Home Builders Stepping In To Help Home Buyers

Builders are creating online educational programs to help potential buyers clean up their credit and obtain loans.
October 21, 2008, 7am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"'It becomes a win-win,' said Dan Klinger, president of K. Hovnanian American Mortgage, which doesn't charge potential buyers to work with Debt Resource USA. 'We get to sell one of our homes, and the customer gets to clean up his credit and learn good, fiscal responsibility at the same time.'"

"Though no one expects the programs to significantly increase sales -- Hovnanian reports just 51 graduates in the last 18 months -- every sale counts for builders as they see earnings plummet, orders tank and cancellations rise as the worst housing correction in decades shows few signs of letting up."

"The programs address everything from debt to income ratios to why opening a store-branded card at the cash register might not be a good deal. They also teach students about budgeting -- not spending a fortune on furniture for the new house or forgoing that daily latte to build up a safety net should a pipe break or the homeowner get laid off."

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Published on Monday, October 20, 2008 in The Wall St. Journal
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