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Help Paying Mortgage

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Published on Jul 6, 2011

07.07.11 (LAS CRUCES) -- There are millions of people across the country struggling to pay their mortgage every month as they deal with issues such as unemployment, but now a federal program is helping people get back on track.

There are several reasons why many homeowners across the country are quickly falling into debt and at risk for losing their homes.

"Right now the biggest reason is unemployment or under employment and all the federal programs that were created at the beginning of the recession were there just to help folks who received bad mortgages or the adjustable rate mortgages and it failed to address the next wave of foreclosures that as people were losing jobs they were also losing their homes," said Sarah Nolan, director of CAFE.

The Department of Homes and Urban Development or H.U.D. reports roughly four million homeowners are behind on their mortgage payments, a common trend in a shaky economy.

"There's a lot of embarrassment and thinking that is their fault and really the problem that we see is not only in New Mexico, but across the country is so wide spread that this is a public problem that needs a public solution," said Nolan.

H.U.D. is offering a short term solution to help people catch up and keep their homes. It's called "The Emergency Homeowner Loan Program," a stimulus package that will slow down the flood of foreclosures.

"It's a program that will help you sustain yourself," said Art Marrujo, homeownership director at Tierra Del Sol.

Through Marrujo's agency homeowners can apply for the $ 1 billion dollar program which offers up to $50,000 in interest-free loans people don't have to pay back.

"They should take advantage because due to the fact that right now the way the economy is you want to, I guess you can say is look at all the resources that are available to you. You want to save your home. This program here helps you do that," he said.

To qualify for the funds, the name of homeowner has to be on the title to the mortgage, the homeowner must have a salary less than $75,000 a year and the homeowner must be 90 days past due on their mortgage payment.

"You have to come in and do a pre-application that you answer a few questions and submit it to anyone of our volunteers or our organization and from there we enter your name and your address and so forth into a database and H.U.D. makes the selection," he said.

The federal government will select homeowners who qualify in a lotto process then in the beginning of August letters of notification will go out.

The deadline to apply is July 22, 2011.

Reported by Carlos Correa.

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