Foreclosure prevention options for unemployed homeowners had originally been offered through either home loan modifications or other Making Home Affordable initiatives, but these programs are not the only current options that homeowners may have as programs from the Hardest Hit Fund may also offer loans or subsidies that will help homeowners meet their mortgage payment when financial distress has arisen as a result of joblessness and the inability to find an employment opportunity in a timely manner so that these mortgage payment difficulties are not an issue.
Numerous states are participating in the Hardest Hit Fund and each state may offer a different method to help these unemployed homeowners meet their mortgage needs. As an example, the North Carolina Hardest Hit Fund initiative, which is being implemented by the North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund can offer qualifying homeowners who are unemployed the option to take advantage of a zero-interest loan of up to $24,000 to cover mortgage costs for up to 24 months, but there have been some homeowners in an area with an incredibly high amount of unemployment who are eligible for up to $36,000 of assistance over 36 months. While many would think that a loan is the last thing an unemployed homeowner could use, it’s reported by the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund that homeowners who remain in their home for 10 years will have this loan forgiven and no repayment will be required.
However, in larger states, like California, the Keep Your Home California program offers a payment subsidy for qualifying homeowners who are unemployed and wish to remain in their home, and for those who qualify, these funds are reported to offer up to six months of benefits of up to $3000 that will be used to make a homeowner’s monthly payment. Yet, some areas, like Michigan, have implemented a similar unemployed mortgage assistance program that reportedly offers a subsidy for up to a year for homeowners and is valued at up to $750 or half of a homeowners mortgage payment.
While there are some states that are offering loans, similar to those in North Carolina or simply using subsidies to help homeowners make their payments, like the California and Michigan initiatives, homeowners need to understand that they will not be guaranteed foreclosure prevention from these particular plans simply because they are unemployed, as certain criteria must be met from state to state. However, individuals who have contacted their servicer to inquire about assistance do have these opportunities in areas where funding from the Hardest Hit program has been granted, but again, federal modifications, in-house homeowner assistance plans, and Making Home Affordable extension programs like the Unemployment Program which offers an unemployed homeowner forbearance on their home loan payments are still opportunities that homeowners may use if they are jobless and facing foreclosure.
Homeowners have been prompted to explore these options early though, in order to make sure that they give themselves the best opportunity to find a program that works for their particular situation and will provide foreclosure prevention.