Division of Banks
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Funding Application
Chapter 206 2013 Regional Foreclosure Education Centers and Foreclosure Prevention/First-Time Homeownership Education/Counseling Programs

Funding Overview:

Pursuant to Chapter 206 of the Acts of 2007, An Act Protecting and Preserving Homeownership, the Massachusetts Legislature has approved the appropriation of an amount not to exceed $2 million for grants in support of first-time homeownership counseling programs and for Regional Foreclosure Education Centers.

Funding is possible through administrative fees associated with the licensure of loan originators according to chapter 255F of the Massachusetts General Laws. The Commissioner of Banks has the discretion to adjust the total dollar amount available for distribution depending on actual revenues collected from Loan Originators’ license renewals for the 2013 calendar year. Grants shall be awarded through a competitive application process under a criteria determined by the Division.

Eligibility Requirements:

Applicants: The Division will accept funding proposals from entities which have previously implemented Chapter 206 Regional Foreclosure Education Centers and First-Time Homebuyer/Foreclosure Prevention Grants during the past five years. 2012 grantees must ensure all required program evaluation reports have been received by the Division in order to be eligible for 2013 funding.

  1. Applicants must self-identify as either a Regional Foreclosure Education Center or Consumer Counseling Agency with a focus of foreclosure prevention counseling and/or first-time homeownership education/counseling services.
  2. Applicants for a Regional Foreclosure Education Center grant must meet the following criteria: a) provides outreach activities beyond its own locality and actively serves more than three neighborhoods, communities or cities with foreclosure prevention services; b) employs two or more staff assigned to foreclosure prevention programs; and c) receives additional funding from State, Federal or other funders for foreclosure-related programs.
  3. Agencies/organizations identified as sub-grantees under a Regional Foreclosure Education Center’s grant application shall not apply for duplicative funding under a separate grant application. If applying for additional funding, sub-grantees must ensure proposed services are distinctive from those provided under the auspices of the Regional Foreclosure Education Center’s application by servicing either a different target population, and/or rendering a new activity, such as first-time homeownership educational services.

Requested Work Plan: Applicant activities must encompass one or a combination of the following services: 1) foreclosure prevention counseling services, including modification assistance; 2) first-time homeownership counseling and/or workshops; and 3) counseling for non-traditional or high-cost loans (aka subprime products). Funding for item 3 will be available to 2013 grantees upon submission of receipts and signed certifications of counseling services provided to a first-time homebuyer considering a high-cost or subprime loan product. Cost verifications, and receipt for services rendered will be submitted to the Division of Banks, Juan Pimentel, Assistant Chief Director, 1000 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02118.

Funding considerations:

  • Funding is intended for the 2013 Calendar Year. Grant awards will be processed within the first quarter of 2013.
  • Progress Tracking Requirement: All grantees must provide a semi-annual evaluation report and include a narrative of program activities, outcomes and challenges limiting the implementation of proposed objectives, if any.
  • Funding may be denied in cases where previous grantees have failed to meet reporting deadlines, failed to submit accurate reports as instructed by the Division, and/or due to limited program capacity, based on prior funding history.
  • Funding may also be denied if the Division of Banks determines a prior grantee has not provided foreclosure prevention or first-time homeownership services in a manner whereby consumers are protected from predatory lending practices, financial fraud and/or unfair or deceptive practices. The Division requires the disclosure of any licensed loan originator and/or mortgage broker who is compensated by the applicant for services or activities referenced as part of this grant application.
  • Outreach: Funding recipients will be required to participate in foreclosure workshops or other outreach activities scheduled by the MA Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation and the Division of Banks during the funding period.

Award Criteria:

All applications will be reviewed and scored through a peer-review process. Each peer-review group will be comprised of staff members from the Division of Banks who are not directly involved in the grant program. The maximum score allowed per applicant is 100 points. Applications will need a minimum of 80 points to remain under funding consideration.

The score is based on the quality of the work-plan, comprehensive budget, evaluation/tracking method of program participants, as well as an explanation of the impact of the 2012 grant.

The work plan needs to include a detailed outreach, implementation and evaluation focus to demonstrate the use and application of funds, expected outcomes, and program reporting/monitoring practices. If applicable, please include ideal best practices to solve foreclosure loan modification constraints.

Scoring Requirements
(Please Follow the Same Format with Application Proposal)

An overall score will be established by analyzing prior grantees’ experiences/accomplishments, the quality of outreach efforts, work plan and expected outcomes, a comprehensive program budget, as well as an explanation of program tracking and evaluation methods. A higher score can be attained by providing thorough and detailed explanations as well as including all of the relevant criteria outlined below.

Grant Experience/Accomplishments: Max. 30 Points

  • An introduction and overview of the organization. Please include a mission statement and a summary of current programs available to the community.
  • A list of personnel involved with the proposed work-plan, along with their position titles. You may also submit job descriptions for those positions which are currently vacant but will be filled with Chapter 206 funding.
  • A narrative statement describing program-related accomplishments with the 2012 Chapter 206 grant. Specify how the organization will build on those accomplishments to address program deficiencies or future outreach constraints.
  • Detailed responses to the following questions:
    • [FOR ALL 2012 GRANTEES] How many clients were counseled using Chapter 206 funding during 2012? [FOR OTHER APPLICANTS] How many clients were counseled in 2011, and 2012?
    • [FOR FORECLOSURE PREVENTION PROGRAM APPLICANTS] How many clients were able to avoid foreclosure? What solution(s) were employed to prevent foreclosure, and what role did the applicant play in the resolution? How many clients vacated their homes due to foreclosure, and what subsequent housing alternative was pursued by clients?
    • [FOR HOMEOWNERSHIP PROGRAM APPLICANTS] How many clients successfully completed the homeownership certification program?; How many clients purchased a home?; How many clients decided to wait to purchase a property, and reasoning for delaying homeownership?
  • Describe the organization’s experience negotiating with lenders or with first-time homeownership classes and/or counseling.
  • For foreclosure prevention grants, applicants should describe their approach to managing complex loan modification cases.

Applicant’s Outreach, Work-plan and Outcomes: Max. 30 Points

  • Identify the organization’s target population and provide community or regional data to support the need for funding.
  • Provide a detailed outreach and work-plan, along with timelines and expected outcomes.
  • Explanation on the progress of prior efforts and/or during the previously funded period and whether target populations, particularly low and moderate income individuals or families, have been helped or assisted through previous outreach.
  • Include expected client outcomes post homeownership counseling/workshops or post foreclosure counseling services. Explain efforts to reach expected outcomes with realistic timelines.

Program Budget: Max. 10 Points

The program budget needs to include other direct revenues raised for the program in order to leverage Chapter 206 funding, as well as in-kind services or contributions to support the longevity of the program. Additional items to be provided under this section:

  • A narrative statement detailing other foreclosure prevention funding for which the grantee is currently applying, with dates for award decisions.
  • Include specific line items for outreach and program-related activities. DO NOT MERGE ALL ACTIVITIES INTO ONE LINE ITEM UNDER "CHAPTER 206" PROGRAM.
  • If the grantee is a Regional Foreclosure Education Center, the budget should include the amount of funding being allocated for partner organizations, and subcontract amounts. The budget narrative should reflect how third-party organizations will utilize the funding.

Performance Tracking and Evaluation: Max 30 Points

  • Include a list of all program reports submitted to the Division during the previous funding period, along with actual submission dates for each document. The grant review panel will look at tracking/evaluation reports filed with the Division as part of the award consideration process.
  • Include a list of 2012 foreclosure prevention outreach events in collaboration with the Division of Banks, and the Office of Consumer Affairs or other state organizations involved in foreclosure prevention or first-time homeownership efforts.
  • A detailed program evaluation and reporting process is required under the application. This section should explain how staff will track new client-intakes, and monitor client progress as well as outcomes. If applicant is using a database or other software to maintain client information and services rendered, it should be noted. Applicant should also describe how it has used previously collected program data for the implementation of current services and the development of new programs.

Submission Instructions:

Applications should be submitted by the close of business on December 13, 2012. Funding decisions will be announced within the first quarter of 2013.

Applications should be submitted electronically to: Mayte Rivera at the Division of Banks. Email address: Chapter206grants@state.ma.us . Documents should be in PDF format, and the narrative should not exceed more than 10 pages.

Applications will not be accepted if the following items are not included:

  1. A cover letter which specifically states the type of funding being requested, e.g. applying for Regional Foreclosure Education Center funding; First-time Homeownership Counseling funding; and/or applying as an individual foreclosure prevention counseling agency for related services. The applicant should also reference if funding will be used for a combination of services: foreclosure prevention counseling and first-time homeownership programs. Additionally, applicant should include the name of the contact person for the grant application, title, email address, and telephone number. The letter should be signed by an agency official or person of authority within the organization.
  2. An IRS 501 c.3 tax-exempt certification is required for all applicants.
  3. Program budget with match-funding (required for regional foreclosure center applications).

If you have questions, please submit them by email to Chapter206grants@state.ma.us before November 29, 2012. We will also add a section for Frequently Asked Questions to our website: www.mass.gov/dob .