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  • Resources to Increase Your Household's Disposable Income - A Video
  • In this eight minute video, advocates Linda Cook and Gene King from the Ohio Poverty Law Center discuss public assistance options to help increase disposable income and resources available to your household which will free up money to help pay your mortgage.

  • Accessing Ohio Public Health Insurance - A Video
  • The Ohio Poverty Law Center Director Gene King explains the different kinds of public health insurance (Medicaid, Medicare and Ohio's Hospital Care Assurance Program (HCAP)) and how health insurance can help increase disposable income in your household to help prevent foreclosure in this eight minute video.

Financial Distress

A person is in financial distress when he has lost income, struggles to make payments or has missed payments.  Financial distress is caused by a tight cash situation where the buyer cannot pay or has difficulty paying the amount owed on the due date. 

Ways To Help With Financial Distress

  • Check To See If You Are Eligible For Government Benefit Programs

    Government benefit programs may pay for items and services for which you are currently paying.  For example, if you are eligible for Medicaid, the money you are currently spending for health care can instead be used to help pay your monthly bills.  Even $50 of monthly food assistance benefits will save you $600 per year in food costs.  See the other pages in this section of the website for more information about benefit programs for which you may be eligible.

  • The First Step to Developing a Budget is to List Income and Expenses

    You will find sample income, expense and asset forms as part of the Ohio Mortgage Help Workbook (pdf), beginning at page 13.  Taking control of your financial situation requires a realistic assessment of how much money you take in and how much money you spend.  Only then can you identify necessary expenses and prioritize the rest.  The goal is to make sure you can make ends meet on the basics: housing, food, health care, insurance, and education.  Self-help is a start, but there are free and low-cost credit counseling experts who have the information, experience and insight you may need to reach your goals.  Don't hesitate to contact the experts for help.  You are not alone.

  • Get Help With Financial Debt and Budgeting

    It is critical to establish a financial plan and find solutions to credit and debt concerns which may include ways to increase income or decrease expenses.  Poor credit is fixable over time, but to fix it you must first know what is wrong with it and what you can do to improve it.  A visit to a non-profit credit counseling agency will help you understand the problem and how to go about fixing it.

CreditSmart® Consumer Online Training

  • Free CreditSmart Online Training Course

    Whether you are considering home ownership for the first time or currently own a home and need information on how to avoid foreclosure, this flexible, free interactive course will teach you how to achieve your financial and home ownership goals.

    • Understand the importance of building credit to secure your financial future.
    • Gain insight into how lenders assess your eligibility for a mortgage loan.
    • Recognize the warning signs of predatory lending and scams.
    • Learn the steps to successful home ownership.
    • Safeguard your home and your finances against life’s unexpected challenges.
    • Learn what to do if you ever have difficulty making your mortgage payments.

  • How It Works

    CreditSmart features 12 complete financial education modules that provide valuable information to help you improve your credit, manage your money, and be a responsible homeowner.  To get the most out of this training, it is recommended that you complete all 12 modules, in numerical order.  Each module can generally be completed within 20-30 minutes.  However, if you have a specific home ownership need, the modules are organized into four financial education tracks to help you customize your training.  Click CreditSmart to get started on your financial education offered free by Freddie Mac.

Avoid Debt Elimination Scams

  • Non-Profit Does Not Guarantee Free or Legitimate Services

    Most reputable credit counselors are non-profits and offer services through local offices, online, or on the phone.  If possible, find an organization that offers in-person counseling.  Many universities, military bases, credit unions, housing authorities, and branches of the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service operate non-profit credit counseling programs.

    But be aware that “non-profit” status doesn’t guarantee that services are free, affordable, or even legitimate.  In fact, some credit counseling organizations charge high fees, which they made hide, or urge their clients to make "voluntary" contributions that can cause more debt.

  • Debt Relief Services

    A debt relief service like credit counseling or debt settlement can help you work out a repayment plan with your creditors or, depending on the type of service, you might get advice on how to deal with your mounting bills.  

    Before you do business with any debt relief service, check it out with the Ohio Attorney General's Office.  Their consumer complaint search website can tell you if any consumer complaints are on file about the firm you're considering doing business with.

    If you’re thinking about getting help to stabilize your financial situation, do some homework first.  Find out what services a business provides, how much it costs, and how long it may take to get the results they promise.  Don’t rely on verbal promises.  Get everything in writing, and read your contracts carefully

This website provides general legal information and not legal advice.  The law is complex and changes frequently. 
Before you apply any general legal information to a particular situation, consult an attorney. 
If you cannot afford an attorney call 1-866-Law-Ohio (1-866-529-6446) or visit OhioLegalHelp.org for your closest legal aid office.