Mortgage Help is Great, But Sometimes Too Late

It would seem with all of the mortgage help for troubled homeowners, there wouldn't be any complaints. Unfortunately, help for some is too late to solve their problem.

It’s difficult to complain about the help that is being given to people in need who are having problems paying their mortgage. According to an opinion column in the Philadelphia Daily News, many people are getting the help they need but only after getting foreclosure notices in the mail.

Dahlia Thompson is one such example. She isn’t one of the people who is being vilified for buying a home she could not afford. Fifteen years ago, she bought a home that had a payment of abut $350 a month. She could afford that as well as pay her other bills comfortably. Over the years, she was also able to afford to install new windows, a new gas heater and other improvements with the help of the Housing Authority.

For the first 14 years that she and her kids lived in the house, she was able to make those payments. Unfortunately, as a result of losing her job and falling behind on her bills, she incurred a mortgage bill of $3,100. There was no way she was able to pay this because of her situation so she started asking for help. Unfortunately for her, she did not qualify for a loan modification. As a result, she fell eight months behind on her mortgage payments.

Congress has approved $106 million for a new program to help Pennsylvania homeowners who fall into trouble with their mortgage payments. The bad news is that the new program will not begin taking applications from troubled homeowners until December. For people like Dahlia Thompson, the help is going to come much too late. By the time December comes around, she will likely receive an eviction notice and be kicked out of her home which was almost paid off because she fell behind on her payments this year.

For those who will be able to use the help, however, the program offers troubled homeowners up to $50,000 over two years which gets sent directly to their creditors. If the people stay in their home, this money decreases by 20 percent each year. According to experts, the program is designed to help stabilize neighborhoods across the United States that have been stricken with foreclosures.

One of the last bastions of hope for troubled homeowners like Thompson is that the FBI is investigating thousands of mortgage documents which have been approved for foreclosure when they should not have been approved. Some lawmakers are asking banks to freeze their foreclosure proceedings until the investigation is over. Either way, situations like Thompson’s and others are heartbreaking. Hopefully something can be worked out so everybody wins in the situation.

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