The CFPB has launched a tool to connect consumers with counseling agencies to address their housing concerns.
The Bureau announced its web-based tool will help homeowners find HUD-approved housing counselors to provide advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures and credit issues. The CFPB said housing counselors could offer consumers independent advice, "often at little or no cost".
“Consumers need and deserve the best guidance when making the decision to purchase a home. Buying a home may easily be the largest investment a consumer makes, and we want to make it easier for them to find a housing counselor that is a good fit for them,” CFPB director Richard Cordray said.
The tool will show consumers their closest HUD-approved counselors, as well as providing their contact information, a list of the services offered and a list of the languages each housing counseling agency offers.
The CFPB also said lenders could use the tool to provide cconsumers the list of homeownership counseling organizations dictated by the Bureau’s 2013 final rule on the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA).
"Lenders may fulfill that requirement by using CFPB-developed housing counseling lists, which are available through today’s tool, or by generating their own lists using the same HUD data that the CFPB uses to build its lists," the Bureau said.