CredAbility, a national non-profit credit counseling agency, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) to accept applications from homeowners in 17 states for the new Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program (EHLP). This program will provide $1 billion to help an estimated 30,000 homeowners in 27 states and Puerto Rico avoid foreclosure.
To apply for funds, homeowners must contact a non-profit credit counseling organization approved by HUD. CredAbility has received approval to take applications from homeowners in the following states: New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Washington, Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, Iowa, Kansas, Utah and New Mexico.
EHLP was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. It is designed to complement the Hardest Hit Fund by helping homeowners who have fallen behind on mortgage payments due to unemployment or large medical expenses bring their mortgage loan current and make future mortgage payments. Homeowners who meet certain criteria can apply to receive mortgage assistance for two years or up to $50,000, whichever comes first.
To be eligible for the program, homeowners must meet the following conditions:
►Involuntary unemployment or underemployment caused by adverse economic conditions or a medical emergency or serious injury;
►A minimum 15 percent reduction in income;
►A minimum three months delinquent on mortgage payments and at risk of foreclosure as of June 1, 2011. Homeowners must have a letter from their mortgage company verifying these conditions.
►A reasonable likelihood to resume full monthly mortgage payments by the end of the program's second year;
►Income must be less than 120 percent AMI (Area Median Income) or $75,000 or below;
Income will be evaluated along with the income of anyone else on the mortgage note. Only the income of the persons on the mortgage note will be used to determine eligibility.
Qualified homeowners will receive a zero percent interest loan that covers the amount of mortgage payments past due on their primary residence. It will also pay 100 percent of the delinquent amount due to cover property taxes, mortgage and hazard insurance premiums, homeowner association fees and foreclosure-related fees. The loan does not have to be repaid, as long as the homeowner continues making mortgage payments on time for five years.
Applications must be received by July 22. After that date, applications will be reviewed by counseling agencies to determine which homeowners are eligible for the program. All homeowners who qualify will be notified before Oct. 1.