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Help for Homeowners Facing Foreclosures

New initiative aims to inform the public about interest free loans and provide guidance to help avoid foreclosure.

[The following information is from an editorial submitted by Sen. Katherine Clark's Office.]

Hundreds of families across the Commonwealth face foreclosures on their homes in this difficult economy.

While the number of foreclosures is declining, the problem continues to place a devastating burden on families. A new initiative by Governor Deval Patrick’s Office aims to inform the public about interest-free loans and provide guidance from the Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP) to help avoid foreclosure.

Qualifying homeowners could be eligible for $61 million in Emergency Homeowner Loans available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and NeighborWorks America. The program can provide assistance for homeowners who have experienced at least a 15 percent reduction in their income from involuntary unemployment or underemployment because of the difficult economy or a medical emergency.

The loans can cover past-due mortgage payments and future payments up to two years and are limited to $50,000. The deadline to apply for the program is Friday. To find out more and complete the pre-applicant screening documents, visit http://www.nw.org/ehlp or call 855-346-3345.

The Governor’s Office has also announced additional foreclosure prevention workshops that will allow homeowners to meet in person with lenders and local housing counselors. These workshops will help homeowners navigate the often complicated bank and lending process with the goal of avoiding foreclosure.

The foreclosure process, banking terminology and relevant paperwork can be overwhelming. These workshops will provide an opportunity to discuss loan and foreclosure-related issues and find real solutions.

The workshops will be Wednesday at the Marriott Courtyard, 150 Royal Plaza Dr., Fitchburg. These workshops have been running for the past two years and have been able to help more than 3,500 homeowners during this foreclosure crisis. 

A pending foreclosure is an overwhelming situation, but there are programs available to help. The goal is to reach and assist homeowners to prevent foreclosure as we continue to work toward economic recovery. I encourage anyone falling behind on mortgage payments and struggling to cope with their finances to take advantage of these programs.

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