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Stories about mortgage servicers, delinquency and f o r e c l o s u r e s. Coverage of servicing lawsuits and loan servicing technology.

$1 Billion in Distressed Borrower Funds

Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program

July 4, 2011

By staff

Delinquent borrowers who didn't benefit from a more than $7 billion fund established for hard-hit states have less than four weeks to take advantage another $1 billion program.

As part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund for the Hardest Hit Housing Markets was established. In June 2010, $1.5 billion was provided to the five heavily impacted states of Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada.

Two months later, another five states were given $0.6 billion, while that was followed a week later by another $2 billion that went to a total of 17 states and the District of Columbia. Some of the recipient states in that round also benefited from the first round of fundings.

In all, $7.6 billion has been made available from the hardest-hit fund.

For borrowers who resided in states not benefiting from the fund, the legislation created the Emergency Homeowners Loan Program. The program provides a declining balance, deferred payment bridge loan of up to $50,000 that can be used to pay upcoming and past-due mortgage payments, taxes and insurance through a non-recourse, subordinate loan with a zero interest rate.

Eligible borrowers must be at least three months delinquent, have a good payment history prior to the event that made them delinquent and be likely to be able to resume their payments within two years. The property must be owner-occupied, and the borrower cannot own a second home.

The program was originally announced in August 2010.

On the Fourth of July holiday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in conjunction with NeighborWorks America, announced the launch of the program.

The $1 billion in proceeds will go to 27 states -- including New York, Massachusetts and Texas -- as well as Puerto Rico. Five states will administer the funds through their own "substantially similar programs."

Qualified borrowers must have had a reduction in income as a result of involuntary unemployment or a reduction in hours, or because of economic conditions or a medical condition.

Borrowers have only until July 27 to apply for assistance.

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