HUD to provide zero-interest bridge loans to help homeowners

Posted: Thursday, October 07, 2010

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced it will provide nearly $4 million for zero-interest "bridge loans" to help struggling homeowners in Alaska, according to a press release. This is through its Emergency Homeowners Loan Program, or EHLP.

The release states EHLP will assist homeowners who have experienced substantial income reductions due to unemployment, underemployment or medical conditions and who are at risk of foreclosures. Eligible homeowners will receive forgivable, deferred payment "bridge loans," which are zero percent interest, non-recourse, subordinate loans, for up to $50,000. These loans will be to assist eligible borrowers with their mortgage arrearages and payments on mortgage principals, interest, mortgage insurance premiums, taxes and hazard insurance for up to 24 months.

"The Emergency Homeowner Loan Program will provide limited and targeted assistance to help working families get back on their feet and keep their home while they look for work." HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride said in the release. "In crafting this new loan program, HUD built on the lessons learned from Treasury's Hardest Hit initiative to design and implement a program to assist struggling unemployed homeowners avoid preventable foreclosures. Together these two initiatives represent a combined $8.6 billion investment to help struggling borrowers and in doing so further contribute to the Obama Administration's efforts to stabilize housing markets and communities across the country."

According to the release, eligible borrowers must be at least three months delinquent in their payments and have a reasonable likelihood of being able to resume repayment of their mortgage payments and related housing expenses within two years. Also, their properties must be the principal residence of the borrower. Eligible borrowers may not own a second home. Another requirement is borrowers must have had at least 15 percent reduction in income and have been able to afford their mortgage payments prior to the event that triggered the loss.

The release states HUD intends to begin taking applications from eligible homeowners by the end of the year.

• Contact reporter Jonathan Grass at 523-2276 or at jonathan.grass@juneauempire.com.



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