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  • News of the approval by the House of Representatives of the Emergency Homeowners Loan Program has fed the hopes of those that though the program would never start. Now only the signature of the Senate remains, many unemployed workers who are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure may again put their hope in a mortgage assistance program that can see them through their temporary financial difficulties until they find work again.

    However, not all states are participants in this unemployed workers mortgage assistance program, up-to-date only 27 states were part of the scheme. These states included Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming and Puerto Rico.

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    Since the news of the approval of the House of Representatives, five more states have announced similar programs which will also receive funding through the Dodd-Frank Act. The Housing and Urban Development Department will also have a monitoring and supervisory role in these programs, although it will delegate most of the management roles to state level agencies (both governmental and non-profit community organizations). These states include Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Idaho and Delaware. Although they are not part of the sates that applied for the Emergency Homeowners Loan Program the programs they are now offering their citizens are very similar. Since April 2011, they have accepted applications from unemployed workers who are delinquent on their mortgages. To qualify, an unemployed worker must be at least 3 months behind in his mortgage payments and have received a notice from his lender warning her of the intention of foreclosing on the mortgage.

    Successful applicants will receive bridge loans of up to $50,000 to help them cover late payments, insurance, tax and ongoing mortgage payments for up to 24 months. The programs are restricted to unemployed workers who have a debt to income rate of 55 percent of less. This means the total monthly housing payments must represent less than 55 of their total income. For example, a household with an income of $4,000 a month, must not pay more than $2,200 in mortgage and other housing expenses.

    These five states also have similar assistance programs under their respective housing finance agencies, which has moved the Housing and Urban Development Department to allow them to start accepting applications before the other 27 states which are part of the EHLP.

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