HomeHelpNH, a state initiative to prevent foreclosures, says it’s helped about 750 households over the past two years. And state officials say there are many other households still working through the counseling process.
“It takes so long to work through this process, from the time a homeowner calls 2-1-1, which is the intake service," says Jane Law of the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority. "There’s a lot of education involved, there’s a lot of back-and-forth with mortgage servicers involved.”
The three-year program was funded with $3.5 million dollars from the National Mortgage Servicing Settlement. That funding ends when calendar year 2015 ends.
Law says the state agencies and nonprofit groups that work with Home Help NH are looking for funding sources beyond this year, because the number of foreclosures in New Hampshire remains three to four times higher than it was before the Great Recession.
“We topped out at nearly 4,000 foreclosures in 2010, which was the worst year, and we’re just a hair over 2,000 foreclosures last year," Law says. "But prior to the recession, there were probably only between 500 and 800 foreclosures in a year. We still have a long way to go.”