       Michelle Zupanc joined St. Ambrose as a Homesharing Counselor through Lutheran Volunteer Corps. Michelle grew up in Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota where she earned a B.A. in Religious studies and Gender Studies. Before beginning at St. Ambrose, Michelle had experience with community, legal and shelter support advocacy work.