BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Forty million dollars is up for grabs for Maryland homeowners who can’t pay their mortgages. A federal program hopes to help, but Andrea Fujii explains time to sign up is running out.

Steve Stahl says cooking in his own home is a luxury.

“I feel a burden taken off that I’m not going to be homeless,” Stahl said.

With emergency medical bills and losing his job, Stahl was also about to lose his home until folks from the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program gave him hope.

“This is a program to help homeowners maintain home ownership,” said Rick Davis, Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program.

It’s a federal loan that requires homeowners to pay up to 31 percent of their income toward their mortgage. The government pays the rest for two years.

Since April they’ve helped 270 families and they hope to help hundreds more before the program ends in September.

To qualify, a homeowners’ income must have declined by at least 15 percent, been delinquent on at least three loan payments, and must make no more than 20 percent above the area’s median income.

Homeowners start paying back the loan after five years. But if they’ve always paid their portion on time, the debt is forgiven.

After suffering setbacks, Stahl says this program will help get him back on his feet.

“Hopefully my income will increase to enough, so that after two years I can make all the payments myself,” Stahl said.

The Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program expects they can help up to 1100 Maryland families. Click here for more information.

Comments (22)
  1. whatnow says:

    I’m sick of bailing people out of trouble with my tax money when I’m getting no raises and no overtime but my expenses keep going up and up but just because I pay my bills, no one is looking out for me. I live in a hovel. All these people are probably in a lot nicer house then I could ever afford but please, take my tax money and give it to them.

    1. Rob says:

      Well, whatnow, If you live in a hotel, and can’t afford an apartment, or to buy a house, then you are in the group of 49% of Americans that don’t pay any income taxes, so shut the hell up!

  2. Charles says:

    “Forty million dollars”……another entitlement program. These politicians don’t understand we are a bankrupt nation. They keep spending, spending and spending. Welfare, Section 8, food stamps, etc. We borrow 40 cents on each dollar they spend. Each of us knows someone in over their head in a house and now we bail them out. When is it going to end?

  3. Glenn says:

    where is the money to pay for my mortgage….oops…I forgot, I am part of the group that needs to pay my mortgage and someones elses mortgage, I guess tha’s because I work. I guess that the penalty for being responsible…Co on Tea-Party.

  4. Look Closely says:

    As frustrating as it may be for those who have jobs, are paying their mortgage payments, and have an income that is not keeping up with inflation, it is much more frustrating for those who have lost their job, due to the faltering economy. Before we jump to complain about the help that they receive (at our expense) let us stop to consider the long-term effect of “not helping them”. Every homeowner in the USA has experienced a substantial reduction in the value of their home as a result of the housing market slump. For those who purchased their homes 5-7 years ago (when the market was up) their loan-to equity ratio is up-side-down, which not only means that they are currently paying on a balance that is greater than the value of their home, but also means that they cannot sell their home to “get out from under that loan”. Neglecting to “help” those that are unable to make their mortgage payments, will serve to worsen the downward housing market spiral, and increase the ratio of loan balance to home equity for those of us that are able to make our payments. As you might expect, even a slight “worsening” of the housing market is likely to drive the failing economy into a longer and deeper recession.
    These are times when we must be careful of what we wish for. For those of us who have jobs and are able to make our scheduled payments, be thankful. Turning our backs on those who are less fortunate is not the answer we are looking for, as it may affect us in ways that we have not considered.

    1. bmoregyrl says:

      Well said. I agree I am looking into buying a house in the near future. I will make sure its something that I can afford. I think some people lost their jobs and can not make the payment. So stop judging before you know the whole story. Not everyone is on welfare or food stamps that own a home.

  5. MAF says:

    I disagree with some of haters who want to lash out on those who are struggling. I am in my upper 50’s and have paid mortgages on time since I bought a home in my 20’s. I have moved and have married. I became disabled while on the job with the State and my income have dropped (Pension sucks). I took a interest only loan on my last purchase 6 years ago with the plan to move 3 years after this move. I put my house on the market before the market tanked and I had a lowball of an offer that was less than what I paid for. I have had to withdraw from my IRA and other funds to keep up and now that money is no longer there. I am mad at the greedy brokers and bankers, including wall street for this mess. They were not suppose to approve a loan when they know people’s incomes are not sufficient. I want to sell but will have to end up with a short sale. Our credit scores are 810 but the economy and this housing mess has caused me to worry that if the interest only loan goes up, I will be in trouble. So, haters….I think you need to try to understand what people are going thru before jumping conclusions. Our home values have nosedived due to the stupidity of bankers who allowed for this to happens in the first place.

    1. HateStupidPeople says:

      No, I can hate because your stupidity of taking an interest only loan got you where you are today. Don’t blame anyone else but you, and your poor decisions.

  6. Georgia Peach says:

    Florida is the worst state in the Union for Fore Closures and losing their homes and they do not have any guidelines about this issue for help with their Mortgage. If the Money is available for people in one state, how come it isn’t available in all States? And what the big secret? Why not advertise it? Must be some kind of fraud if they didn’t want others to know about it. Now a person has less than 24 hours to do something about it. What kind of help is this anyway? So many people have been burnt and in worse shape now then ever, from the so called Obama help. Dam!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I’m so glad that none of you have ever made a poor decision or believed a liar and made a decision on what you were told. The government is taking responsibility for allowing the banks to lend the funds without watching and now they are helping to make an effort to help the consumers. Let’s be grateful and less judgemental.

  8. Dacey says:

    Everyone wants their own home so that they can feel independence in their home.Therefore various mortgages loans are available that may help the people to purchase their dream house

  9. tryecrot says:

    Yes there should realize the opportunity to RSS commentary, quite simply, CMS is another on the blog.

  10. DAcey says:

    Stahl that’s very sad that you have lost everything but i am happy for you because at least you have not lost your home.Thanks to Emergency Mortgage Assistance for helping you and help you to stand back on your feet

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