We all know that the foreclosure prevention programs that have been rolled out in recent years have helped very few, relative to the number of foreclosures that have actually taken place, and relative to government expectations when the programs were rolled out. Well- guess what – a new program is rolling out with only five states receiving funding. Total funds allocated for the five states total $600M and Oregon will receive $88M of the total.
The other four states participating in this newest roll-out include North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island. These funds have been specifically earmarked to help unemployed homeowners avoid foreclosure.
Each state apparently has some autonomy in how the funds will be allocated and what programs will be initiated. In Oregon, the bulk of the funding (80%) will be allocated to those counties that have been hardest hit by the recession. These include Clackamas, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Grant, Harney, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Wallowa and Yamhill.The rest of the counties will split the funds remaining.
The four programs will:
- help some home owners get modifications, if appropriate. This will apply to those who are already in the modification process, but lack sufficient finances to complete the program.
- make mortgage payments for up to one year for those who do not have the funds to make the payments themselves.
- Loan Preservation Assistance will help some home owners catch up with arrearages, pay penalties due or other assistance that could help a homeowner qualify for a loan modification, if the mortgagee has been unemployed for a period of time.
- Transitional Assistance will help some families relocate into other housing, if the homeowners are unable to find employment, leaving relocation to a rental property the only option remaining.
Victor Merced, director of Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) has indicated that the next step is to work with lenders to make sure these programs succeed in Oregon.
A detailed plan has already been submitted to Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, and approval is expected. The plan is scheduled to roll out by year end.
In addition, the OHCS is continuing to work with the Treasury Department to create a fifth program to help residents of the two hardest hit counties, Deschutes and Jackson Counties.
To receive updates about the new programs, or to apply visit the Oregon Housing and Community Services site or call 1-800-453-5511.
In addition, if you are a homeowner unable to make a current payment, you can call call SAFENET at 1-800-723-3638, or the HOPE hot-line 1-888-995-HOPE (4673) to get information you need to help you avoid foreclosure. These help hot-lines are free, and so is the assistance you can receive.
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