(LoanSafe.org) – Many struggling homeowners are searching for ways to stop foreclosure on their homes. It is very common for borrowers to look to the government for help and some people are wondering if there are any government grants that assist borrowers with their mortgages or to help them avoid foreclosure. But is there any legitimate help out there?
Unfortunately, there are no direct government grants that are directly available for individual homeowners. However, there are many programs that are federally funded or state funded that can assist you with your goals. These programs are not intended to give you money but to assist you in dealing with your mortgage servicer, or lender and helping you attain an affordable mortgage so you can stay in your home.
The Obama Administration, US Treasury, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers various programs that include mortgage servicer incentives, such as free foreclosure counseling and mortgage help for struggling homeowners. One of these initiatives is a set of loan workout guidelines for lenders issued by the U.S. Treasury called the Making Home Affordable Program. This program is in association with a collaborative effort between the government, lenders, mortgage servciers and non-profits dubbed HOPE NOW.
They are working with one of the nation’s largest non-profits, Neighborhood Works who is operating a free mortgage hotline and assistance centers with hundreds of local housing counselors across the nation. You can visit them at www.995hope.org or call them at 888-995-HOPE for further information or immediate help.
Some states now have foreclosure mediation. Check to see if your state has this because this can be a great way to stop foreclosure with the courts help.
Delaware: The Superior Court of the State of Delaware established a Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program on August 31, 2009. Lenders are required to send notice of the program along with notices of foreclosure. Before participating in mediation, homeowners must meet with a HUD-approved housing counselor and develop a good faith proposal in which monthly mortgage payments would not make up more than 38% of their monthly income.
Florida: Florida created a Task Force on Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases in March of 2009. The task force issued a Final Report on August 15, 2009 recommending all residential foreclosure cases be referred to mediation. On December 28, 2009, the Supreme Court of Florida approved this recommendation and an Administrative Order was signed. The Order is to be executed in each judicial circuit. The Order, and model mediation forms for use in this new statewide program, can be found here. The Order provides that only Florida Supreme Court-certified mediators trained in residential foreclosures may be assigned to mediate these issues. Given the immense time and cost of this new program, outside help has been sought to coordinate the program in the various judicial circuits.
Delaware is a Judicial foreclosure state.
Florida is a Judicial foreclosure state.
Illinois: Cook County is currently in the process of developing a foreclosure plan that provides mediation as an option. 3.5 million dollars has been set to establish the program which will resemble Philadelphia’s foreclosure mediation program.Illinois is a Judicial foreclosure state.
Indiana: The Indiana Supreme Court has established a Mortgage Foreclosure Task Force in collaboration with the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and legal service providers to educate trial court judges and train and recruit volunteer lawyers and mediators to help homeowners facing foreclosure. The Court has sponsored over 30 foreclosure training events throughout the state, reaching over 1,000 judges, lawyers, and mediators. These trained professionals will help homeowners and creditors explore, when appropriate and desired, alternatives to foreclosure in accordance with provisions of Senate Enrolled Act 492. These trainings have been co-sponsored by the Indiana Supreme Court, Indiana Pro Bono Commission, and the Indiana Commission for Continuing Legal Education. Chief Justice Shepard has promised the support of this new effort.
Indiana is a Judicial foreclosure state.
Watch Out for Scams!
Please be aware that there are many mortgage crooks preying on desperate homeowners right now. These fraudsters sometimes portray themselves as government entities or have official sounding name or website. Don’t be fooled by these offers.
In the midst of the current economic turmoil and foreclosure crisis, millions of distressed homeowners have become vulnerable targets to unscrupulous and sometimes criminal third-party scammers, con-artists, and thieves. These homeowners, desperate to keep their homes, are at risk from individuals and companies posing as “loan modification specialists,” some of whom are the very people who previously peddled subprime loans. The alleged “rescuers” employ various scams with disastrous consequences for homeowners: phantom foreclosure counseling, lease-back or repurchase scams, fraudulent refinance, fraudulent loan modification, bankruptcy foreclosure, and reverse mortgage fraud. While waiting for the promised relief, homeowners not only lose their money but often fall deeper into default and lose valuable time.
Here is a list of some other various federal and state programs that can assist you in stopping foreclosure:
- Making Home Affordable
- Home Affordable Modification
- Home Affordable Refinancing
- HELP 24 hours a day / 7 days a week – (888) 995-HOPE
- Help For Homeowners Facing The Loss Of Their Home
- HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies: California Cities
- List of Approved Credit Counseling Agencies
Here are some other resources:
- Fannie Mae
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
- Federal Reserve
- Federal Trade Commission
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Freddie Mac
- Homeowners’ HOPE Hotline
- HOPE NOW Alliance
- Making Home Affordable
- Mortgage Bankers Association
- National Consumer Law Center
- National Community Reinvestment Coalition
- National Council of La Raza
- National Fair Housing Alliance
- Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America
- NeighborWorks America
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- U.S. Department of Justice
- Click here to access the Legal Services Corporation’s directory of state and local legal aid organizations, many of which assist homeowners facing foreclosure.