Consumer Protection and Financial Health

This collection of resources assists housing counselors in helping their clients make informed decisions about housing lending products, understand their rights, and locate resources if they fall victim to fraud schemes. It also covers consumer protection and free financial education resources that counselors can provide to their clients.

For COVID-19 specific resources on consumer protection, visit:

COVID-19 Resources for Housing Counselors

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Predatory Lending, Scams, and Mortgage Fraud

Don't Be A Victim of Loan Fraud

This HUD resource contains links to information for Housing Counselors on loan fraud.

Overview of Financial Institution/Mortgage Fraud

This FBI webpage talks about financial institution fraud, such as embezzlement and misapplication of funds and mortgage fraud in the form of industry insider fraud or illegal actions by a borrower. The page lists the most common mortgage fraud schemes, including foreclosure rescue schemes, loan modification schemes, illegal property flipping, home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) fraud, commercial real estate loans, among others.

Loan Scam Alert

This resource on loan scam tips published by NeighborWorks America includes a Loan Scam Alert public service announcement (PSA), as well as information for reporting and spotting a scam and most common loan scams. The page has links to homebuyer tips, renter tips, tax tips, foreclosure tips and help, loan scam tips, and a resource to find a housing counselor.

FHA Resource Center for FHA Loan Issues

The FHA Resource Center webpage links to the FHA Single Family Housing Policy Handbook and other information, including online FAQs and contact information.

Homebuyer Protection

Home Inspections Tutorial Webinar

This webinar provides information on home inspections and the required forms housing counselors must give to pre-purchase clients.

For Your Protection: Get a Home Inspection

These one-page HUD disclaimers provide information on home inspections in English and Spanish.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Schedule a Home Inspection

This CFPB page covers tips for scheduling a home inspection.

Financial Education and Empowerment

Owning a Home

This Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) page has tools and resources for homebuyers. It covers the various steps when making an offer on a home, and after you make an offer on a home. It contains other tools and resources including information on mortgage closing scams, and a home loan toolkit in English and Spanish.

Your Money, Your Goals

This CFPB webpage has links to the Your Money, Your Goals (YMYG) financial empowerment toolkit, companion guides and booklets, online resources, and other resources for practitioners. The page features the Native communities companion guide and has a link to order free copies. There is also a Companion Guide for Native Communities available to assist tribal staff and organizations in their work with community members.

Find Out Your Financial Well-Being

This short questionnaire published by the CFPB helps to help measure a person’s financial well-being and how well their money situation provides them with financial security and freedom of choice.

Money Smart

The FDIC Money Smart Program offers resources for teaching people of all ages how to manage their money. This page has links to Money Smart for Young People, Money Smart for Adults, Money Smart for Older Adults, and Money Smart for Small Business.

Money Smart for Adults

This FDIC instructor-led curriculum consists of 14 modules that cover basic financial topics. Module 12: Making Housing Decisions discusses different types of safe and affordable housing, including specific information for renters.

Smart About Money (SAM)

SAM is a program of the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE). It’s a free resource containing personal finance courses, articles, calculators, and tips to help people manage their money. Their self-guided classes include My Housing Plan.

MYMONEY.GOV

This website is provided by the Federal Financial Literacy Education Commission (FLEC), consists of more than 20 federal entities that coordinate and collaborate to strengthen financial capability and increase access to financial services for all Americans. My Money Five is a group five principles for managing money. The Borrow section includes consumer information on credit and loans.

Financial Literacy Resource Directory

This resource directory published by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) provides descriptions and contact information for a sampling of organizations that focus on financial literacy initiatives, government programs, fact sheets, newsletters, conference materials, publications, and links to websites. The directory includes a section on Basic Financial Literacy and a section on Consumer Protection.

Healthy Housing

National Center for Healthy Housing

The National Center for Healthy Housing serves as a resource to federal, state, and local agencies with a mission to secure healthy homes for all.

Healthy Housing Toolkit for Housing Counselors

The Healthy Housing Toolkit for Housing Counselors has five sections including checklists for homebuyers, homeowners, and renters, as well a list of resources in other languages.

Making Homes Healthier for Families

This HUD webpage offers guidance and resources to assist clients in making their homes healthier.

Fair Lending

Overview of Fair Lending

HUD’s Fair Lending page offers information on prohibited discrimination in lending as established in the Fair Housing Act and by the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO), in charge of enforcing the provisions of this law. It includes information on filing a complaint and other information on discrimination.

Fair Lending Consumer Guide

This guide has information on fair lending and provides answers to frequently asked questions about prohibited lending discrimination and how to avoid falling victim to it. It also provides resources for reporting fair lending violations and discrimination, and important information about mortgage loans and their terms and conditions.

File a Housing Discrimination Complaint

This page contains instructions on how to file a discrimination complaint with FHEO, lists the types of complaints investigated by FHEO, and has links to complaint forms. The page also provides information for persons with disabilities and Limited English Proficiency (LEP).

Local Resources (by State)

This page has links to HUD state and local government resources in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands./p>

Foreclosure

HUD National Servicing Center: Avoid Foreclosure on an FHA Loan

This page contains contact information for HUD’s National Servicing Center, whose goal is to work with FHA homeowners and their lenders to avoid foreclosure. It also provides links to what’s new, events and training, and how to subscribe to FHA Info Announcements.

Mortgage Relief Scams

This consumer information published by the Federal Trade Commission on mortgage relief scams provides information on how these scams work and common types of scams. The page contains information on consumer rights, finding legitimate help, and reporting fraud.

Mortgage Resources

This page explains the rules governing loan origination which can be helpful for counselors to understand what their clients should expect when working with their lender.

TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID)

This CFPB webpage helps industry participants understand, implement, and comply with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules.

New RESPA Rule FAQs

This document, last updated on January 28, 2010, provides answers to frequently asked questions about the RESPA Act and the RESPA Rule from January 16, 2009.