The Georgia HomeSafe Program will officially launch on April 1, 2011.Â The purpose of the program is to help Georgia homeowners who have experienced a substantial decrease in income as a result of underemployment or unemployment by providing mortgage payment assistance.
How Does the HomeSafe GeorgiaÂ Program Work?
The HomeSafe GeorgiaÂ Program is composed to two components: 1) reinstatement assistance and 2) payment assistance.Â The reinstatement assistanceÂ program is designed to help homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments as a result of unemployment or underemployment, but have resumed making mortgage payments after securing adequate employment.Â HomeSafe GeorgiaÂ will make a one time payment of up to six months mortgage payments to the homeowner's lender or servicer to help the homeowner reinstate his loan.
The payment assistance program is meant to help homeowners who are unemployed or underemployed.Â Â Self-employed homeowners whose income has decreased significantly may also qualify for the HomeSafe payment assistance program.Â Eligible homeowners will receive a 0% interest rate loan which may be used to make mortgage payments for up to eighteen months.Â
At the end of the assistance period, the loan will be forgiven at the rate of 20% per year for five years.Â Assistance is available only once per homeowner or property address.Which Homeowners Qualify for the HomeSafe Program?
To qualify for theÂ HomeSafe Georgia assistance, the homeowner must meet the following requirements:
- Be a legal resident of the U.S. and Georgia;
- Own the property;
- Unemployment or underemployment must have been the result of firing or lay-off;
- Self-employed homeowners must document loss of income;
- Mortgage payments must have been current before the period of unemployment or underemployment;
- Not in an active bankruptcy; and
- Monthly mortgage payments, including escrow, must be atÂ greater thanÂ 31% of monthly household income.
Which Properties Qualify for the HomeSafe Program?
To qualify for the HomeSafe Program, the property must be owned by the applicant and occupied by theÂ applicant asÂ his primary residence.Â Moreover, only 1-to-4 single family residences, condominiums, and townhouses qualify.Â MobileÂ homes and manufactured housing qualify only if affixed to a permanent foundation. Â Mortgage debt on the property may not exceed 125% of the property's value and the total outstanding principal balance on all mortgages and lines of creditÂ may not exceed $417,000.
Are There Other Criteria Which Must Be Met In Order to Qualify?
There are additional factors which may impact a homeowner's eligibility for HomeSafe GeorgiaÂ Program assistance.Â These factors include:
- The type of loan;
- How far behind the homeowner is on the mortgage payments; and
- Whether the homeowner's lender is participating in the HomeSafe Georgia Program.
To learn more about HomeSafe Georgia, to find out if your lender participates in the program, or to apply for assistance, visit: https://www.homesafegeorgia.com/.Â