Struggling to make your mortgage payments?

Homeowner Assistance

Our HelpCenter is dedicated to providing support and education to help more Rhode Islanders protect themselves from losing their homes and make safe, informed decisions for their futures.

Struggling to make your mortgage payments?

 

Homeowner Assistance

Our HelpCenter is dedicated to providing support and education to help more Rhode Islanders protect themselves from losing their homes and make safe, informed decisions for their futures.

Counseling services are FREE and confidential. Counselors will assess your current situation and provide advice and guidance to help you:

  • Work with your mortgage company to apply for a mortgage modification
  • Review your budget
  • Explore your options to avoid losing your home

HUD-APPROVED COUNSELING

RIHousing HelpCenter is a HUD-approved counseling agency that provides counseling services to all Rhode Island Homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments. Mortgage Counselors work with homeowners and their lender to review and identify available options to avoid foreclosure. Options may include loan modifications, work-out agreements, repayment plans and/or referral to RI Legal Services.

CONTACT US TODAY!

401-457-1130
TTY: 401-868-9090

RIHousing’s HelpCenter is a HUD-approved counseling agency that specializes in foreclosure prevention. Counseling services are FREE and confidential. Counselors will assess your current situation and provide advice and guidance to help you:

  • Work with your mortgage company to apply for a mortgage modification
  • Review your budget
  • Explore your options to avoid losing your home

HUD-APPROVED COUNSELING

RIHousing HelpCenter provides counseling services to all Rhode Island Homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments. Mortgage Counselors work with homeowners and their lender to review and identify available options to avoid foreclosure. Options may include loan modifications, work-out agreements, repayment plans and/or referral to RI Legal Services.

CONTACT US TODAY!

401-457-1130
TTY: 401-868-9090

 The sooner you act, the more options you will have.

Get started today.

Complete and submit the Financial Information Package.

The longer you wait, the fewer options you may have to save your home or avoid foreclosure.

If you need assistance with completing the Financial Information Package, please contact us at 401-457-1130.

NOTE: If you have an impairment, disability, language barrier, or otherwise require an alternative means of completing this form or accessing information about our housing counseling program, please inform our housing counselor program staff so alternative accommodations may be arranged. TTY: 401-868-9090

What Happens During a Foreclosure Prevention Counseling Session?

  • Your counselor will review your current income, living expenses, savings, and debts
  • Help you understand your options and possible solutions to your financial challenges
  • Assess your options for avoiding foreclosure, which could include a loan modification or another borrower assistance program

Prepare for Your Counseling Session

Being prepared will help your counselor better understand your financial position so they can assess possible options available for you. Please fill out and submit the Financial Information Package (en Español) to get started. When you meet with your counselor, please have the following documents available:

  • Most recent pay stubs and most recent tax return
  • Most recent bank statements
  • Your monthly mortgage statement

One of our housing counselors will work with you and your lender to identify available options.

10 Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure

  1. Don’t ignore the problem. The further behind you become, the harder it will be to reinstate your mortgage loan and the more likely that you will lose your home.
  2. Contact your lender as soon as you realize that you have a problem. The sooner you act the more options you will have and your lender may be able to work with you to resolve the problem.
  3. Open and respond to all mail from your lender. It is important that you are responsive to any communication or updates from your lender. Remember: your failure to open the mail will not be an excuse in foreclosure court.
  4. Know your mortgage rights. Find your loan documents and read them so you know what your lender may do if you can’t make your payments.
  5. Understand available foreclosure prevention options. Valuable information about foreclosure prevention (also called loss mitigation) options can be found on Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website. 
  6. Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor. Housing counselors can help you understand the law and your options, organize your finances and represent you in negotiations with your lender if you need this assistance.
    Find a local agency >
    (800) 569-4287  |  TTY (800) 877-8339
  7. Prioritize your spending. After healthcare, mortgage payments should be your first priority. Review your finances and see where you can cut spending (cable TV, eating out, memberships).
  8. Use your assets. Do you have assets such as a second car, jewelry, a whole life insurance policy that you can sell for cash to help reinstate your loan?
  9. Avoid foreclosure prevention companies. You don’t need to pay high fees for foreclosure prevention help. Your lender or a HUD approved housing counselor will provide FREE assistance.
  10. Don’t lose your home to foreclosure recovery/rescue scams! Don’t be a victim of scam artists who are taking advantage of people at risk of foreclosure. Talk to your lender or a HUD-approved housing counselor.

MEDIATION

RIHousing provides mediation services pursuant to RI General Laws §34-27-3.2 and 230-RICR-40-10-4. The Mortgage Foreclosure and Sale Act gives homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgage the right to a mediation conference with their mortgage lenders to facilitate a resolution to avoid foreclosure. This service is free of charge to homeowners.

Information for Mediation Lenders

COVID-19 Updates to the Mediation Process

Banking Bulletin Number 2020-5

Mediation Compliance during the COVID-19 emergency

Rhode Island Governors have issued a series of Executive Orders declaring a state of emergency in Rhode Island due to the COVID-19 virus. The emergency has created widespread interruptions in the economy and loss of income for many Rhode Island residents and businesses. This bulletin is being provided to clarify elements of the foreclosure mediation process in light of the COVID-19 emergency.

In response to the emergency the federal CARES Act has expanded the availability of forbearance options and other relief for affected homeowners with federally-backed mortgages. The Rhode Island Banking Division strongly encourages mortgagees to enter into forbearance options in any commercially reasonable situation whether or not the terms of the CARES Act apply. This request requires that we clarify the requirement of the foreclosure mediation statute to these forbearances.

The Rhode Island foreclosure mediation conference statute provides at R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-27- 3.2(d)(1) that

If the mortgagee fails to mail the notice required by this subsection to the mortgagor within one hundred twenty (120) days after the date of default, it shall pay a penalty at the rate of one thousand ($1,000) per month for each month or part thereof….until the mortgagee sends the mortgagor written notice as required by this section.

During the pendency of the emergency, as indicated by the Governor’s Executive Orders, the phrase “after the date of default” in the above referenced section is interpreted to mean within one hundred twenty (120) days of the later of the following events, as applicable: (i) the date on which a forbearance agreement terminates; or (ii) if foreclosure of the subject mortgage is stayed due to an applicable foreclosure moratorium, then the date on which the applicable foreclosure moratorium concludes. This means that mortgagees will be able to honor the spirit of the CARES Act by affording relief to mortgagors who have requested assistance and/or observe any applicable foreclosure moratorium without being in violation of R.I. Gen. Laws § 34-27- 3.2(d)(1). This interpretation applies to (1) all mortgages that are not in default at the time of the forbearance agreement was reached and (2) all mortgages in which the forbearance agreement was reached on or before the one hundred twentieth (120th) day following the date of default under the mortgage.

No penalty will accrue to a mortgagee if the notice required by this section is mailed to the mortgagor within one hundred twenty (120) days of the later of the following events, as applicable: (i) the date on which a forbearance agreement terminates; or (ii) if foreclosure of the subject mortgage is stayed due to an applicable foreclosure moratorium, then the date on which the applicable foreclosure moratorium concludes. The mortgagee shall provide the mediation coordinator with an Affidavit of Foreclosure Moratorium. The mediation coordinator may request documentation to evidence the terms of the forbearance agreement or the applicability of the moratorium to the covered mortgage loan. The Division of Banking will not arbitrate disputes between a mortgagee and the mediation coordinator.

If you have any questions regarding this bulletin or any other matters, please send an email to dbr.bankinquiry@dbr.ri.gov.

Elizabeth Kelleher Dwyer, Superintendent of Banking

Original issue date: April 15, 2020
Amended: May 4, 2021
Amended: August 20, 2021

DOWNLOAD THE AFFIDAVIT OF FORECLOSURE MORATORIUM HERE > 

Foreclosure Mediation Fee Schedule for Servicers 

Service Fees

Initial Outreach $100
Mediation Conference $400
Review of Agreement Outside of Mediation $150
Duplicate Certificate Request $25

 


Where to Mail Mediation Notices

Please send copies of your Mediation notices along with the initial $100 fee to:

RIHousing
44 Washington Street
Providence RI 02903
Attention: Mediation Department

 

 

 

Information for Homeowners

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does the law provide?

A: R.I. General Laws § 34-27-3.2 gives homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgage the right to a mediation conference with their mortgage lenders to facilitate a resolution to avoid foreclosure. Your mortgage lender has started the process by providing notice of your right under the law to a mediation conference.

 

Q:  What is a mediation conference?

A:  A “mediation conference” is a conference between homeowners and their mortgage lenders. It is coordinated and facilitated by RIHousing, who acts as the Mediation Coordinator. The purpose of the mediation conference is to determine whether an alternative to foreclosure is economically feasible for both the homeowner and the mortgage lender.

 

Q: Why should I participate in a mediation conference?

A: Your participation in the mediation conference could result in you and your mortgage lender entering into an agreement to avoid foreclosure. Since the mediation law went into effect in 2013, 70% of mediation conferences resulted in the lender not proceeding to foreclosure.

 

Q: What happens if I do not participate in a mediation conference?

A: If you choose not to participate in mediation, your lender could proceed with the foreclosure process without further negotiation.

 

Q: If I am already working with my lender, should I participate?

A: Yes. The law was created to give Rhode Islanders an extra layer of protection in avoiding foreclosure. The mediation process may allow borrowers and lenders to identify available workout options sooner than they otherwise would.

 

Q: If I would like to participate, how do I get started?

A: Please contact your Mediation Coordinator at 401-457-1213. He will be able to provide you with information on the process, answer any questions you may have, and will give you a list of U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD)-approved counseling agencies that are prepared to work with you. Once you select a counseling agency your assigned counselor will help to submit the necessary paperwork and schedule the mediation conference. There is no cost to you to participate in the foreclosure mediation process.

 

Q:  What takes place at a mediation conference?
A: At the mediation conference, the Mediation Coordinator will facilitate the discussion between you, your HUD-approved counselor and your mortgage lender and ensure that all parties are working in good faith. Once the mediation has taken place your lender will have 14 days to respond to your workout request. The Mediation Coordinator will review the response and determine whether it is an acceptable reply.

 

Q: How long do I have to decide if I would like to participate?

A: The law provides a 60-day period in which the mediation conference must take place. RIHousing encourages you to get in touch as soon as possible so you have adequate time to gather relevant paperwork and meet with a HUD-approved housing counselor to review your financial situation. Your HUD-approved counselor will also attend your mediation conference and advocate on your behalf. This service is paid for by your lender. Ultimately, your participation could result in an agreement with your lender to avoid further collections and/or foreclosure.

 

Q: What other resources are available to help me?

A: You may qualify for free legal assistance through RI Legal Services, which can be reached at 401-274-2652. The housing counseling agency you select as part of the mediation process will be able to direct you to a variety of other resources that may be available to you based on your needs.

 

CONTACT

Mediation Coordinator
mediationcoordinator@rihousing.com
401-457-1213

 

Tax Lien Assistance (Madeline Walker Act)

The Madeline Walker Act is a state law designed to help homeowners who have fallen behind on their taxes or other liens to avoid the loss of their home at tax sale. Under the Act, RIHousing has the right to purchase delinquent liens on 1-3 unit owner-occupied properties before they go to tax sale. While private lien purchasers must hold liens for only one year before initiating foreclosure, RIHousing must hold liens for a minimum of five years. During this time, RIHousing offers a range of support for homeowners, including enrolling them in a payment plan, connecting them to housing counseling, and directing them towards other community resources.

The Madeline Walker Act has allowed thousands of vulnerable homeowners to avoid foreclosure.

Homeowners at risk of losing their home to tax sale and who would like to take advantage of the assistance offered through the Madeline Walker Act must reach out to RIHousing at least 20 days prior to the scheduled tax sale in order to participate in the program.

Madeline Walker Frequently Asked Questions

CONTACT

Susan Denomme
401-457-1168
sdenomme@rihousing.com