In 2012, the UnidosUS Housing and Financial Empowerment Department successfully established and implemented a call center based in the Far West Regional Office of UnidosUS in Phoenix, Arizona, to serve as a first contact for clients who needed assistance with the Independent Foreclosure Review Program. The call center was also utilized as an initial point of contact for foreclosure outreach events and foreclosure prevention counseling services through our network as the primary service provider. Since the wind down of the foreclosure crisis we have recast the vision and approach of our call center.
Over the past 6 years the UnidosUS Counseling Connection has expanded its service lines and increased its capacity and reach providing counseling and outreach services to over 150,000 clients in a variety of service lines, currently offering outreach, intake and counseling services for the following:
- Post Modification Counseling
- Pre-Purchase Counseling
- Homebuyer Education
- Foreclosure Counseling
- Post-Purchase Counseling
- Financial Coaching
- General Outreach and Intake Services
The UnidosUS Counseling Connection blends in-person client engagement strategies into the telephonic service delivery approach – experienced counseling staff are encouraged to offer services in the same caring, understanding and reassuring ways they would with face-to-face clients – empowering them to help themselves through knowledge and support. During their conversation, intake specialists gather basic financial information to help them assess the severity of the problems the client is experiencing. We work with the client to understand immediate needs and address these prior to continuing – ensuring client is in a place where learning can happen. Once the client has been triaged, an appointment is setup with a housing counselor to begin the counseling process.
Each phone counselor has the knowledge and expertise to effectively answer clients’ questions and help address the concerns and fears they have. Active listening, reassurance and sound advice encourages clients, and gives them the necessary confidence to pursue further help, and ultimately get back on track to financial stability.
UnidosUS Counseling Connection uses state of the art technology and a rigorous compliance regime that has allowed it to meet third party vendor standards of financial service companies who have contracted with the UnidosUS Counseling Connection.
The UnidosUS Counseling Connection is unique in its approach because it leverages experienced counseling staff from a network of reputable community-based organizations by linking them to our call center and using their counseling capacity for our programs.
How we partner with local housing counseling organization:
- Joint marketing for service campaigns offering counseling services in regional markets
- Referral of new clients to local agencies resulting from campaigns
- Counseling Connection completing intake and referral to community-based agencies with a baseline triage in place – allowing for more in-depth counseling to occur locally.
- Piloting new programs with financial service companies – leveraging network counseling engagement as programs mature and expand nationally.
Financial Counseling and Post-Modification Counseling Programs
- Financial Counseling Bridge –The Counseling Connection in partnership with the UnidosUS Financial Empowerment Network’s FinancialWorks program provides intake services and connects clients from local community-based organizations to financial coaching experts in our affiliate network.
- National CDFI Partnership – The Counseling Connection has partnered with a National CDFI who provides small dollar loans to provide financial coaching support to their clients.
- National Banking Partnership – The Counseling Connection in partnership with a National Bank are providing financial coaching to previously modified clients who may show signs of being at risk of default.
Pre-Purchase and Education Counseling Partnership Programs
- LMI Pre-Purchase Counseling – The Counseling Connection and Hogar Hispano Inc. (HHI), a 501c3 CDC created by UnidosUS, have partnered to offer Pre-purchase counseling and education session to LMI clients seeking to purchase an REO property purchased and renovated by Hogar Hispano Inc.
- Homebuyer Advancement Program – The Homebuyer Advancement Program is a partnership between a National Banking Foundation and the Counseling Connection. The goal of the Homebuyer Advancement Program is to leverage the Counseling Connection to help increase the conversion rate of Pre-Purchase clients to homebuyers for our partnership agencies.
- Telephone and Online Homebuyer Education – The Counseling Connection and a Private Equity Firm funding down payment assistance programs have partnered to offer their clients telephonic and online Homebuyer Education options.