Housing and financial education programs provide objective information, education, and guidance to all housing consumers for obtaining, maintaining and retaining appropriate housing. First State Community Action Agency’s Housing Department provides the following services:
Pre-purchase housing counseling focuses on the decision to rent or buy. Pre-Purchase Counseling addresses your financial situation, determines how much you can afford and looks at whether you are likely to qualify for a mortgage. This type of counseling also addresses your wants and needs, neighborhood selection and finding an affordable home to purchase. In addition, pre-purchase counseling helps you learn how to negotiate a sales contract, understand the types of mortgage financing, how to shop for a lender, how to apply for a loan, shopping for a homeowner’s insurance policy, discusses property taxes, the closing process and settlement costs and how to recognize purchasing fraud. The program is offered statewide. Follow-up activities include supporting you as you select an affordable home, acquiring an appropriate mortgage, dealing with closing and settlement costs and chosing your homeowner’s insurance.
Post-purchase housing counseling focuses on helping you understand your mortgage contracts, settlement documents and escrow accounts. The program provides budget and money management counseling and information on how to refinance your mortgage, deal with home improvements, practice energy efficient methods and recognize home equity scams. Post- occupancy counseling is offered statewide.
Foreclosure Prevention Counseling
Foreclosure prevention counseling addresses the issues of delinquency and default foreclosure. It will help you to develop an effective strategy for resolving default, provide discussion of general relief options and enable you to negotiate with lenders to achieve a workout result.