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Time and Money Running Out for Ohio Foreclosure Assistance Program

PHOTO: April 30 is the deadline for Save the Dream Ohio, which already has helped nearly 17,000 keep their homes. Photo credit: Jeff Turner
PHOTO: April 30 is the deadline for Save the Dream Ohio, which already has helped nearly 17,000 keep their homes. Photo credit: Jeff Turner
April 16, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The door soon will close on foreclosure-prevention assistance available through the "Save the Dream Ohio" program. April 30 is the deadline for homeowners to register and receive up to $35,000 in mortgage assistance.

Antoinette Smith, a foreclosure prevention specialist at Empowering and Strengthening Ohio's People, or ESOP, a nonprofit HUD-certified housing counseling agency in Cleveland, called the program a lifeline for Ohioans who are struggling to stay in their homes. She said that includes "anyone who has experienced loss of income, who has become unemployed, who may have had a death of a wage earner in the home, divorce, disability, who may have experienced excessive medical bills from an illness."

It's estimated that since the program began in 2010, nearly 17,000 homes have been saved from foreclosure. The program has assisted homeowners through rescue payments, mortgage payments, lien elimination, loan modification and transition assistance.

The program is funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's "Hardest Hit" fund. Of the $570million given to Ohio, approximately $100 million is left. Smith said anyone who needs assistance should submit an application as soon as possible, before time and money run out.

"The most important thing is contacting us, calling us, sitting with a counselor letting us assess your situation and make the determination with you," she said.

To apply for the program, homeowners can contact a housing counseling agency, or call 1-888-404-4674. More information is online at savethedreamohio.org.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH