Emergency Homeowner Loan Program–Assistance Plan May Aid Unemployed Homeowners In 2011

Unemployed homeowners have slowly seen programs arise over the past months that can be of assistance and, one particular plan which is hoped to begin in 2011 known as the Emergency Homeowner Loan Program, is believed to be another aid which could be beneficial for homeowners who are jobless and may be in a position to benefit from additional assistance to help them prevent the loss of their home. Programs like the Hardest Hit Fund have, in many states, been able to offer unemployed homeowners various forms of assistance, like 0% interest loans that may be forgiven after a set period of time, but this new initiative may bring loan opportunities, also at 0% interest, and could assist homeowners with their mortgage payments for up to two years.

States that may qualify for the Emergency Homeowner Loan Program are those that may not have been included in the Hardest Hit Fund, but would, again, benefit in the area of housing by offering unemployed homeowners this foreclosure prevention assistance. Obviously, homeowners would have to show that they have suffered a financial setback related to the loss of their job, as these assistance plans are hoped to only keep homeowners afloat while they seek an alternative employment opportunity that will allow them to resume making payments on their home.

Yet, it was recently reported on HousingWire.com that the House voted to end the Emergency Homeowner Loan Program which is set to help around 30,000 homeowners. There have been recent pieces of legislation passed the House of Representatives to end various homeowner assistance plans, but many believe that these efforts will be stopped in the Senate or vetoed by the president were they to pass in Congress.

Questions remain as to why programs, like the Emergency Homeowner Loan Program, are being proposed for termination, especially when this particular plan has yet to be implemented fully. While proposals for HAMP to be terminated are rooted in the idea that the program has helped too few homeowner and comes at a high cost, there are programs like the Emergency Homeowner Loan Program and the FHA’s short refinance program that have had little chance to get off the ground, but could potentially help unemployed and underwater homeowners find a more affordable home loan payment and avoid the loss of their home.

Some of the opponents of these programs state they are wasteful in their spending and are simply helping financial institutions that may have interests wrapped up in mortgages that are in danger of foreclosure, but those who support these initiatives feel that homeowners can avoid the loss of their home, which may lead to destabilization in some areas, as employment opportunities pickup and more homeowners may be able to find a financial position that will allow them to continue paying on their home without the aid of these federal efforts. Yet, despite differences of opinion on these programs, it was, once again, stated that if these programs do get passed in the Senate, it is highly likely that they will be vetoed so that they can be implemented and possibly aid unemployed homeowners.