New Federal Grant Adds to Existing Resources for Citizens at County Level
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi encouraged county residents under threat of home foreclosure to apply for a new federal grant, the Emergency Homeowners Loan Program (EHLP), that would allow selected individuals to obtain an interest-free loan of up to $50,000, enabling families to keep up with monthly mortgage payments and remain in their homes.
The program is aimed at helping homeowners who have experienced a reduction in income or have lost their jobs, and are currently at risk for home foreclosure. Home foreclosure is still a reality in Dane county – foreclosure rates have more than quadrupled since 2004.
“Home foreclosure is an unfortunate reality for many families in Dane County who have struggled during the Great Recession,” said Parisi. ”Help still exists for families who are in trouble, whether to prevent foreclosure, or to help homeowners better navigate the legal system.”
“This new federal program can benefit Dane County residents, but the timelines are short and homeowners need to apply soon,” said Dane County Treasurer David Worzala. “Given the calls our office receives from homeowners in financial distress due to job loss or health care costs we know the demand is out there for this assistance in Dane County.”
Eligible applicants to the EHLP can qualify for an interest-free loan that will pay for a portion of their monthly mortgage, including principle, interest, missed payments or past due amounts, for up to two years, or up to $50,000, whichever comes first.
Homeowners who wish to apply for the EHLP are encouraged to complete a pre-applicant screening worksheet as soon as possible. The deadline to complete the worksheet is Friday, July 22nd. Not every homeowner who applies for the EHLP will receive funds - the program is limited to around 30,000 homeowners in 27 states. Details on how to apply, and information on additional resources, can be found below.
Ellen Bernards, Chair of the Dane County Foreclosure Prevention Task Force and educator with GreenPath Debt Solutions, a non-profit HUD-approved housing counseling agency, noted that in addition to applying for EHLP, homeowners can access a number of foreclosure resources currently provided by the Dane County Foreclosure Prevention Taskforce funded, in part, through the county.
“Families don’t have to wait to hear back from the ELHP to get assistance, and they don’t have to go through this difficult process alone,” said Bernards. “The Taskforce programs and GreenPath counseling can help connect homeowners with legal advice, financial education, and other resources to help them get through hardship.”
The Dane County Foreclosure Prevention Task Force also hosts free legal clinics on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month. No appointment is necessary, and homeowners facing foreclosure can obtain free legal advice from volunteer lawyers. The clinics take place at the City County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. from 11am to 1pm.
Homeowners can also access additional resources by visiting the Dane County Foreclosure Prevention Task Force at www.daneforeclosurehelp.org, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Those who wish to submit a pre-application worksheet can contact two agencies helping homeowners with the EHLP process in Dane County:
GreenPath Debt Solutions
802 W. Broadway
Madison, WI 53713
MMI – Madison
128 E. Olin Ave.
Madison, WI 53713
Applicants can also receive more information, including a copy of the pre-application worksheet, through the ELHP program by visiting www.FindEHLP.orgor by calling toll-free at 855-FIND-EHLP (346-3345).