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The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) announced a new partnership to expand access to financial education and vital credit and housing counseling services specific to the Hispanic community. With tools and counseling available in Spanish, NAHREP’s 50 affiliate chapters and the NFCC’s 92 Member Agencies will collaborate to bring a new level of financial literacy to Latinos during these difficult economic times.

“By teaming up, NAHREP and the NFCC have the opportunity to create positive change in the Hispanic community. Knowledge is power and access to accredited counseling services and financial assistance and education can make a difference for Latino homeowners and homebuyers,” says Carmen Mercado, President of NAHREP.

“Both organizations share a commitment to ensuring that individuals and families have the financial education necessary to make responsible homeownership decisions,” said Susan C. Keating, president and CEO of the NFCC. “The NFCC Members are well-positioned to deliver the individualized counseling services consumers need when approaching the complex home-buying process.”

According to the organizations, NFCC Member Agencies will offer housing counseling including pre-purchase, foreclosure prevention, and reverse mortgage in addition to financial counseling to NAHREP clients. Examples of the NFCC’s arsenal of tools available in Spanish which will be used to educate consumers around the home-buying process are the copyrighted Keys to Homeownership pre-purchase home-buying publication, multiple educational housing podcasts, the Avoiding Foreclosure DVD, and the Mortgage Reality CheckSM home ownership online quiz which allows consumers to assess their level of knowledge around buying a home (available at www.MortgageHelpNow.org and www.NoPierdasTuHogar.org).

Through the collaboration, the two organizations will strategically promote information, resources and tools through NAHREP agents who work with the Hispanic community. Additionally, the organizations will also engage in leadership discussion forums around the delivery of financial education and counseling needs evidenced in the Hispanic community.

With studies documenting record losses of wealth in the Latino community due to the foreclosure crisis and resulting decline in homeownership, NAHREP has consistently urged policymakers not to cut vital housing counseling services that have made a notable difference in the level of homeownership sustainability for new homeowners. During Hill visits for the last two years, NAHREP has recommended that housing counseling and financial education tools and services receive increased funding through the annual multicultural real estate policy.

“Latinos will comprise 40 percent of the first-time buyer market,” adds Mercado. “Helping them learn what it takes to be sustainable homeowners will help stabilize neighborhoods and benefit local economies.”

For more information, visit www.NFCC.org.

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