Press Releases

For Immediate Release: April 22nd, 2013

NONPROFIT EVENT HELPING FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS ENTER INTO HOME OWNERSHIP WITH CONFIDENCE

AAHC’s Spring Homebuyer Education Workshop
Saturday, 9:30am-3:30pm

May 11th – NVCC, Ernest Community Cultural Center, Annandale, VA
May 25th – Montgomery County Executive Office Building, Rockville, MD

Asian American Homeownership Counseling, Inc. (AAHC) is inviting all first-time homebuyers, and those who have not owned a home for the past three years, to our Spring Homebuyer Education Workshop. The event is intended to help participants confidently purchase their first home by understanding the rules and regulations set by state and federal governments.  Real estate experts and representatives from government housing agencies will explain their role in helping you purchase a home. Additionally, experts will explain public and private assistance programs and first-time homebuyer mortgages that may help lessen any financial burdens.  This event will give families a culturally appropriate platform to meet with lenders and industry experts as they move forward with the home buying process.

After the housing market crash and economic downturn in 2007, many homes were abandoned, and many families left with little or nothing to their name. Many faced short sales, foreclosures or were forced to file for bankruptcy. Though the market is stabilizing, the values of homes are still nowhere near their 2006 levels. The downturn not only affected foreclosed homes and families, but has left its mark on the entire community.  That being said, AAHC seeks to jump start and revitalize  Washington, DC Area housing communities, not only by placing people into affordable homes, but also by providing them with the knowledge, financial management skills, and outside resources to help stabilize communities for generations to come.

The event is free for public. Lunch will also be provided for those who RSVP for the event. To RSVP, please call 703-291-6324/301-760-7636 OR email us at counseling@aa-hc.org. Additionally, interpretation will be available in the following languages: Chinese Mandarin and Cantonese, English, Korean, Hindi, Sri Lankan, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Spanish.

AAHC’s MISSON:

AAHC is a 501(c) (3) non-profit housing counseling agency committed to the stabilization and invigoration of housing economy in Maryland, DC and Virginia. Services include foreclosure prevention, credit and money management counseling and first-time homebuyer education. For more information on Spring Homebuyer Education Workshops or other AAHC services, please call 301-760-7636/703-291-6324  or via email at counseling@aa-hc.org.

AAHC’s SUPPORTING PARTNERS:

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For Immediate Release: April 4th, 2013

Asian-American Homeownership Counseling, Inc. (AAHC) is now HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency!!

Asian-American Homeownership Counseling, Inc., AAHC, is now HUD approved.  HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.  The process of becoming HUD approved prescribes a yearlong process in which the applicant satisfies four major requirements: 1. Hold a Nonprofit Status, 501 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code; 2. Show successful administration of Housing Counseling for at least one year; 3.  Serviced in proposed community for at least one year;  and lastly, 4. Have sufficient resources and built capacity to implement its proposed counseling plan.

The approval by HUD not only testifies to AAHC’s compliance to the requirements, but also attests to AAHC’s knowledge, experience and ability to successfully administer counseling in the areas of Home Ownership Education, Foreclosure Intervention & Default Management, and Financial Literacy Education.  Approval also provides additional funding opportunities, through grants provided by the Local, State and Federal government, and foundations and philanthropic channels, which permitting AAHC to counsel and reach more families than ever before. Though some of the programs offered by AAHC come with a small fee, many programs such as Foreclosure Intervention and Default Management, which enclose many sub-programs, are free of charges to the homeowners.

AAHC, more than ever before, is committed to empowering and inspiring immigrant communities to achieving and maintain the American dream of homeownership in the greater Washington D.C. area.

You can find us listed in HUD’s home page, under HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies[1], in Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development, under the Counseling tab[2], in Montgomery County’s homepage under Foreclosure Assistance[3] and lastly, you can find us on our website, www.AA-HC.org, which lists all of our services and available programs.

For immediate contact, please email us at Counseling@aa-hc.org or call our office, 301-760-7636, where you can speak with one of our Certified Housing Counselors.  We offer bi-lingual services in Chinese Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese at this time.  We also have volunteer translators are available per request on Burmese, Tagalog and Spanish.

 


[1] http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm?webListAction=search&searchstate=MD

[2] http://mdhope.dhcd.maryland.gov/Counseling/Pages/CounselorsList.aspx

[3] http://www3.montgomerycountymd.gov/311/Solutions.aspx?SolutionId=1-BR5QD

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For Immediate Release: March 11th, 2013

Lt. Governor Brown Announces $11.8 Million in Grants for Nonprofit Housing Counselors in Maryland Joins DHCD in Unveiling Revamped HOPE Campaign to Increase Awareness of Resources for Struggling Homeowners RIVERDALE, MD (February 14, 2013)

Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown today announced $11.8 million in grants that will be distributed over three years to members of the Maryland HOPE Counseling Network. The Network is a group of 39 nonprofit agencies statewide that provide assistance to individuals facing foreclosures, act as a resource to negotiate reasonable terms with mortgage servicers, and advise citizens on the best actions to take to save their homes. The Lt. Governor was joined by Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond A. Skinner, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, housing counselors, and other state and local officials for the event.

“More housing counselors and legal aid assistance are essential to helping Maryland families avoid foreclosure and address other struggles caused by the housing crisis,” said Attorney General Gansler. “Every Marylander we help stay in their home, refinance, modify their mortgage or fix their housing-related credit issues is another step towards resolving the housing crisis and restoring housing values for everyone.”

“Research has shown the effectiveness of foreclosure prevention counseling. Homeowners who work with counselors such as those in our statewide network are more likely to reach a sustainable resolution than those who do not seek counseling,” said DHCD Secretary Skinner. “These awards will help counseling agencies serve more Marylanders this year – an estimated 20,000 households in 2013 compared to 15,000 in 2012.”

“When families come to us in need, our housing counselors are doing all we can to help save their homes, and stabilize communities and the economy, and this funding will be a great help for Maryland homeowners. AAHC received total of $134,000 State funding for period of 2013-2015″, said, Song Hutchins, President/CEO of Asian-American Homeownership Counseling.”

CAFN Awards $225K to Organizations to Fight Foreclosures

CAFN has awarded $225,000 to six (6) organizations to do outreach, counseling and other services for Washington metropolitan area households at risk of foreclosure. The awards include:

CAFN would like to thank the following sponsors for making these grants possible:

*Freddie Mac * Fannie Mae *United Way of the National Capital Area

*State of Maryland *Bank of America *Capital One *Wells Fargo

*Community Foundation of the National Capital Area

*Washington Area Women’s Foundation

“With this funding, AAHC can now able to extend its FREE foreclosure prevention services to Montgomery, Fairfax and Prince William County residents (at least 3 days/week starting March) at our Fairfax office (per appointment only). AAHC is seeking to develop a strong collaboration/partnership with the faith-based organizations to reach out to help those struggling homeowners and help to save their homes from foreclosures. We are very thankful to CAFN and its sponsors for their support,” said, Song Hutchins, President/CEO of AAHC.

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For Immediate Release: July 16th, 2012

 

HOMEOWNERSHIP EMPOWERMENT WORKSHOP FOR ASIAN AMERICANS A SUCCESS

The Asian-American Homeownership Counseling Inc. (AAHC) hosted a successful workshop, “Homeownership Matters in AAPI Communities,” on Saturday July 14 at John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring, Maryland in partnership with the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) DC Metro Chapter and Voice of Vietnamese Americans (VVA).  The workshop was intended to educate the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community on a wide variety of housing related issues, including mortgage debt forgiveness, Making Home Affordable programs, fair housing laws and loan modification scams. The event also featured translators of seven different languages to facilitate better understanding of the content. The early morning rain did not deter more than 60 members of the Asian American community and 30 volunteers from attending this informative workshop.

Ike Leggett, the Montgomery County Executive, gave the opening remarks.  Mr. Leggett highlighted the Asian minority myth, that is, that all Asian Americans are “well-off” and
do not need assistance in homeownership education, and that they do not experience  problems including misinformation and fraud due to language barriers and discrimination.  That point was later echoed by HUD Assistant Secretary of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, John Trasviña. Mr. Trasviña stated that one in five AAPI families experience housing discrimination, yet only 1% of HUD’s Fair Housing complaints are from AAPI community.

County Executive Leggett and Assistant Secretary of FHEO Trasviña confirmed the need for this unique workshop to educate AAPI communities about housing related issues. Presenters included Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Acting Director of Lender Relations Donna Mitchel and Bill Milko, Wells Fargo Mortgage Consultant Grace Choi, Tax- Masters Inc. President, Linda De Marlor, Asian Real Estate Association of America DC Metro Chapter Chairman Genie Nguyen, and AAHC President, Song Hutchins.

The event closed with Maryland Attorney General, Douglas Gansler, who provided information on Maryland’s $957 Million Settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers. Funds from the settlement will go to relieve distressed Maryland homeowners. For detail information, visit www. http://www.oag.state.md.us/or contact AAHC by writing at counseling@aa-hc.org.

Ms. Minh Truong, a Vietnamese-American attendee, remarked: “This event was very informative. A lot of this information is not available to the Asian community and I really appreciate the organizers [AAHC] for putting together this event.”

AAHC, AREAA and VVA look forward to bringing the same imperative information to Virginia’s residents on August 11th, Saturday, from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale Campus.

 

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For Immediate Release: September 27, 2011

 

Leggett Urges Homeowners to Attend One-on-One Foreclosure Prevention Counseling Event; County and City of Gaithersburg Sponsor October 1 st  Event

County Executive Isiah Leggett today joined Richard Nelson, director of the County’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs, and local homeowners to urge residents who are falling behind in their mortgage payments or who are facing foreclosure to attend a free one-on-one foreclosure prevention counseling event on Saturday, October 1 in Gaithersburg.  Co-sponsored by the City of Gaithersburg and the County’s Housing Fair Planning Committee, the event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bohrer Park Activity Center, located at Summit Hall Farm, 506 S. Frederick Avenue.

Homeowners will receive one-on-one foreclosure prevention counseling offered by trained representatives from four County-approved housing counseling agencies — Asian-American Homeownership Counseling, HomeFree USA, Housing Initiative Partnership and the Latino Economic Development Corporation.  Leggett also urged homeowners to beware of companies promising help with loan modification for a fee.

“Unfortunately, at a time when homeowners facing foreclosure are under a huge amount of stress, there has been a proliferation of unscrupulous scam artists who prey on them, sometimes charging them thousands of  dollars to get a loan modification service that never arrives,” said Leggett.  “The organizations that we have partnered with are certified and very knowledgeable about helping homeowners.  Most importantly, this counseling service is free.”

Free legal advice on housing-related issues will also be available at the event.  Attorneys from Civil Justice, Maryland Legal Aid and the Pro Bono Legal Resource Center of Maryland will be on hand to answer questions.  Representatives from the Office of Congressman Chris Van Hollen will also be present to assist homeowners.

 

 

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For Immediate Release: December 21, 2010

 

ASIAN-AMERICAN HOMEOWNERSHIP COUNSELING, INC. (AAHC), ATTAINS NON-PROFIT, TAX-EXAMPT STATUS AND BEGINS OPERATIONS

Asian-American Homeownership Counseling, Inc. (AAHC) announced today it had attained 501 (c) 3, tax exempt, non-profit status and finalized its mission and objectives.  AAHC is headquartered at 12320 Parklawn Dr., Rockville, MD 20852, N.Virginia office is schedule to open in March/April, and is licensed and certified to service clients in MD and VA.   

The role of non-profit housing counselors is imperative in the current struggling U.S. housing market and economy.  The counselors’ role is to ensure that consumers are educated on what it means to be a homeowner. They advise individuals on how to manage their finances properly, so that they can be financially secure and not only attain, but sustain the American dream of homeownership.  There are thousands of housing counseling agencies in the nation, and hundreds in the DC metropolitan region.  Many of these agencies address housing issues, such as pre- and post-purchase education, foreclosure prevention, reverse mortgages for seniors, financial literacy education, rental assistance, credit counseling and many other relevant topics.  However, agencies that serve Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) immigrant and naturalized communities are extremely rare.  An ability to communicate is critical, and there is a glaring lack of certified counselors with bi-lingual ability (in Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Vietnamese, Hindi and others) to service AAPI homeownership communities.

Asian-American Homeownership Counseling, Inc. (AAHC)–the first of its kind housing counseling agency–in the DC metro region—is unique in that it will offer bi-lingual and multicultural counseling and dedicate its efforts to educate and provide home buying, foreclosure prevention, rental assistance, mortgage education and assistance, and financial literacy education (including financial English) to Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities.

Mission

According to AAHC President/CEO Song Hutchins, “AAHC is committed to empowering and inspiring Asian-Americans to achieve the American dream of homeownership by providing counseling, education, tools, and resources.  AAHC increases homeownership success by placing individuals on the road to financial self-sufficiency. AAHC contributes to the stabilization of communities and reinvigoration of the U.S. housing economy, and creates housing solutions for first-time Asian-American and other homebuyers.”

Supporting Organizations and Government Agencies: 

(No financial obligations)

Several governmental and non-governmental organizations have provided support to AAHC, including: Office of Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Governor’s Office, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA), Montgomery County Executive’s Office of Community Partnerships – MD, Capital Area Foreclosure Network (CAFN), AREAA DC Metro, Housing Initiative Partnership, Inc. (HIP), Virginia Association of Housing Counseling (VAHC),  Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), Korean Community Service Center (KCSC), Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA-DC), Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC), Maryland Vietnamese Mutual Association (MVMA), South Asian American Leading Together (Saalt), Asian American LEAD, Housing Options and Planning Enterprises, Inc (HOPE), National CAPACD, NID-Housing Counseling Agencies, Seat Pleasant Community Development Corporation, Northern Virginia Urban League, Urban League of Washington DC, Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC), Freddie Mac, NeighborWorks  America (NW) and many more,

Tax Deductible Donations:

Donations to AAHC are crucial for it to be able to fulfill its important mission and all donations are tax deductible.  Please check with your tax advisor.  To donate, please visit www.aa-hc.org or make checks payable to AAHC and mail to AAHC, c/o Non-profit Village, 12320 Parklawn Dr. Rockville, MD 20852. c/o. Non-Profit Village.

December 21, 2010–AAHC Attains 501(c)3 Status