Consumer credit counseling is gaining attention in the mortgage industry as insurers and lenders consider ways to hold down delinquency rates while reaching out to nontraditional markets.

But before counseling can have any significant impact, the mortgage industry must consolidate its efforts to query and advise customers. A lot of time is spent reviewing, approving, and implementing individual counseling programs, said Juliette Madison, vice president for community outreach at PMI Mortgage Insurance Corp. "I'm looking for the point where all entities can sit around the table and say, 'This is what we need, this is what we can spend,'" she said. If the industry could agree across the board how credit counseling should be implemented and paid for, results would be more significant, she said.

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