The number of homeowners who are unemployed continues to remain quite high as national unemployment and various rates across the nation in various states continues to remain at a level which many deem to be unacceptable. Obviously, high unemployment has led to a great deal of trouble in the lives of many homeowners and foreclosures have resulted in homeowners being unable to find stable income or long-term employment opportunities.
Yet, there has been some federal and state assistance options which are made available through various programs to address unemployed homeowners and their financial needs. One of the more common programs is the Making Home Affordable’s Unemployment Program which, through major financial institutions, offers forbearance on homeowner payment obligations. Homeowners who qualify for the Unemployment Program have been able to forgo making payments for at least three months on their home loan, as is dictated by the program’s requirements.
While these forbearance opportunities may give homeowners additional time to find stable income, some form of employment, or could offer them the opportunity they need to begin making alternative living arrangements, there are also assistance plans through state housing agencies which may offer homeowners assistance when unemployment has been a problem.
Some state housing agencies which were given funding to implement programs as part of the Hardest Hit Program have yet to begin these programs which may help unemployed homeowners avoid foreclosure, but other states are offering financial assistance which could keep homeowners who are unemployed from losing their property. Some states have offered loans, at 0% interest, which homeowners will not be required to begin repaying for a set period of time and, under certain conditions, these homeowners may have this debt forgiven.
Also, some programs mirror grants in that they can provide funding, up to a set amount for a certain period of time, which will essentially go towards making a homeowner’s payment until such a time where they are able to find employment that will allow them to continue making their mortgage payments under regular conditions.
There are those who view these state and federal unemployment homeowner assistance plans in a negative light, as they say that they may only be delaying the inevitable if high levels of unemployment remain. Yet, an example of how these programs could be beneficial comes from the federal mortgage forbearance program which, again, could give homeowners three months of forbearance and if some form of income from an employment opportunity is found, homeowners may then be able to qualify for a home loan modification.
Understandably, these unemployment assistance programs for homeowners are not perfect, but homeowners may be able to find aid through federal forbearance plans or state housing agency programs which are being implemented in states that have been particularly hard hit by unemployment.