0

Officials gather to promote mortgage assistance program

Staff Photo: Keith Farner Commissioner Mike Beatty of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs holds some of the paperwork applicants could fill out to apply for relief from the HomeSafe Georgia temporary payment assistance program. Beatty and other local and state officials promoted the program on Thursday at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.

Staff Photo: Keith Farner Commissioner Mike Beatty of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs holds some of the paperwork applicants could fill out to apply for relief from the HomeSafe Georgia temporary payment assistance program. Beatty and other local and state officials promoted the program on Thursday at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- For homeowners who have struggled to make their mortgage payments recently, the area where local officials gathered on Thursday morning is not a happy place.

On Tuesdays, it's where foreclosure sales happen.

But Charlotte Nash, the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman said the reason for Thursday's gathering was much more positive.

County and state officials met at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center to promote the HomeSafe Georgia temporary mortgage payment assistance program. Since its inception about a year and a half ago, the program has set out to use $339 million federal dollars to help 18,000 Georgia families by 2014 who are unemployed or underemployed, through no fault of their own for up to 18 months.

The federal program, part of the U.S. Treaury's Hardest Hit Fund, is designed to help 19 states that were the hardest hit in the foreclosure crisis.

So far, about 2,100 Georgia families have been helped in the early stages of the seven-year program, said Mike Beatty, the Commission of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Asked about criticism that he's heard about the program not moving fast enough, Beatty said it took time to hire about 60 people, and in the last year there has been about a 100 percent increase in people who have been helped.

"Our goal is to really accelerate where we are," Beatty said. "We kind of came to the realization that this was more of a retail-type of program where we had to reach out. A lot of times in government folks come to us."

While Nash noted that economists have said when the recession ended, but struggling families don't agree.

"It doesn't feel like it's over," Nash said. "We still have lots of challenges we have to deal with."

One reason the event was held in Gwinnett, Nash admitted, was that the county is at or near the top of the list of most foreclosures in the state.

"We like to brag about being the biggest, the best, the first in a lot of ways, but this is not one we're proud of," Nash said.

Beatty said the goal for Gwinnett is help 2,000 families, and to do that, his office works a second shift and on weekends to reach that goal.

"We doze, but never close," he said. "It's a bridge to help people get to better times."

Hopewell Baptist Church in Norcross will host a housing resource fair from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 10 with at least 100 volunteers on hand. Bishop William Sheals of Hopewell said home ownership is still the American dream, and the recession and foreclosure crisis has been a tragedy.

"You're still trying to save your home, we're here to help you save your home," Sheals said. "If your mortgage is up to date, I'm sure there is somebody on your block that needs to know about this ministry we call a program."

Rep. Rob Woodall's Chief of Staff, Derick Corbett, said the difference in this program from other federal programs related to the foreclosure crisis is applicants don't have to fail before they receive relief.

"Instead of a top down approach, the folks of the government have said, 'Let's give this money to folks at the state level,'" Corbett said. "My hero, Mike Beatty, said, 'We're going to get it out fast, we're going to be aggressive in our approach, aggressive in our marketing and aggressive in these services.' We're not going to wait until folks fail, we're going to find folks on the front end, we're not going to be reactive, we're going to proactive."

For more information, visit homesafegeorgia.com or call 1-877-519-4443.

Eligibility requirements:

-- A 25 percent reduction in income or 30 percent loss in gross receipts if self-employed-- Legal U.S. resident who is living in a primary residence classified as real estate

-- Monthy mortgage is 25 percent greater than monthy household income

-- The mortgage was current prior to loss of income

-- Current or no more than six months behind at time of application

-- Don't have more than $5,000 in liquid assets (doesn't apply to retirement accounts)

-- Don't have an active bankruptcy or a tax lien

-- Haven't been convicted of a mortgage-related felony in the last 10 years

-- Total outstanding mortgage balance isn't more than $417,000

Comments

CD 1 year, 5 months ago

One way the county and the Gormandizing Gestapo could help would be to reduce the tax burden. I see so much talk about SPENDING money; we need the GG to discuss SAVING TAXPAYER DOLLARS and REDUCING the burden on homeowners.

Start by nixing the subsidy to the Chamber.

2

news2me 1 year, 5 months ago

Legal U.S. resident

I would like to know just how many Illegal Aliens have been foreclosed on in Gwinnett and/or how many have RE loans. These people can't figure out how to become a US citizen? It is no wonder we are turning into the land of the entilted.

1

R 1 year, 5 months ago

Legal They DON'T want to become citizens if it requires ANYTHING resembling effort on their part.

If they can get their money for nothin.... maybe they can get their chicks for free.

2

CD 1 year, 5 months ago

Now don't go and ruin a cool song.

1

Jan 1 year, 5 months ago

In previous posts, I have pointed out the extreme racial bias of other posts. Seeing replies that claim that I am "playing the race card" don't bother me since this usually comes from the ones that are blind to their own prejudice. Two of the above seem ignorant of the article which says:

"Eligibility requirements:

"-- A 25 percent reduction in income or 30 percent loss in gross receipts if self-employed-- Legal U.S. resident who is living in a primary residence classified as real estate"

To then attempt to make the program and foreclosures about illegals is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to blame a minority for the problems facing this country. According to this article Woodall, one of the conservative republicans in congress that block most progressive economic endeavors, also supports the program. Preventing foreclosures is a major step in the continued improvement of our economy.

1

MissDaisyCook 1 year, 5 months ago

Ahhhhh, typical blather from a bed-wetting, bugger-eating liberal.
A self appointed expert, diagnosing others through delusional eyes. Let's see, would I be eligible; I lost over 25% in my primary job, but went out and got a second job to make up the difference............so I am penalized for being responsible.
Guess what madam, everyone is part of a minority now-a-days; there is no group in this county that is greater than 50% of the total population.
Again, it is delusional liberal thought that any "progressive" idea can improve anything, much less the US economy.

1

Jan 1 year, 5 months ago

Very amusing insults! At least not copied from the right wing pundits. What 7 year old gave you these preciously childish responses? If you read the requirements, it is not sufficient for you to have lost 25% of your income. Total household income is also considered and this is for those that were unable to get that second job, either through difficulty of child care logistics or unavailability of jobs for which they qualify. This is not intended for people that are accustomed to two incomes, either of which is large enough to support the family and mortgage payments or for people that had sufficient income so a loss of 25% will not significantly effect their standard of living. The stupidity comes from those that still believe cutting taxes on the top 5% will have any significant effect on job creation. Its been tried and failed. The small improvement that occurred as a result of the Bush tax cuts was the cuts for the lowest income brackets, the ones that would spend the extra income to boost the economy. The most outrageous tax break is the low capital gain rates which allows stock market investors to pay very low rates on investment income that create absolutely no jobs.

1

news2me 1 year, 5 months ago

Jan, so you think that the eligibily requirements are racist? Why do you think they felt the need to word it "Legal US resident"? Your issue is with those who set this program up then.

Are you not the least bit curious to see the demographic breakdown of those that have suffered worse in this economy, through unemployment and foreclosures. The government wants to know race, ethnicity, and citizenship for affirmitave action and fair housing puposes.

Why do you suppose they don't give us this infomation they collect when they do their number crunching? You know the answer, but you'd rather shout Racism than get the truth.

Is that rock symbolic for your brain?

1

Jan 1 year, 5 months ago

I am not criticizing the policies. I was commenting on how you and R wanted to convert this to a talk about illegals. The requirements said nothing about race and yet you want to make this about race. When you criticize the government for protecting citizens from unfair housing practices, then you are supporting the racism that breeds unfair housing practices. Fair housing laws, as with almost all regulations, is a direct results of discriminator and unethical practices. The first step toward abolishing racism is to get people to recognize their own racist feelings, which you obviously harbor.

PS. The rock is the solid foundation of facts that support my opinions.

2

news2me 1 year, 5 months ago

Please! I challenge you to cherrypick my posts and find where I made this about race. Illegal Aliens can be from Eastern Europe, Asia, Mexico, etc, etc, etc - how is that racist? So is it my fault that most of the Illegal Aliens in Gwinnett happen to be from south of our border? Again the government collects this data, so they must be racist too. So by me pointing out the obvious in governmental policies makes me the racist? I don't like Illegal Alens ... so I must be a racist. I don't like Obama ... so I must be a racist. The first step to abolishing racism is for people like you to stop pulling out the race card everytime someone disagrees with your Opinion. Real racism is losing it's meaning and you are to blame each and everytime you come up with this bulls#1+!

PS: Yep, that Rock is your Head!

1

Say_that_again 1 year, 5 months ago

Got a laugh from the Beatty quote: "We dose, but never close," To put dose instead of doze was in itself funny, to consider that close can mean near to with pronunciation change, it is doubly funny! Enjoyed finding a laugh in a serious subject. Hey, proofreaders, was this on purpose?

0

Sign in to comment