Since June 20th, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has opened to homeowners in 27 states up to July 22, 2011 to file preliminary applications for the Emergency Homeowner’s Loan Program (EHLP): money ($1 billion) provided in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Eligible homeowners can obtain interest-free loans of up to $50,000 to help cover mortgage expenses for up to two years. 

Eligibility standards:

1) You’re (involuntarily) unemployed or underemployed after losing a job or because of a serious medical condition.

2) You’re at least 90 days delinquent on your mortgage payments on your primary home.

3) You’ve received a notice of foreclosure.

4) Your income has dropped by at least 15%.

5) You’re likely to be able to resume home payments within two years.

6) You meet the income eligibility criteria. Roughly, that’s if your household income in 2009 was at or below $75,000 a year or 120% of the area median income for a household size of four. 

According to MSN Money,

Approved homeowners will get one-time help to become current on overdue mortgage costs and make monthly (first lien) mortgage payments (including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) for a maximum of two years or $50,000.

The loan becomes a junior lien against the borrower’s home. No payments on the loan are due for five years if the borrower stays current on mortgage payments and meets other requirements. After that, the loan balance is reduced by 20% a year until nothing is owed and the junior lien is eliminated

The loans are available only in 32 states and Puerto Rico. Participating states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. 

In addition, the five states of Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Maryland and Pennsylvania have established their own anti-foreclosure programs that are similar to EHLP and are receiving funds through the EHLP program. Residents of those states may apply for assistance through their state housing agency or similar agency. 

To start the pre-screening process:

1) Fill out the pre-screening questionnaire that begins in the middle of this page.

2) Look here to find eligibility requirements and application details for most states.

3)  Check here  for help in Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

4)  Here’s a checklist of documents (.pdf file) you’ll need to apply. 

To get help applying from an agency or counselor, go to the bottom of  this page and choose a participating state. 

Call toll-free (855) 346-3345 or email ehlp@nw.org with questions, or get help from a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.

Likely there hasn’t been major media coverage of this available HUD program because it is, for now, limited to 30,000 approvals. Perhaps that is also, for now, why the applications were only open for 4 weeks. But there is still time for you, or, if you don’t need this help, to spread the word to those who do. Instead of a few thousand applicants, let’s drive many, many more thousands to apply: just to drive it home to HUD that a single billion dollars is a spit in the bucket of the billions really needed to combat the theft of millions of homes by the most corrupt banking practices in all of history.

Sources: MSN Money and NASDAQ.com

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