Unemployed homeowners in states that have an unusually high level of joblessness, specifically like Nevada, California, and Michigan, are continuing to offer financial assistance for these homeowners through various foreclosure prevention options that are alternatives to some federal programs, but despite the popularity that some of these plans have seen, homeowners still remain unaware of programs to help. While there are a variety of states that offer these plans, programs like the Hardest Hit Fund may be able to help homeowners in states where unemployment is well above the national average, and foreclosures are continuing to be a problem as a result.
How homeowners have benefited from these programs will often differ from one state to another, but awareness is still a key issue among state housing agencies where either they are seeing homeowners who qualify not take advantage of these plans, or homeowners simply being in a situation where they do not know of these programs nor how they can potentially help. Some of the plans that have been enacted by these states may offer payment assistance through what essentially equates to be a subsidy that will make a homeowner’s payments for a set time, but there are some instances where dischargeable loans are being used, and the states that use these programs may also offer foreclosure prevention as a result of a homeowner being able to have their mortgage paid but will not have to repay this loan if certain conditions are met.
While some homeowners are aware of these programs but have not inquired about how they may help, another area of concern has centered around certain qualifications that homeowners must meet, primarily the requirement that homeowners not be behind on their mortgage by a substantial amount of time. In some instances, homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payment by more than 60 days may not be able to qualify for these programs and this is one worry officials have as delay by homeowners to explore these options could lead to the inability to qualify. Yet, these requirements do differ from state to state as this is not a universal Hardest Hit Fund guideline, but most state’s do have a limit on the delinquency timeframe a homeowner is allowed.
Essentially, areas like Nevada, California, and Michigan have been at the top of the list in terms of areas where unemployment has remained incredibly high, but homeowners need to remember that these are not the only states where these housing plans are in place for unemployed homeowners, but the state housing agencies may also have implemented programs beyond HHF initiatives that can also help in some areas. Since we are seeing unemployment remains stubbornly high, with the most recent report stating that unemployment is still at 9.1% as of September, it may be worth exploring these programs in high-unemployment areas where homeowners are having trouble meeting payments on their home loan.