Struggling to make your mortgage payments?
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.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING HOMEOWNER ASSISTANCE
While we are no longer holding in-person meetings, staff are available via email and/or telephone as needed. Mediation conferences and foreclosure counseling are now held via phone.
To get started, complete and submit the Financial Information Package.
Do not delay in contacting us.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Recent Updates to the Mediation Process
Recently, the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation has made changes to the forms section pursuant to RI General Law 34-27. The forms have been updated and included as part of Banking Bulletin 2018-3. Click here to access the forms, which coincide with regulation 230-RICR-40-10-4 – Mortgage Foreclosure Disclosure.
Please begin using these updated forms immediately. Beginning on June 1, 2019, RIHousing will no longer accept outdated Notice of Mediation forms. NOTE: Outdated notices received by the Mediation Coordinator will be returned unprocessed.
Please note that RIHousing’s current policy does not allow for processing Notices of Mediation older than 30 days from the date mailed to the homeowner(s). If the notices are not sent to the borrower within the timeframe outlined in the Act, penalties may apply.
Foreclosure Mediation Fee Schedule for Servicers
|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:
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.
Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI)
HHFRI is now accepting applications for the COVID-19 Mortgage Payment Assistance Unemployment Program. The program helps Rhode Island homeowners who experienced unemployment or underemployment due to the COVID-19 health crisis and are struggling to make their mortgage payments.
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.