Facing foreclosure? Assistance may help you keep your home

More struggling Michigan residents will be accepted to receive the assistance that could keep them in their homes.

Updates have been made to this program - see Unemployed? Underemployed? Underwater? Step Forward Michigan may be able to help you.

Michigan’s Hardest Hit Fund program, also known as Step Forward Michigan, is a federally funded loan program designed to help eligible homeowners retain ownership of their primary residence. Step Forward Michigan can help struggling homeowners with their mortgages, condo association fees, and/or property taxes.

Step Forward Michigan runs multiple programs throughout the state. Two of those programs, the Unemployment Mortgage Subsidy Program and the Loan Modification Program, have made recent changes to their eligibility requirements.  These changes mean that even more homeowners may be eligible for assistance. Homeowners who previously were denied assistance may now qualify.

There are four different programs that struggling homeowners can apply for:  

  1. Unemployment Mortgage Subsidy Program
  2. Loan Modification Program
  3. Loan Rescue Program, which includes back property taxes
  4. Principal Curtailment Program

Previously, the Unemployment Mortgage Subsidy Program required that the homeowner must be currently collecting Michigan Unemployment Benefits to be eligible for house payment assistance, which can be up to $1000 for one year. Homeowners will now qualify if they have collected unemployment benefits any time in the last 12 months. In addition, the minimum income guidelines have been modified to allow even more homeowners to qualify for assistance.

Loan Modification Programs will now assist homeowners who are in worse financial trouble. In addition changes were made to the amount of income that was previously required to be able to qualify for assistance.

Michigan State University Extension Housing Counselors are very optimistic that these changes will mean that even more struggling Michigan residents will be accepted to receive the assistance that could keep them in their homes. During the past five years, thousands of Michigan homeowners who worked with our counselors have received assistance to save their homes from foreclosure.

For further information or to see if you qualify for assistance, visit stepforwardmichigan.org.

For further assistance in submitting an application to Step Forward Michigan you may contact your local MSU Extension office with a housing counselor or find a housing counselor at: http://www.mshda.info/counseling_search/  

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