In a city that strives to make its Barrow County municipality “home sweet home” for all its residents through terrific local events and amenity offerings, the mayor and council of Statham are acutely aware the economy and job market may have taken a toll on area homeowners.
Featured in the city’s July newsletter released earlier this month, a large segment was devoted to educating readers about the HomeSafe Georgia Program through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
HomeSafe Georgia is a mortgage assistance program that provides up to 18 months of mortgage payment help for Georgia residents who are unemployed or underemployed while they seek work. After the assistance period, the interest-free loan is forgiven at 20 percent per year over five years.
Statham residents and Barrow Patch readers who need assistance or know someone who could benefit from HomeSafe Georgia should review the program’s prequalification checklist:
- You are unemployed OR underemployed (25 percent reduction in income for wage earners, 30 percent loss in gross receipts for self employed)
- You own the property and it is your primary residence
- You are a legal resident
- Your monthly mortgage payment is greater than 25 percent of your monthly household income
- You were current on your mortgage prior to the event where you lost your income
- You are no more than six months behind on your mortgage at the time you apply
- You do not have more than $5,000 in liquid assets (does not apply to retirement accounts)
- You do not have an active bankruptcy
- You do not have a tax lien
- You have not been convicted of a mortgage related felony in the last ten years
- Your property is classified as real estate
- Your total outstanding mortgage balance is not more than $417,000.
If approved for assistance, HomeSafe Georgia will pay a front-end reinstatement of up to six months of payments for which the applicant may have been behind. Participants will pay a partial payment of 5 percent of their current income toward their mortgage payment. Veterans may request a waiver of the partial payment.
Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, and may take up to 12 weeks to process during high volume times. Providing necessary documentation not only allows the application to be processed quickly, it also protects the integrity of the program. To learn more or apply, visit the HomeSafe Georgia website at www.HomeSafeGeorgia.com. There is no cost associated with applying and no closing costs once approved.
If a property is already in foreclosure, Barrow Patch readers are encouraged to contact a local housing counseling agency. To find a list of the DCA approved counseling agencies on the DCA website, visit www.dca.ga.gov.
What are some other ways Statham and neighboring municipalities can help local homeowners ride out the lagging economy? Tell us in comments.
Check back every Wednesday for a new City Spotlight on Statham.