March 7, 2013

HUD Marks National Consumer Protection Week

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Looking for a housing counselor or want to learn more about your fair housing rights?  The answer may be on your smart phone or tablet!  Recently, HUD launched two new mobile apps designed to help consumers learn about and enforce their housing rights and how to get the help they need from hundreds of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies across the country.

What better way to mark National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) than to offer these new HUD apps. NCPW is a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions.

There’s ample evidence to show that housing counseling can help distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure and obtain more favorable mortgage modifications.

HUD’s new housing counseling mobile app allows smartphone and tablet users to locate housing counselors in their own area.  In addition, pre-purchase counseling can help individuals determine if they are ready for homeownership, and connect them with safer and more affordable mortgages.

HUD’s housing discrimination app provides the public with a quick, easy and safe way to learn about their fair housing rights and, when necessary, file fair housing complaints. It is the first federal civil rights app that allows people to file housing discrimination complaints using their iPhone or iPad.

Both apps can also be instrumental in helping displaced families find alternate housing in the wake of natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy when power outages make smart phones and tablets one of the few ways to access the Internet.

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