Financial Literacy Commission wants to educate potential homeowners

The Financial Education and Literacy Commission, chaired by the U.S. Treasury Department, visited Boston, Mass., today for a discussion on successful financial education programs to improve homeownership.

"Homeownership is a journey not a destination. Good homeownership counseling services need to be available before, during and after the purchase transaction," said Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Education, Dan Iannicola, Jr., who attended today's conference. "The community groups we met with today understand this and that is why they're making a difference here in Boston and the surrounding areas."

Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development led a discussion with financial institutions, lenders, policymakers, community organizations and counseling agencies on how public-private sector partnerships can better deliver grassroots counseling and training programs. Representatives from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation also attened the event, which was part of broader national and regional efforts to highlight National Homeownership Month.

The discussion focused on helping home-buyers better understand the terms of their mortgages to help them stay in their homes. Homeownership counseling can reduce 90 day mortgage delinquencies by 19 percent, according to a 2001 study.

Today's meeting was part of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission's national strategy for improving Americans' understanding of issues like homeownership, credit management, and retirement savings. The report, released in 2006, and other free homeownership counseling publications can be found at MyMoney.gov.

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