Press Release

U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and the Ad Council Launch National PSA Campaign To Reach Struggling Homeowners

Ongoing effort urges homeowners with mortgage trouble to reach out to learn of free federal resources to avoid foreclosure

WASHINGTON, DC, December 12, 2012 —To increase awareness of the Making Home Affordable® Program’s free resources and assistance for struggling homeowners, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD), and the Ad Council today unveiled the third and final phase of their Foreclosure Prevention Assistance Public Service Advertising (PSA) Campaign. To view the campaign materials, click here.

Data shows that nearly one in 14 U.S. homeowners has fallen behind on his or her mortgage payments. The new phase of the campaign seeks to identify with those homeowners and raise awareness of free government resources designed to help avoid foreclosure. As announced earlier this year, the Making Home Affordable® Program has been extended through December 2013 and the eligibility criteria have been broadened. Now, homeowners with rental properties and additional homeowners facing a negative change in their finances may be eligible for assistance.

“While communities across the country are beginning to recover from an unprecedented housing crisis, too many families are still struggling with their mortgage payments and are unsure of where to turn for help,” said Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance Mary Miller. “Millions of homeowners have gotten help to avoid foreclosure since 2009. We want to make sure struggling homeowners know today that there are free government resources available to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.”

Ad Council research shows that many struggling homeowners delay conversations about their mortgage concerns because they feel confused about where to turn for help and about whom to trust. With that in mind, Chicago-based advertising agency Schafer Condon Carter created the new print, radio, outdoor and web PSAs to strongly encourage homeowners not to give up hope and remind them that there are free resources available to help.

The PSAs, which are available in English and Spanish, direct homeowners to call 888-995-HOPE (4673) for free access to HUD-approved housing experts who are available to speak one-on-one about solutions based on each family’s individual circumstances, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, the campaign drives homeowners to the website, MakingHomeAffordable.gov, which hosts robust online resources where homeowners can learn how to address their mortgage concerns. 

“Even as the housing market continues to strengthen and stabilize, it is more important than ever that we provide the one-on-one counseling services HUD-approved housing agencies give to families who are still struggling to make ends meet and are in danger of losing their homes," said FHA Acting Commissioner Carol Galante. "Thanks to the Ad Council’s efforts, more families will be able to take advantage of this free service and receive unbiased advice from trained experts who will help them better understand their options.”

“We know that there are still millions of families across the nation facing the threat of home foreclosure,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “We hope to be able to reach these Americans with a message of hope and inspire them to get the help they need.”

"All of us at SCC feel honored to be working with the Ad Council, Treasury, and HUD on this campaign, which is providing real assistance to struggling homeowners,” said David Selby, president and Managing Partner of Schafer Condon Carter, whose team created the ads pro bono.  “At its core, the campaign attempts to capture the inertia and intense mental paralysis homeowners feel when faced with the prospect of losing their homes.  Our hope is that this advertising will speak directly and powerfully to those most in need of help and cause them to take immediate action."

Per the Ad Council model, all PSAs will be aired and run in time and space donated by media organizations. Since the campaign was launched in 2010, media outlets have donated $68.7 million in air time and space. The new ads are being distributed ahead of the month of January – a time when historically many families struggle with their bills and are at increased risk of foreclosure. 

The Ad Council
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a 70-year history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action, and saving lives. For more information, please visit www.adcouncil.org. You can also visit www.facebook.com/adcouncil or follow the Ad Council on Twitter @AdCouncil.

Schafer Condon Carter
Schafer Condon Carter is widely recognized as one of the top independent advertising agencies in the United States. SCC has built its success by challenging conventional approaches to marketing and delivering a tightly orchestrated, fully integrated brand vision for its clients across an infinite set of consumer touch points. A simple mission drives the agency’s entrepreneurial spirit and aggressive, growth-oriented culture: “Think Again.” SCC’s client roster includes: Allen Edmonds, Beam Global Spirits, Campbell Soup Co., Chicago Cubs, ConAgra Foods, Giordano’s, John Morrell Food Group, Land O’Lakes, National Pork Board, Procter & Gamble, Rotary International, Solo Cup and Terlato. The agency’s wholly owned network includes SCC|Public Relations and SCC|Digital.  For more information, visit sccadv.com.

CONTACT:
Lisa Cullen, Ad Council, lcullen@adcouncil.org, 202-331-5052
Andrea Risotto, Treasury Public Affairs, Andrea.Risotto@treasury.gov, 202-927-8726
George Gonzalez, HUD Public Affairs, George.I.Gonzalez@hud.gov, 202-402-6054
Mike Grossman, SCC Public Relations, mgrossman@sccadv.com, 312-222-7478

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