Know Your Options

Know Your Options is Fannie Mae's consumer education initiative that explains the range of options available to struggling homeowners and provides guidance on how to seek help.

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Know Your Options™ is Fannie Mae's consumer education initiative that

  • explains the range of options available to homeowners who are struggling with their mortgage payments and
  • provides guidance on how to contact and work with their mortgage company or a housing counselor.

The initiative draws on insights and resources garnered through Fannie Mae's work with mortgage company partners and housing counselors. Know Your Options includes helpful homeowner tools such as the consumer Web site, KnowYourOptions.com and the interactive video simulation, WaysHome™.

KnowYourOptions.com

On August 3, 2010, Fannie Mae launched KnowYourOptions.com™, a consumer-friendly Web site designed to educate distressed homeowners about options that may be available to them. While the site is created to help homeowners, there are benefits for mortgage servicers as well as housing counselors too – not only will the site be able to reach more borrowers, but it can help reinforce your existing efforts to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Know Your Options Features

Homeowners need to be able to get information quickly and easily, in an easy-to-understand format. All foreclosure prevention options are presented to homeowners within two categories: options for those who want to stay in their home and options for those who may want to leave. For each, there's an overview, list of benefits, an explanation of how it works, and next steps.

We've also added several important features, including:

  • An interactive Options Finder to get homeowners to the option that might be right for their situation
  • Mortgage-Related Calculators to help homeowners know how the various options work
  • Consistent Call-to-Action on every page – homeowners are encouraged to take action and get help.

Know Your Options – Helping Homeowners

Our research shows that many homeowners still don't know about – or understand – their options to avoid foreclosure. In fact, many homeowners who have gone seriously delinquent or even through foreclosure have little to no contact with their mortgage company.

That's why our goal in creating KnowYourOptions.com was to provide struggling homeowners with a one-stop-shop for easy to understand, consumer-friendly information on the range of options for avoiding foreclosure – from repayment plans, forbearances, modifications to short sales, and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure.

Know Your Options – Helping Mortgage Servicers

Many of you have websites of your own, so you may be wondering what our site can do for you. We planned KnowYourOptions.com to complement the information you already provide. We believe that when homeowners get the same – or similar – information from two credible sources, they're more inclined to believe it's true and take the steps they need to get help.

WaysHome

On January 6, 2011, Fannie Mae launched WaysHome™, an interactive video to educate homeowners about their options to avoid foreclosure, motivate them to make the right decisions, and encourage them to seek help. The video is created to help homeowners but there are benefits for mortgage servicers as well as housing counselors too–not only will the video be able to reach more borrowers, but it can help reinforce your existing efforts to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Features

A unique and innovative learning tool, WaysHome allows homeowners to put themselves into real-life situations and make decisions–then see the consequences of those actions play out in front of them.

Through WaysHome, homeowners can:

  • Participate in an interactive video simulation
  • Select a character and go through the simulation "playing" that character
  • Follow through common homeowner situations as they encounter financial hardships and challenges that affect their ability to pay their mortgage
  • Choose different paths based upon specific real-life situations
  • Experience the positive outcomes or negative consequences of the choices selected (i.e., if you avoid taking action, foreclosure may become your only option)
  • Learn about options that may be available to help
  • Discover the right paths to avoid foreclosure, know their options, and find their way home

You can upload the WaysHome widget and make the video available on your website. Be sure to take advantage of this free tool and promote it to your homeowners. The more education they have the better.

Install Instructions

Know Your Options Marketing Storefront

The Storefront offers a wide selection of customizable marketing and customer communications materials to choose from–brochures, flyers, letters, statement inserts, and more. The materials are designed to educate homeowners on foreclosure prevention options, such as a forbearance or modification, as well as foreclosure alternatives, such as short sale and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

We're making the materials available to our partners to download at no cost, so you can use these tools with your own borrower outreach initiatives. All materials can be customized with your logo and contact information.

Storefront Login and Job Aid