By Natalie Sejnost
Clinton Chronicle Staff Writer
The Clinton County Board of Commissioners and the Lansing Housing Coalition have joined forces to help council and inform those who have experienced foreclosure. The program, started by Ingham County, offers three options for homeowners to help them with their financial statuses.
“I think the different programs will really help people to clearly see the options they have,” said Clinton County resident Andi Wilt, “It’s really depressing to see foreclosures up and down the streets of your city, so anything the county can do to help is awesome,” said Wilt.
The first program is the unemployment mortgage subsidy program. It was created to provide homeowners that are receiving unemployment benefits the funding they need to pay their monthly mortgage. This subsidy will be available for up to twelve consecutive months until the homeowner can return to work. The program will pay up to 50 percent of their mortgage payments. On average, that is about $750. Homeowners will still be responsible for the remaining 50 percent of the money.
“Mortgage payments are not cheap, so to have a program in place like the mortgage subsidy program is huge and I think many people will benefit from it,” said Wilt.
The loan rescue program was created to aid homeowners who have had a one-time crisis and are almost at the point of foreclosure. This one time crisis could be anything from unemployment, to a divorce, or even an illness. Anything that could cause a homeowner to miss a mortgage payment would qualify them for the program. This program will provide the homeowner up to $5,000 to help them make up for missed payments in the past.
The principal curtailment program targets homeowners with severe negative equity in their homes. That is when the value of an asset falls below the initial balance on the loan used to purchase that asset. The program will provide up to $10,000 to those that qualify. In order for this to work, the mortgage service has to agree to match the funding provided by the state. This will then reduce the principal balance, and create more affordable housing payments.
Homeowners can visit the hold on to your home website for even more information about foreclosures, financial problems, and how to deal with it all at http://www.holdontoyourhome.org/.
“The website is just one of the helpful tools that we use to educate people,” said Eric Scherttzing, Ingham County Treasurer where the program initially started.