Mortgage help available for unemployed and underemployed

HOUSTON Now there is help on the horizon, but you do have to act fast. The emergency homeowners' loan program is a new program for unemployed or underemployed homeowners who fall behind on mortgage payments or are in foreclosure right now.

The recession has not been kind to Wanda and Anthony Sexton.

Wanda said, "I got laid off almost two years ago and I have been looking for a job almost every day."

While Wanda tries to find a job, Anthony went from working full-time to a part-time position. Now the couple is now struggling to keep their home.

"It is very difficult and we are behind on it," Wanda said.

The Sextons and thousands of others in similar situations are now being offered some much needed mortgage help. A new federal program has one billion dollars set aside to help delinquent homeowners make up to $50,000 in mortgage payments over the next two years.

Tanisha Warner with Money Management International explained, "It gives them a forgivable loan at zero percent interest and for the most part they don't have to pay anything."

To qualify applicants must not earn more than $75,000, be at least three months delinquent on mortgage payments and have received notice from lenders that foreclosure is likely. Applicants must also show they can resume making full mortgage payments within the two-year period. They must live in the home during HUD loan program. Homeowners will also be required to make some form of payment each month during the two-year program.

For instance, if a homeowner earns $1,000 a month, they will still have to pay $315 monthly. There are $134 million in the program for Texas homeowners and no shortage of people who need the help.

Realtor Kevin Riles said, "There are a lot of people in the process from one month behind to six or eight months behind and this could help them bridge the gap to keep their home."

The deadline to apply is July 22. The Sextons do not plan on waiting.

Anthony Sexton said, "We really need it because we were under foreclosure and they wanted to take our home from us."

You have to pre-qualify to see if you are eligible for this program. There is a questionnaire you need to fill out online that will determine if you are eligible.

For more information:

  • US Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Money Management International
  • Loan program pre-application questionnaire
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