Is housing counseling required for Back to Work borrowers?

The borrower must receive homeownership counseling or a combination of homeownership education and counseling.

Housing counseling may be conducted in person, via telephone, Internet, or other methods approved by HUD, and mutually agreed upon by the borrower and housing counseling agency as provided for in the Housing Counseling Program Handbook.

All housing counseling and education must be completed a minimum of 30 days but no more than six months prior to the borrower submitting an application to a lender.

Each borrower must receive one hour of one-on-one counseling from a HUD-approved counseling agency. The counseling must address the cause of the economic event and the actions taken to overcome the economic event to reduce the likelihood of reoccurrence.

The housing education may be provided by HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, state housing finance agencies, approved intermediaries or their sub-grantees, or through an online course.

A list of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies can be obtained online at or by calling 1-(800)-569-4287.

For additional information see Handbook 4000.1 II.A.5.d.xi.( D) available at