Government Launches Ad Campaign on Home Rescue

By Mike Colpitts

In government efforts to make it look like it’s taking a more active roll in the housing crisis, HUD has announced a major national advertising campaign to urge homeowners at risk of foreclosure to learn more about the White House’s Making Home Affordable program.

More than 1.5-million homeowners have received assistance through the program, which has been heavily criticized for failing to meet expectations the Obama administration projected. Over 7-million homeowners have been foreclosed in the worst U.S. foreclosure crisis in U.S. history.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Attorney General Eric Holder and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan

The Making Home Affordable Program was launched in February 2009 to help homeowners at risk of foreclosure. Almost 1.3 million troubled homeowners have started a trial plan. Homeowners in permanent modifications under the program have a median monthly savings of over $500 each month or about one-third of their previous payment.

Public service announcements direct homeowners to visit the Making Home Affordable government website or to call an 800 telephone number for assistance. A New York based advertising firm created the marketing campaign.

“We are proud to partner with the Treasury and HUD on this critical campaign to educate Americans about free resources available to help them prevent foreclosures,” said Ad Council CEO Peggy Conlon. “We hope Americans who are struggling will be empowered by these compelling PSAs and take simple actions to help them stay in their homes.”

The Ad Council will distribute the new PSAs to more than 33,000 TV, radio, print and Internet sites. The PSAs will be offered in advertising space that is donated.

“Many responsible borrowers continue to face challenges due to unemployment, negative equity or because of soaring utility payments,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “These public service announcements will help us to reach at-risk borrowers now, while they are still current on their payments and eligible to receive help through the Making Home Affordable Program or our expanded options for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) refinancing.”