The Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated $135 million to help unemployed Texans with their mortgage payments through a new program, the most of any state. On Tuesday, HousingWire reported that HUD would release $1 billion through its Emergency Homeowner Loan Program sometime this spring after receiving complaints from lawmakers and advocacy groups that it was overdue. Eligible borrowers can receive up to $50,000 at a 0% interest rate that can help homeowners with their mortgage payments for up to 24 months. Behind Texas, New York will receive the second most funds at $111.6 million, followed by Pennsylvania with $105 million and Massachusetts at $61 million. HUD said there will be a dual delivery approach to administrating the program. First, HUD will designate fund through the third parties and then it will enable state housing finance agencies (HFAs) that operate similar programs with different funding, such as the Treasury Department‘s Hardest Hit Fund. The arrangements should be in place by the end of January. HUD said the total amount of allocation per state was based on the approximate share of unemployed homeowners with a mortgage. Eligibility requirements were also clarified. A homeowner cannot have an income equal to, or less than, 120% of the area’s median income. Homeowners must have also had income cut by at least 15%, and they must be at least three months delinquent on the mortgage and have received a notification with from the lender with an intent to foreclose. HUD added that a homeowner must have “a reasonable likelihood of being able to resume repayment of the first mortgage obligations” within two years. Those who ultimately receive funding can have their payments phased out if their income gains back any of the 15% lost or if the homeowner sells the home or refinances the mortgage. A HUD panel is currently reviewing those submissions with the goal of announcing decisions concerning substantially similar state programs early in 2011. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter: @JonAPrior
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