HUD extends unemployment aid deadline
[Update 1: Clarifies HUD extended deadline for entire program] The Department of Housing and Urban Development extended the deadline for homeowners to apply for the Emergency Homeowner Loan Program to July 27. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, HUD was required to put together EHLP, a $1 billion program that provides unemployed homeowners interest-free loans averaging $35,000 to help with their mortgage payments. The program is available in 27 states, plus five that run their own but similar programs. Recipients must contribute a minimum $150 toward the mortgage payment themselves. HUD said it hopes to help up to 30,000 borrowers through EHLP. Borrowers previously had until Friday to file applications with their state Housing Finance Agency, but will now be given an extra three business days. HUD will then randomly select a number of pre-screened applicants until the EHLP funding is used. A HUD official initially told HousingWire Friday the program will be extended only for those agencies deemed undersubscribed, meaning any HFA that has not received the allotted number of pre-applicants. It could not be immediately determined how many agencies were undersubscribed or in what states they were located, the official said, but late Friday, HUD announced the deadline would be extended for the entire program. The Homeownership Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit said its hotline was also granted an extension to July 27 to help homeowners apply for the program. "We have seen a dramatic rise in applications to the Homeowner's Hope Hotline over the last 48 hours from homeowners seeking EHLP-related information and assistance, and we are very grateful for the extension that will enable us to help so many more unemployed, underemployed, and medically challenged people apply for the program and hopefully stay in their homes," said the foundation's CEO Colleen Hernandez. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.