Ready to make the call? Here’s your checklist

July 1, 2008

Originally published by the St. Louis Beacon. By Mary Delach Leonard, Beacon staff

When you call the hotline, you will be asked for some basic information before being referred to a HUD-approved nonprofit housing counselor. The counseling is free and private.

Before you make the initial call, gather the following information:

1. Your monthly mortgage billing statement. Somewhere on this statement, you will find the name of the loan servicer (where you send payments) and your account number. You may need to get a magnifying glass; the print can be very small.

Name of mortgage servicer:

Your loan account number:

2. The zip code where your property is located:

3. The legal first and last names of the property owners:

Additional information:

Save time by collecting other information counselors may request:

1. Date and purchase price of your home

2. Terms of your loan and interest rate (again, you may need to read the fine print)

3. Your current house payment

4. Does that amount include taxes and insurance?

5. How many payments have you missed?

6. What is the current value of your home?

7. Have you received letters from an attorney?

8. Give a brief explanation of what caused your financial hardship

9. Income documents: pay stubs, benefit statements from unemployment, retirement income, public assistance, Social Security and disability

10. A copy of your tax return

11. Monthly household expenses (utilities, food, health care)

12. Other monthly debts (credit cards, car loans, student loans)

13. Have you filed for bankruptcy since owning this home?

14. What have you done to remedy the situation?

15. Have you had previous problems paying your mortgage?


2 Responses to Ready to make the call? Here’s your checklist

  1. S. Sullivan says:

    We are 8 mos. behind in our mtg. ($8,000) approximately. We owe thousands in credit card debt which we cannot pay. And more than likely will be sued by our creditors. (We had excellent credit up until approx. 8 mos. ago. Our part time employment totals $1,000 or less p/mo. I would like to talk w/ a counselor. However, do you really think talking w/ one of your counselors would do any good at all in our situation? We just do not know where to get advice for these issues or how to start helping ourselves. We are desperate. Please reply asap. Thank you very much.

    S. Sullivan

  2. rossketc says:

    S. Sullivan – my name is Ross Rocketto, I am the Project Manager for our mortgage/financial crisis project We just received your comment on our website and I wanted to respond as quickly as possible. I cannot tell you with absolute certainty that calling a housing counseling agency will allow you to keep your home. What I can tell you is that calling one of them will increase your chances to being able to keep your home and find a way to get out of debt. These agencies are free and very happy to help. I am including the name, phone number, e-mail address, and website for a housing counseling agency that may be able to help below.

    Agency Name: Beyond Housing
    Contact: Linda Ingram
    Phone Number: 314-533-0600

    If for some reason they do not get back to you in a timely manner you can always call the United Way’s information and referral line. They will be able to connect you to a trusted resource that may be able to help. You can call them at 1-800-427-4626 and visit their website at

    Thanks and I hope that this helps!

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