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  • Perhaps you have found yourself in the same predicament as many of your hardworking Nevada neighbors, and are struggling to survive under a tough economy. If this is the case, then your mortgage may have become an overwhelming financial monster that is threatening to take away your family’s stability. Here are some helpful options to help you get back in the game while you get back on your feet.
    A wonderful federal program available through your lending institution is the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/ . Under this provision, the homeowner and the lender are both trying to save the loan and avoid foreclosure. The basic idea is that a debt to income formula will help to establish whether some adjustments to the loan will get you back on track with your payments, to everyone’s satisfaction. Modifications to the original loan agreement are created, making regular payments possible once again. The terms can be changed by lowering the interest rate, stretching the loan out over a longer period of time, changing to a fixed rate mortgage if you didn’t have this already, or incorporating already missed payments back into the loan. Any of these options, or a combination of them may be just what you need to be able to start paying your loan on time again.
    In order for this to work for you, remember that you must show in the first three months after modification, that you are able to make the agreed upon payments on time. At this point the contract changes are officially instituted.
    For further options and counseling, a great resource is the Homeowner’s HOPE hotline 888-995-HOPE  .  Provided by The Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) http://www.995hope.org/   , this independent, non profit organization is endorsed by  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury as a valuable link to council and options for families faced with foreclosure on their homes.
    Another option would be to go directly to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development site, where you can request foreclosure avoidance counseling. A list of HUD housing counseling agencies located in Nevada can be found right on the website, listed with their telephone numbers. http://hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/fc/
    Keep in mind that there are plenty of fraudulent offers of help out there. All of us know that quick solutions that sound too good to be true often are. Desperation can cause any of us to make poor choices that leave us completely dry financially, and Nevada has been plagued by plenty of scam artists that take advantage of our natural desire to save our homes. Stick to correct lending institutions and avoid a lot of headache. Check out the helpful information provided about Nevada scams on the Nevada Department of Business and Industry site http://foreclosurehelp.nv.gov/
    The bottom line is, there are good options out there. Try reaching out to these appropriate resources , and you may find just the right amount of financial relief needed to keep your family secure, while you focus on moving forward.

    Have you heard about the new federal mortgage help program? We are talking about the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP) managed by HUD. Although this program is still in the development stages, it could prove to be such a huge help for borrowers we feel you should know what information HUD has provided up to now about this exciting new program.

    Goal

    The goal of the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program is to to help homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgages due to a drop in their income of at least 15 percent because of unemployment or underemployment due to no fault of their own. This means that unemployed workers who were laid off due to lack of work or whose hours were reduced may receive help with their mortgage payments.

    How Will The Program Work?

    The main tool the EHLP will use to assist homeowners is to grant eligible homeowners with a bridge loan of up to $50,000 to pay for up to 24 months of monthly payments, as well as delinquent mortgage, tax and insurance payments.

    Under this program, borrowers must use 31 percent of their income to pay for their mortgage and the EHLP will pay the balance. However, the minimum payment for any homeowner is $25. The program will cover for arrearages and monthly payments for up to 24 months or until the loan reaches $50,000, whatever happens first.

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    Repayment

    The beauty of this program is you do not have to repay the 5-year term loan, just as long as you regularly pay your monthly mortgage payments. Every year the balance of the loan drops by 20 percent, so by the end of the five years the balance will be extinguished if the borrower has followed the mortgage payments schedule.

    Which States Will Qualify?

    The EHLP program will be exclusive for states with a high unemployment who are not benefiting from funds by the Treasury’s Innovation Fund for Hardest Hit Housing Markets. This includes the following 32 states:

    Alaska

    Arkansas

    Colorado

    Connecticut

    Delaware

    Hawaii

    Idaho

    Iowa

    Kansas

    Louisiana

    Maine

    Maryland

    Massachusetts

    Minnesota

    Missouri

    Montana

    Nebraska

    New Hampshire

    Mexico

    New York

    North Dakota

    Oklahoma

    Pennsylvania

    Puerto Rico

    South Dakota

    Texas

    Utah

    Vermont

    Virginia

    Washington

    West Virginia

    Wisconsin

    Wyoming

     

    Eligibility

    The next article will look into the eligibility criteria of the EHLP program as specified by HUD. Notice that this program is still in development and the program’s terms could change at any moment.