128 Tennessee Counselors Receive National Training

Homeownership Education Makes a Difference

Nashville, TN – August 16, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Pre-purchase education and counseling is shown to strengthen a homebuyer’s understanding of the purchasing process and reduce the number of defaults and late payments.

Tennessee Housing Development Agency works to ensure that high-quality pre-purchase homeownership education and counseling is available to every Tennessean. For nearly 20 years, THDA has worked to develop and foster a network of over 68 counseling agencies across the state.

In the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis and the housing market crash, the importance and value of homebuyer education has never been greater. On August 13, 128 housing education providers received continuing education training certifications through NeighborWorks® America at a conference organized by THDA, the 2013 HBEI Peer Session.

“We believe homebuyer education is the key to stability in today’s real estate market,” explained Memorie White, representative for event sponsor Fearnley, Martin & McDonald, PLLC. “Statistics show that when potential buyers enter into today’s market equipped with the necessary information and knowledge needed to make sound financing and purchasing decisions, the end result is a decrease in the rate of mortgage default.”

Many banks and lending institutions across the state now require pre-purchase counseling for all prospective homebuyers. THDA provides annual training and recertification opportunities – like the HBEI Peer Session – to ensure that counselors have the latest information and training. Since 2007, over 25,000 households have received homebuyer education courses from THDA-approved counseling agencies. A list of those agencies can be found here: http://resources.thda.org/OAandHBEweblist/HBEIlist1.aspx.

A study on the effectiveness of pre-purchase counseling, Risk Reduction and Sustainable Lending, is found on www.thda.org – http://www.thda.org/index.aspx?nid=176.

A video highlighting the importance of homeownership counseling and the impact made in the lives of the customers was shown at this year’s event. A copy of that video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX4PjUaC1Ew

NeighborWorks® America presented THDA with a recognition award for “exemplary dedication and commitment to affordable housing and the value of homeownership for all citizens of the state of Tennessee.” Jayna Bower, director of the NeighborWorks® Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling, cited THDA’s commitment to providing homeownership educators and counselors with training opportunities and resources to meet national industry standard requirements. THDA has made homeownership counseling a priority, and has demonstrated a commitment to affordable, sustainable housing and homeownership in Tennessee. The award was presented to Ralph M. Perrey, executive director of THDA, and Lindsay Hall, senior director of Single Family Programs at THDA.

Sponsors for the peer session included THDA, Regions Bank, Guaranty Trust, Mortgage Investors Group, Wells Fargo, Pinnacle Bank, Magna Bank, First Community Mortgage, and previously mentioned Fearnley, Martin & McDonald, PLLC.

THDA is a political subdivision of the State of Tennessee, established in 1973. THDA is the State’s housing finance agency, responsible for selling tax exempt mortgage revenue bonds to offer affordable mortgage funds to homebuyers of low and moderate incomes through local lenders, and to administer various housing programs targeted to households of very low-, low- and moderate-incomes.

THDA made its first mortgage in 1974. It has provided affordable fixed rate mortgages to over 107,000 households without using state tax dollars. The total contribution of the THDA-related activities to Tennessee’s economy in 2012 is estimated at $745 million.

THDA issues between $250 and $300 million in mortgage revenue bonds annually for its first-time homebuyer program.

THDA created the Tennessee Housing Trust Fund in 2006, using state, THDA and locally-generated match to support programs for households of very-low income, elderly and special needs populations.

More information about THDA is available on-line at www.thda.org.

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