Here in the early parts of June we saw jobless claims and unemployment numbers at a level that seems to indicate a slowdown in the recovery of the job market, and as more homeowners are finding unemployment to be burdensome in various areas of their financial life, there are programs being used to help those who are unemployed find the assistance they need so that they can continue to meet their mortgage payments until more prosperous times arise in the job market. There are obviously programs that have been in place for while, but some homeowners missed out on the news that was released last week about a new initiative to help meet the mortgage payment costs that some men and women are facing during a time of unemployment.
For those who are unaware of the new program, which was mentioned last week, the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program recently began accepting applications and homeowners are beginning to gear up for this particular resource which could help them avoid further foreclosures, particularly when unemployment is in place. While it goes without saying that men and women who are attempting to use this program to meet their mortgage needs during periods of unemployment will have to meet certain qualifications, there are also plans in place similar to this one in various states as part of the Hardest Hit Fund.
While the HHF initiative does not offer these programs in every state, certain areas like North Carolina have used loan programs similar to the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program which will offer a 0% interest loans to homeowners for a set period of time which can be used to make their mortgage payment. If homeowners meet the conditions of these loans, the amount owed will be discharged by a percentage every year, as long as the homeowner remains with the property, and could eventually lead to a situation where a homeowner does not owe on this loan which essentially helped them avoid foreclosure.
Not all homeowners have been able to qualify for these plans and the EHLP is simply gearing up at the present time, but exploring these options has been beneficial for homeowners in states where unemployment has continued to remain high and, in cases where homeowners are seeing particular mortgage payment hardships related to long-term unemployment. Some homeowners do feel that these programs need to be approached with caution as they are loans which may require that a homeowner repay the debt if they do not adhere to the guidelines within this form of unemployment homeowner assistance. Yet, for homeowners who are looking to stay in their home for a longer period of time, these plans may be particularly helpful especially if a homeowner is unemployed and has seen their financial situation worsen to the point where meeting their mortgage payment is questionable and default may be near.