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Free Money For Struggling Home Owners

There is a new federal program offering financial aid to struggling homeownersEmergency Homeowners Loan Program  and the funds don't require repayment. The federal government is offering free money to homeowners behind in their mortgage payments to help them bring their loans current.

Called the Emergency Homeowners Loan Program (EHLP), it's the latest in an effort to slow down the flood of foreclosures and attempt a recovery of the deteriorating housing market. The program offers interest-free loans of up to $50,000 to applicants meeting certain requirements and runs for up to 2 years. To be eligible, homeowners must have lost their income and be at the risk of foreclosure due to an involuntary job loss, underemployment, medical or other economic condition.

Here's how the program works: Payments go directly to the lender for a portion of the borrower's monthly mortgage, including any missed payments or past due charges. When the assistance period ends, 20% of the loan is forgiven with each passing year. For qualified borrowers who stay in their home for at least five years after the assistance period ends, and who don't fall behind on their mortgage, the money doesn't have to be repaid.

However, there are drawbacks. If borrowers sell their home before the entire loan is forgiven, they could be caught in a difficult position and liable for the remaining amount. Also, should they fall behind on their mortgage payments again, they would need to repay the remaining balance of the loan when they sell or refinance their home.

Whether the program will be sifficient to boost the ailing housing market is yet to be seen. It is estimated that approximately 4.5 million borrowers, roughly 8% of all mortgages, are behind on their mortgages by at least 90 days or are in foreclosure. Loss of income is deemed the primary reason why borrowers are in danger of losing their homes. 

Applications will be accepted through July 22 and available online through NeighborWorks America.

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Comment balloon 6 commentsMike Mayer • June 30 2011 05:11PM


Interesting Mike, had not heard of this program thanks for the information

Posted by Marilyn Boudreaux, Lake Charles LA Century 21 Realtor (Marilyn Boudreaux, Century 21 Bono Realty) over 9 years ago

Marilyn - It was just released late June 2011 and only runs through July.

Posted by Mike Mayer (Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

Bookmarked & suggested.  I love reading fun stuff but value the meat and potatoes.  Thanks for putting out quality blogs.  I try to; I hope you follow me. 

Posted by Cathy Criado, Making Real Estate Profitable (Criado Realty ) over 9 years ago

Thanks for the positive comments Cathy! I thought you were preparing for some time off! LOL

Posted by Mike Mayer (Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC) over 9 years ago

This is great news and I see that my state of Hawaii is one of the states that can participate.  I will reblog this!  Thanks.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) over 9 years ago

This looks like a great program for banks.  Find struggling homeowners, and pay the bank until the fund limit is reached, then foreclose.  This is a disguised bank perk that will reduce the banks' losses when they ultimately send temporary homeowners back to renterville.  I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about. over 9 years ago