Assistance available to homeowners
by Rory Doyle
Jul 31, 2012 | 2365 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As unemployment plagues the nation, a number of homeowners have been struggling mightily to make mortgage payments.

Fortunately for Mississippians, there is help out there. The state has already received more than $100 million to help homeowners in need.

The Mississippi Home Corporation formed the Home Saver program in May 2011 to help unemployed residents bring their mortgages current.

Home Saver assists by making mortgage payments for homeowners who have lost their job or experienced a 15 percent reduction in income, and are at risk of default or losing their home to a mortgage foreclosure.

This is not a loan program and recipients are not responsible for repayment of any assistance received.

"We're happy with the Home Saver program and everything is going well," said Scott Spivey, senior vice president of MHC. "We've helped over 550 families since last year, and there's a lot more in the pipeline."

Residents of Bolivar County should contact Mississippians For Community Development in Clarksdale for help enrolling in the program.

The agency works closely with MHC to provide support in Delta counties.

"It's great to see that we've helped several families get current with their mortgage payments," said Nathaniel Brooks, program director of Mississippi For Community Development. "If you need help, please call us at 662-627-1509."

Other actions taken by employers that create eligibility for the program include: an employer reducing you work hours, your employer was purchased by another company and eliminated your job, or your employer went out of business.

The program is funded federally by the Hardest Hit Fund, which is organized by the U.S. Department of Treasury. The process allows MHC to make recipients' payments for up to 12 months while they look for work.

Once a participant gets a new job the exit process begins, and the individual starts making their payments again.

Assistance can extend into a second year if beneficiaries go back to college or vocational training.

"One of the unique features of the Home Saver program is the education option, which provides an additional 12 months of assistance to homeowners who enroll in a certificate or degree-seeking program," said Dr. Ben Mokry, executive vice president of MHC. "The education option provides the opportunity for homeowners to increase their job skills and qualifications, which will help them find new employment."

If you are having trouble making your mortgage payments, or think you will have trouble, Spivey encourages you to contact MHC immediately.

"We don’t want people to find out about Home Saver before it's too late," said Spivey. "Even if we determine you don't qualify, we can still put you in touch with counselors to give you support."

To begin the application process homeowners must login online at www.mshomesaver.com.

Applicants will then be connected with a qualified counseling agency to help them finalize their application and submit it to MHC.

MHC was created in 1989 to serve as the state’s Housing Finance Agency. The organization also administers the Mortgage Revenue Bond program and the Housing Tax Credit program, among others.