Mortgage Assistance Program Coming To An End

Through last month, about 18,000 people got an average of $16,000 each to help pay off liens or up to 18 months’ worth of mortgage payments.(Photo: Flickr)
Through last month, about 18,000 people got an average of $16,000 each to help pay off liens or up to 18 months’ worth of mortgage payments.(Photo: Flickr)

A program to help struggling Ohio homeowners prevent foreclosure is coming to an end this week.

But there’s still time to register for anyone who needs help.

Save the Dream Ohio will stop accepting new applications on Wednesday. The four-year-old program still has about $80 million on hand from the $570 million it received in federal foreclosure-prevention funds.

Through last month, about 18,000 people got an average of $16,000 each to help pay off liens or up to 18 months’ worth of mortgage payments.

Homeowners do not have to be delinquent, just have a hardship such as medical expenses or job loss.

Antoinette Smith is with Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People, a non-profit housing counseling agency. She says some people who did not qualify in the past, may be able to get help now.

“They were asking for a lot of documentation; some things that some people couldn’t get [if] the hardship was a few years ago,” Smith said.

“Of course, they wanted something from their employer [but] that employer may not even be around anymore. So the state recognized that and changed some of their program guidelines.”

Assistance to sign-up homeowners will be available this week by phone with ESOP in Cleveland, and evenings through Wednesday night at Mason Elementary in Akron. .

Although applications need to be started by Wednesday, the deadline to complete applications is July 31.

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