Since the unemployment rate remains at 9.1%, and uncertainty is still present in the job market when it comes to the ability of new proposals or potential job creation in the future to reduce this high level of unemployment, many homeowners are still facing an issue where foreclosure may be a possibility if they do not find some sort of unemployment assistance plan that allows them to either forgo payments for a set period of time, reduce their home loan payments, or find assistance to help them meet their home loan obligation. Yet, homeowners need to remember that there are these options available through certain governmental initiatives and state plans like the Hardest Hit Fund, as some homeowners may be able to get aid from this particular program while others who live in states where the HHF has not been offered may have alternative opportunities.
Throughout this year the Hardest Hit Fund has been able to offer different options in a variety of states as there are some programs that may be able to assist homeowners through financial aid programs, which will make a homeowner’s mortgage payment for them, while others may offer dischargeable loans that, if a homeowner meets certain qualifications, will not have to be repaid. Understandably, many homeowners realize that the current employment situation will likely improve in the future, but how long they have is still a question, due to the fact that some homeowners are out of work from an industry that may never return to full strength, so it may be an issue where retraining or acquiring an education will take time and meeting their mortgage payment is simply not an option.
There are colleges and universities that have been able to help unemployed individuals when it comes to taking courses to help them even further their education or acquire an education in a field that will allow them more employment opportunities, but staying afloat in terms of their home loan payment has been difficult even for those who may have a part-time job or who are in a situation where underemployment is present. However, homeowners in certain states, specifically those that have been impacted the most by unemployment and other financial setbacks, have implemented these programs, which many homeowners may know of, yet when it comes to changes that are still ongoing, some banks may not have set up opportunities for homeowners to take advantage of all of the initiatives offered within a specific state’s HHF program.
While it may require a homeowner speaking with their mortgage servicer or consulting representatives from their state’s housing agency as to whether certain options are available, there are some states that simply do not have this program in place and in states where the HHF is available not all homeowners qualify. In these instances homeowners have been urged to look to housing counselors or servicer representatives as many of the major financial institutions participating in HAMP a also be able to offer a forbearance option for homeowners who are facing unemployment but cannot qualify for these state unemployment assistance programs.
It’s hoped that forthcoming proposals to address unemployment will create an environment where more jobs will be created in the near future, but homeowners who are currently without employment and facing the loss of their home may be able to benefit from these state housing plans or federal unemployment mortgage payment forbearance options, but it will require homeowners in a dire situation to be proactive so that they can explore these options more thoroughly in the light of how they may be able to help with their specific situation.