Catherine McClary, the Washtenaw County Treasurer, announced that the U.S. Department of Treasury has approved expanded guidelines for the Step Forward Michigan program. Step Forward Michigan was funded in 2010 through $498.6 million from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and is administered by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). Assistance is targeted to help eligible homeowners who are facing difficulties keeping up with mortgage and/or property taxes. Three programs are available:
Loan Rescue—Payment assistance for homeowners who are behind on property taxes, mortgage payments, or condominium association dues.
Unemployment Mortgage Subsidy—Subsidized mortgage payments for homeowners who are unemployed or underemployed.
Mortgage Modification—Permanent modifications for homeowners who have fallen behind with payments, or whose home values have slipped below the mortgage amount.
The Unemployment Mortgage Subsidy has been expanded to consider underemployment and to include self-employed applicants. The Mortgage Modification now considers higher loan-to-value ratios and higher mortgage payment-to-income ratios. Up to $30,000 in assistance is available per household. Funds are provided as a 0% interest loan with no payments required. Loans are forgiven at 20% per year as long as the property remains the homeowner’s primary residence. Interested homeowners are encouraged to start the application process immediately as the funds are expected to end next year. For more information visit www.StepForwardMichigan.org or call (866) 946-7432.