Short-Term Financial Assistance to Struggling Homeowners

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The Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP), recently implemented by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is designed to assist struggling homeowners who have experienced a decrease in income of at least 15%. This drop in income level must result directly from involuntary unemployment or underemployment due to adverse economic conditions and/or a medical emergency to qualify for assistance funds.

 

The EHLP is intended to provide financial assistance to homeowners in the form of a declining balance, deferred payment loan for up to $50,000 to aid in delinquent monthly payments related to the mortgaged property. Under this program, the assistance period runs for up to two years, at the end of which 20% of the loan is forgiven annually, until the note is extinguished and the emergency loan terminated. This declining balance feature remains unless the homeowner no longer resides in the mortgaged property as a principal residence, defaults on his/her portion of the current mortgage, or sells or refinances the home. As the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) maintains a program “substantially similar” to EHLP, eligible homeowners must apply directly through PHFA, which is charged with the administration and allocation of emergency loans from EHLP for borrowers within the Commonwealth.

 

In order to be eligible to receive EHLP funds, homeowners must be at least three months delinquent on mortgage payments and have received notification from their lender indicating intent and likelihood of foreclosure. There must also be a reasonable likelihood of the homeowner being able to resume repayment within two years, once household income rises above 85% of the previous level. Additionally, the mortgaged property must be the principal residence throughout the duration of the program loan period, must be a single family home, and must be the applicant’s only owned home. According to PHFA, it is expected to have funds available to assist eligible EHLP applicants through September 2011.

 

For more information, please contact a PHFA approved counseling agency at http://www.phfa.org/applications/counseling_agencies.aspx or call PHFA directly at 1-800-342-2397.

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