"What are we going to do if we lose the house?" "I can't let anyone find out." "I can't tell the kids. This is going to wreck their lives." "I am all alone." Many of these powerful thoughts have crossed the minds of homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments. Research conducted by the Ad Council shows that many struggling homeowners delay conversations about their mortgage concerns because they feel confused about where to turn for help and whom to trust.
Tomorrow morning, Treasury, HUD and the Ad Council will unveil the third and final phase of their Foreclosure Prevention Assistance public service advertising (PSA) campaign to increase awareness of the Making Home Affordable® Program's free resources and assistance for struggling homeowners. As announced earlier this year, the Making Home Affordable® Program has been extended through December 2013 and the eligibility criteria have been broadened.
Created by Chicago-based advertising agency, Schafer Condon Carter, the new PSAs, which will be available in English and Spanish, direct homeowners to call 888-995-HOPE (4673) for free access to HUD-approved housing experts who are available to speak one-on-one about solutions based on each family's individual circumstances — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, the campaign drives homeowners to the website MakingHomeAffordable.gov, which hosts robust online resources where homeowners can learn how to address their mortgage concerns.
The new ads are being distributed ahead of the month of January – a time when historically many families struggle with their bills and are at increased risk of foreclosure. Per the Ad Council model, all PSAs will be aired and run in time and space donated by media organizations. Since the campaign was first launched in 2010, media outlets have donated $68.7 million in air time and space.
Andrea Risotto is a Spokesperson at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and George Gonzalez is Deputy Press Secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.