$3 billion additional assistance for jobless homeowners

August 17, 2010

On August 11, 2010, the Obama Administration announced additional support to help homeowners struggling with unemployment through two targeted foreclosure-prevention programs.

Through the existing Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Innovation Fund for the Hardest Hit Housing Markets (HFA Hardest Hit Fund), the U.S. Department of the Treasury will make $2 billion of additional assistance available for HFA programs for homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments due to unemployment. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will soon launch a complementary $1 billion Emergency Homeowners Loan Program to provide assistance – for up to 24 months – to homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure and have experienced a substantial reduction in income due to involuntary unemployment, underemployment, or a medical condition.

“HUD’s new Emergency Homeowner Loan Program will build on Treasury’s Hardest Hit initiative by targeting assistance to struggling unemployed homeowners in other hard hit areas to help them avoid preventable foreclosures,” said Bill Apgar, HUD Senior Advisor for Mortgage Finance. Together, these initiatives represent a combined $3 billion investment that will ultimately impact a broad group of struggling borrowers across the country and in doing so further contribute to the Administration’s efforts to stabilize housing markets and communities across the country.”

Hardest Hit Fund

President Obama first announced the HFA Hardest Hit Fund in February 2010 to allow states hit hard by the economic downturn flexibility in determining how to design and implement programs to meet the local challenges homeowners in their state are facing.

Under the additional assistance announced, states eligible to receive support have all experienced an unemployment rate at or above the national average over the past 12 months. Each state will use the funds for targeted unemployment programs that provide temporary assistance to eligible homeowners to help them pay their mortgage while they seek re-employment, additional employment or undertake job training.

States that have already benefited from previously announced assistance under the HFA Hardest Hit Fund may use these additional resources to support the unemployment programs previously approved by Treasury or they may opt to implement a new unemployment program. States that do not currently have HFA Hardest Hit Fund unemployment programs must submit proposals to Treasury by September 1, 2010 that, within established guidelines, meet the distinct needs of their state.

The states eligible to receive funds through this additional assistance, along with allocations based on their population sizes, are as follows:

Alabama $60,672,471
California $476,257,070
Florida $238,864,755
Georgia $126,650,987
Illinois $166,352,726
Indiana $82,762,859
Kentucky $55,588,050
Michigan $128,461,559
Mississippi $38,036,950
Nevada $34,056,581
New Jersey $112,200,638
North Carolina $120,874,221
Ohio $148,728,864
Oregon $49,294,215
Rhode Island $13,570,770
South Carolina $58,772,347
Tennessee $81,128,260
Washington, DC $7,726,678

HUD Emergency Homeowners Loan Program

This new program will complement Treasury’s HFA Hardest Hit Fund by providing assistance to homeowners in hard hit local areas that may not be included in the hardest hit target states. Those areas are still being determined.

The program will work through a variety of state and non-profit entities and will offer:

  • a declining balance
  • deferred payment “bridge loan” (0% interest, non-recourse, subordinate loan) for up to $50,000 on their mortgage principal, interest, mortgage insurance, taxes and hazard insurance for up to 24 months.

Under the program, eligible borrowers must:

  • Be at least 3 months delinquent in their payments and have a reasonable likelihood of being able to resume repayment of their mortgage payments and related housing expenses within 2 years;
  • Have a mortgage property that is the principal residence of the borrower, and eligible borrowers may not own a second home;
  • Demonstrate a good payment record prior to the event that produced the reduction of income.

HUD will announce additional details, including the targeted communities and other program specifics when the program is officially launched in the coming weeks.


Preserving Homeownership and Savings Education Strategy (PHASES) program

July 4, 2009

MMI

Money Management International (MMI), the nation’s largest nonprofit credit and debt counseling and education agency, today announced the official launch of their foreclosure prevention program, which has grown from a successful pilot program started in July 2007. With receipt of its second $1 million grant from HSBC-North America, MMI is able to expand its Preserving Homeownership and Savings Education Strategy (PHASES) program.

Utilizing the HSBC funds, the PHASES program provides grants for up to $7,500—an increase from from $5,000 during the pilot phase—to qualified homeowners who are striving to recover from a temporary financial setback. As part of the program, the PHASES team provides one-on-one financial counseling sessions to help keep families in their homes and effectively manage their personal finances.

During the pilot phase of the program, MMI and HSBC helped hundreds of homeowners become current on outstanding mortgage payments and have provided vital financial planning skills to keep consumers on the road to financial stability. The pilot program’s success is evidenced by its receipt of the NeighborWorks America’s 2008 Innovations in Homeownership Contest, for its innovative post-purchase strategy for consumers.

“HSBC is delighted to continue this partnership with MMI to provide the resources families need to keep their homes, and feel more confident about their future path, ” said Tom Detelich, president, Consumer and Mortgage Lending for HSBC Finance Corporation. “We are committed to working with MMI and other top national and local community organizations to provide practical tools to help families make an immediate difference and help plan for the future.”

MMI President and CEO Ivan Hand added, “In its pilot phase, the MMI PHASES program helped more than 200 consumers keep their homes and build stronger financial futures. With HSBC’s support, and the work of our housing counselors, the program was a great success and we’re glad to announce our expanded support for American homeowners.”


The PHASES program is currently available to homeowners in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. To learn more about the MMI PHASES program, call 888-589-6959 or visit www.MMIPHASES.com.


About Money Management International

Money Management International (MMI) is a national HUD-approved housing counseling agency and nonprofit credit and debt counseling firm. MMI has been helping consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan, and repay debts since 1958. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24/7 by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish.



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