MEDFORD, Ore, — Two new home loan assistance programs are launching in Southern Oregon to help families stay in their homes. These programs could be helpful with homeowners struggling with foreclosures and bankruptcy.
According to Consumer Credit Counseling Housing Director, Linda Cade, more than half of her clients come in for advice on managing their budget.
“Typically the mortgage payment is the biggest payment that they have,” said Cade.
According to RealtyTrac, almost 4,000 homes are in foreclosure in the state of Oregon. Twenty-eight percent of those homes are vacant. Now two new mortgage assistance programs are going into affect with the hope of decreasing foreclosures.
“One of the reasons these programs are coming about is the recognition that people are still dealing with the problems of the economy, so that’s one aspect of it,” said Cade. “The other aspect of it is good news because now people are starting to recover and they need a little help on that way to recovery.”
The first program is called The Home Rescue Program. It is geared to help homeowners state-wide by providing them with up to $20,000 a year in mortgage assistance. The program has a $30 million budget from the “Hard Hit Fund,” a federal fund given to 18 states that were the hardest hit by the housing crisis. Currently, there are other mortgage assistance programs in place, but this one is different.
“I think this program is going to be somewhat easier to qualify because all you have to do is demonstrate a loss of income,” said ACCESS Housing Specialist, Peggy Argo. “You don’t have to be unemployed — you only have to have a 10 percent loss of income over one of the past two years. I think it is going to reach a lot of folks.”
The New Beginnings program put in place by the Bank of the Cascades has qualifications too. According to the Bank of the Cascades, applicants must have experienced job loss, reduction of wages or hours, or medical issues to qualify for assistance. A new beginnings loan can total $400,000 and is aimed at repairing credit and helping people who have previously experienced foreclosure or bankruptcy.
“A lot of people want to keep their homes,” said Cade. “They are attached to it — even if it were underwater they really want to keep their home, and these programs will allow them to do that.”