As recent data from June indicated the the unemployment rate has risen to 9.2%, there are few positive signs in the employment sector that the jobless problem our nation is experiencing is speeding toward recovery and there are still homeowners who are facing long-term unemployment problems or have been unemployed for a period of time during which financial problems have arisen and meeting their monthly mortgage payment has become difficult. Yet, recent news on new programs to help unemployed homeowners has been covering the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program, but new options available from the federal foreclosure prevention effort may offer more aid to homeowners who are unemployed and in need of forbearance.
Recently, opportunities made available through federal initiatives allowed homeowners to receive a forbearance on their mortgage payments for up to three months, during which it was hoped that employment could be found, or alternative programs may be implemented to help homeowners who could not meet their mortgage payment. While there were some options available to homeowners that may allow them to extend the forbearance period beyond this three month timeframe, changes in the program that were recently announced may offer homeowners up to 12 months of forbearance on their home loan payment.
What this means for homeowners who qualify is that they could be allowed to miss mortgage payments for up to a year, and it’s hoped that fewer homeowners will come to the end of this extended forbearance period without the income needed to continue making home loan payments. While not all homeowners may be able to use this forbearance option to their advantage, there are still alternatives that homeowners can turn to as programs to assist unemployed homeowners from the Hardest Hit Fund and the new Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program may also be of assistance.
Homeowners must remember that in many cases, these forbearance options are only available to those who may not qualify for a home loan modification plan, as a result of being unemployed, so there are certain steps that must be taken before this forbearance opportunity will be available for homeowners who are attempting to avoid foreclosure. While the unemployment assistance available from certain states will also vary, as the EHLP will only be taking applications until July 22 and some HHF programs may have already exhausted their funding, homeowners can talk with their servicer about this new opportunity to get an extension on the forbearance period they have for making their mortgage payments when unemployment is a factor.