NASHVILLE – Unemployment remains above nine percent and foreclosures continue to deeply impact the lives of Tennessee families. In response, NeighborWorks Alliance of Tennessee is intensifying its efforts to assist any Tennessean facing foreclosure, including mortgage payment assistance for the unemployed and underemployed.
A consortium of nationally chartered housing nonprofits, NeighborWorks Alliance of Tennessee will provide a range of free mortgage services to help Tennesseans seek solutions to pending foreclosure. In addition to the federally funded mortgage payment assistance, these services include assistance mitigating payments with the mortgage provider as well as information and guidance with every aspect of homeownership and foreclosure.
“We know keeping people in their homes is the best option for the family, their community and for improving the Tennessee economy,” said Eddie Latimer, CEO and founding director of Affordable Housing Resources, the Middle Tennessee member organization of NeighborWorks Alliance of Tennessee. “After years of recession, even the most fiscally responsible can find themselves in a difficult place and we want to do everything possible to help them.”
The Unemployed Mortgage Payment Program, which is funded by the U.S. Treasury and administered in the state by the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA), provides payment assistance to Tennessee homeowners who are unemployed or underemployed through no fault of their own. Program funds may be used to pay past-due, current and future monthly payments on mortgages and mortgage related expenses such as property taxes, homeowner insurance and homeowner dues.
The loans are zero percent interest and are available up to $20,000 to cover up to 18 months of home expenses. If the borrower stays in the home without refinancing for five years, the loan is considered repaid.
Regardless of employment status, additional services are available through NeighborWorks Alliance of Tennessee to all Tennessee homeowners facing foreclosure.
Emotionally daunting, foreclosure is made even more difficult by unfamiliarity with the process and legal jargon involved. NeighborWorks Alliance of Tennessee will provide the guidance to ease this additional burden. Counselors will work with each homeowner to explain the steps they and the bank must take, clarify complex information and lead them through challenging decisions.
Beyond assisting homeowners understand foreclosure, NeighborWorks Alliance of Tennessee can help them mitigate mortgage payments with the mortgage servicer. Negotiating with the lender for lower monthly payments that can be met by the borrower can stop foreclosure, give borrowers the opportunity to show good faith on the loan and keep their home.
“The earlier homeowners in trouble seek help, the more tools are available to them,” said Latimer. “Lenders are more willing to work with those who are proactive and show they intend to repay the loan. Our staff works with homeowners daily to gather and provide lenders the information that proves this good faith.”
NeighborWorks Alliance of Tennessee is comprised of Affordable Housing Resource in Nashville and Middle Tennessee, Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise in Chattanooga and Southeast Tennessee, Knox Housing Partnership in Knoxville and East Tennessee, and United Housing in Memphis and West Tennessee. Each is a NeighborWorks America-chartered member.
Any homeowner who may be in danger of foreclosure is encouraged to visit HardestHitTN.org or call 888-588-9129 to be connected with a local NeighborWorks Alliance of Tennessee center.
About NeighborWorks Alliance of Tennessee
NeighborWorks Alliance of Tennessee is a statewide consortium of NeighborWorks America-chartered, non-profit organizations. The Alliance is comprised of Affordable Housing Resource, Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, Knox Housing Partnership and United Housing, each a NeighborWorks America-chartered member. NeighborWorks America was chartered by U.S. Congress in 1978 as the country’s preeminent leader in affordable housing and community development.
Members of NeighborWorks Alliance of Tennessee provide a range of services including: down payment loans and first mortgages, homebuyer education, HUD-certified counseling, financial and foreclosure counseling, home purchase and post-purchase support, home improvement energy retrofitting, home maintenance and improvement financing, and housing management such as infill and foreclosure property rehabilitation.