by Nancy Osborne, COO of ERATE®
(10/26/2009) The Congressional panel created to oversee the $700 billion TARP program cautioned the Obama Administration that the foreclosure relief offered through the Making Home Affordable program, which was introduced last spring, would not shield a significant number of borrowers at risk of losing their homes if the job market continued to destabilize. Prior to the government program being launched, it was not possible to qualify for a loan modification if a borrower was unemployed. However the panel warned that if unemployment numbers continued to climb, as many as 10 million plus homeowners could fall into foreclosure due directly to the loss of a job. Through the Making Home Affordable program TARP funding can be used, in an amount exceeding $40 billion, to help over 2.5 million unemployed homeowners remain in their homes.
The Department of Labor created a tool whereby an applicant's total (estimated) unemployment benefits can be calculated. If these benefits are sufficient in amount and duration, an unemployed borrower may qualify under the government program to modify their loan and remain in their home. Whether or not an unemployed homeowner has accumulated sufficient benefits to qualify under the program depends on their individual case as well as the employment conditions that exist within that particular state. For an unemployed loan modification applicant to qualify, they must have a minimum of nine months of unemployment benefits remaining. Information contained in a state's unemployment benefits notice can be used in conjunction with the Labor Department calculator to determine both the total number of weeks as well as the total amount of unemployment benefits one could be eligible for. There are three unemployment benefit programs available, each with a corresponding number of benefit weeks attached to it, so it is important to know the scope of eligibility before proceeding. However there is hope of remaining in your home even in the event you lose your job.
To see if you qualify under the government's modification program go to:
HYPERLINK "http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/eligibility.html" http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/eligibility.html
The unemployment benefit estimation tool can be found at:
HYPERLINK "http://www.ows.doleta.gov/unemploy/ben_entitle.asp" http://www.ows.doleta.gov/unemploy/ben_entitle.asp
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Nancy Osborne has had experience in the mortgage business for over 20 years and is a founder of both ERATE, where she is currently the COO and Progressive Capital Funding, where she served as President. She has held real estate licenses in several states and has received both the national Certified Mortgage Consultant and Certified Residential Mortgage Specialist designations. Ms. Osborne is also a primary contributing writer and content developer for ERATE.
"I am addicted to Bloomberg TV" says Nancy.
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