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Hope Initiative Offers Mortgage Assistance To Md. Homeowners

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(AP Photo/Jim Suhr)

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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.

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