The Georgia Department of Community Affairs has partnered with Georgia Housing and Finance Authority Affordable Housing, Inc. to deliver a statewide unemployment mortgage payment assistance program to prevent foreclosures, under the name HomeSafe Georgia.
HomeSafe Georgia mortgage assistance provides up to 18 months of mortgage payment help for those unemployed or underemployed while they seek work. After the assistance period, the interest free loan is forgiven at 20 percent per year over five years.
The purpose of the program is to deliver a statewide unemployment mortgage assistance, according the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, to help Georgia homeowners who have experienced a substantial decrease in income due to national economic conditions resulting in job loss or underemployment by providing a mortgage payment “bridge” while they seek new or better employment.
The program is also designed to help homeowners avoid foreclosure or loss of their home, which leads to reduced property values and as has been seen in Spalding County and across the county reduced local tax digests for cities and counties.
The foreclosure process in Georgia is non-judicial, which according to the DCA, means that the lender may begin foreclosure proceedings without going to court. There are steps that the lender must take to initiate the foreclosure including being at least 90 days behind on your mortgage.
The HomeSafe Georgia eligibility requirements include:
• You’re unemployed OR underemployed (25% reduction in income or 30% loss in gross receipts if self-employed);
• You’re a legal U.S. resident who owns the property, it’s your primary residence, and it’s classified as real estate;
• Your monthly mortgage payment is greater than 25% of your monthly household income;
• You were current on your mortgage prior to the event where you lost your income;
• You’re current or no more than six months behind on your mortgage at the time you apply;
• You don’t have more than $5,000 in liquid assets (doesn’t apply to retirement accounts);
• You don’t have an active bankruptcy or a tax lien;
• You haven’t been convicted of a mortgage-related felony in the last 10 years; and
• Your total outstanding mortgage balance isn’t more than $417,000.
If approved for assistance, HomeSafe Georgia will bring the homeowner current on the mortgage payments (up to six months of delinquent payments). Participants will pay 5 percent of their current income toward their mortgage payment, but veterans and active military may request a waiver of this payment.
Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications may take up to 12 weeks to process during high-volume periods.
For more information, please see https://www.homesafegeorgia.com/