MCLEAN, VA--(Marketwired - Feb 1, 2017) - Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) is sponsoring its first Borrower Help Center in southwest Mississippi. Located in McComb, Miss., it's part of a network of 14 Borrower Help Centers and the national Freddie Mac Borrower Help Network. These housing counseling agencies support Freddie Mac's commitment to preparing prospective buyers for responsible homeownership and helping struggling borrowers, including those with Freddie Mac-owned mortgages, avoid foreclosure.
"We see a clear need for mortgage-related counseling in southwest Mississippi, both for consumers wanting to make their first purchase and those wanting to prevent foreclosure," said Danny Gardner, Freddie Mac's vice president of affordable lending and access to credit. "Housing counselors are in a unique position to help people navigate these confusing issues and give them the trustworthy information they need to make important decisions about their future."
The newest Borrower Help Center, located at 416 Marion Ave. in McComb, Miss., will open for business on Feb. 7. It will serve people in Walthall, Pike, Amite, Wilkinson, Lawrence, Franklin, Lincoln and Adams counties. It's operated by D&E Power Group, a housing counseling agency that's approved by the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).
D&E, A Housing & Economic Empowerment Center, Inc., has offices in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Freddie Mac sponsors two Borrower Help Centers in the Atlanta area that are also operated by D&E.
"Opening the Borrower Help Center in McComb gives us the opportunity to reinvigorate homeowners and renters in rural Mississippi," said Carrie Harris, D&E's president and founder. "The more complex housing and financial management issues become, the more families need a trusted resource to teach them how to build equity and create wealth for themselves. D&E has proven to be that resource for the past 16 years."
The D&E Borrower Help Center's HUD-approved counselors will deliver CreditSmart®, Freddie Mac's multi-lingual financial education curriculum. CreditSmart has reached over four million consumers nationwide and trained more than 43,000 instructors.
D&E's counselors will connect consumers with state and national programs focusing on homebuying and retention, including down payment resources and home renovation financing options. The counselors will also facilitate tenants' rights workshops, provide Internet and fax access, and make connections to local and regional employment opportunities.
"I'm excited to have Freddie Mac and the D&E Borrower Help Center here in our area," said Anthony Witherspoon, mayor of Magnolia, Miss., who was instrumental in the effort to bring the organization to the region. "Homeownership is indeed an economic driver, and increasing the number of homeowners in the area will have a positive impact on our local economy. D&E played an important part in the development of McComb's Victory Park subdivision, which provided housing for displaced Hurricane Katrina victims. I've been a witness to their professionalism and I can say that D&E is more than capable of increasing homeownership in our area."
"This region has a high concentration of people living in poverty. Many renters spend more than 30 percent of their monthly income on housing," said Whitney Rawlings, mayor of the city of McComb. "I think the people here could benefit greatly by having the D&E Borrower Help Center in McComb and taking advantage of the services it offers."
Housing-related nonprofit organizations are a critical part of efforts to bring housing-related improvements to the Lower Mississippi Delta area, according to the Housing Assistance Council, a national nonprofit organization that supports affordable housing efforts in the rural U.S.
The Borrower Help Centers support Freddie Mac's mission, including broader efforts under Duty to Serve, which itself is an important extension of its comprehensive efforts to reach more families in underserved markets across the country.
D&E Power Group
Based in Forest Park, Ga., D&E is a 501(c)(3) HUD-approved housing counseling agency that offers housing and credit counseling along with foreclosure prevention to help homebuyers and owners all along the homeownership continuum. It is dedicated to developing and empowering individuals with tools to make better financial decisions that can positively impact homeowners' lives. Learn more on Facebook and Twitter.
Freddie Mac makes home possible for millions of families and individuals by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Since our creation by Congress in 1970, we've made housing more accessible and affordable for homebuyers and renters in communities nationwide. We are building a better housing finance system for homebuyers, renters, lenders and taxpayers. Learn more at FreddieMac.com, Twitter @FreddieMac and Freddie Mac's blog FreddieMac.com/blog.