Tackling Foreclosure: A Guide

Foreclosures are at their highest level in at least three decades, and until recently, only state and local governments were acting to ease the crisis...
by | July 31, 2008 AT 1:00 AM

Foreclosures are at their highest level in at least three decades, and until recently, only state and local governments were acting to ease the crisis for their residents. Idea Center has featured a number of such programs, but with foreclosure-aid programs multiplying, we've decided to compile a brief and quick guide featuring the newest innovative ideas in the pipe with links to programs we've featured in the past six months -- as well as some we haven't reported on. Also, check out Governing's recent cover story, Two Faces of Foreclosure.

What's New:

California's Community Stabilization Home Loan Program . California is among the states hardest-hit by the foreclosure crisis. Its program offers 30-year loans at below-market interest rates to eligible first-time homebuyers in communities with some of the state's highest foreclosure rates. Several lenders have agreed to price properties in these communities at 12 percent below market value. Down payments are not required, but families must meet specific income levels to participate. Overseen by the California Housing Finance Agency, the program is expected to help 800 to 1,000 Californians, and will be offered until the $200 million bond fund allocation is spent.

Connecticut's Mortgage Crisis Job Training Program. In June, Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed comprehensive legislation that not only increases funding to existing foreclosure assistance programs but also connects the dots between the mortgage crisis and unemployment. The program, which may be the first of its kind in the nation, targets unemployed and underemployed workers who are at least 60 days behind in their mortgage payments, and provides job training and placement assistance. Participants also receive financial education and credit counseling. To learn more, contact The Workplace Inc., which is administering the program, at 203-610-8500.

Featured Previously in Idea Center:

o Indianapolis's new Indy Land Bank Web site

o Philadelphia's Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Pilot Program

o Ohio's Opportunity Loan Refinance Program

o Pennsylvania's Homeowner's Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program

More Foreclosure Prevention Programs:

o Delaware's Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, modeled after Pennsylvania's nationally recognized program, HEMAP

o Illinois' Homeowner Assistance Pool

o Maryland's "Lifeline" mortgage-refinance program

o Massachusetts' MassHousing foreclosure-prevention programs

o Michigan's Save the Dream program

o Montana's NeighborWorks, a 10-year-old partnership of state and local agencies and nonprofit organizations that provide homebuyer education, homeownership planning, credit repair, rental counseling, financial-fitness classes, preservation of manufactured-housing communities and development of both for-sale and rental properties

o New Jersey's Homeownership Preservation Refinance Program

o New York's Keep the Dream refinancing program

Did we miss a good one? Let us know.