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Oregon is giving $20,000 away — but few takers

January 6, 2011

Oregon is giving $20,000 away in mortgage help funds — but few takers

Oregon’s economic recovery continues to be threatened by the housing crisis which has been made worse by recent news of Portland home prices sinking to the lowest level since the beginning of the recession. Oregon is one of a few states with access to millions in a rescue program. Yet the program has proven to be wildly unsuccessful with the public. It is called the Mortgage Payment Assistant Program and it taps into over $100 million in federal stimulus funds to assist struggling homeowners. Qualified homeowners can receive up to $20,000 in assistance to help cover mortgage payments.

There are enough funds to help 5,000 Oregonians but few are applying. The state had estimated that as many as 30,000 applications would have been filed by the end of 2010. Instead, only a small fraction have been turned in so far. The deadline is January 15th.

The program was not made available nationwide but rather only to targeted states with the highest rate of home foreclosures. Oregon’s high foreclosures qualified but the State of Washington did not. Some homeowners are declining the assistance because of the burdensome paperwork. Others believe that the offer has not either been advertised enough or resonated enough with a distrusting public.

One of the qualifications is that the homeowners’ income must be 120 percent or less of the state median income. Another requirement is that the homeowner must have a 25% income as a result of involuntary unemployment or underemployment.You can visit the Mortgage Payment Assistant Program here.

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Discuss this article

Maximum Taxpayer January 6, 2011

Why am I paying someone else’s mortgage payment? Maybe it is a guilty conscience that is keeping people from applying.

This is a bad program. Just legalized theft.

John Fairplay January 6, 2011

Not only does this program take money from those who earn it and give it (for free) to those who don’t, it also continues the government distortion of the housing market that got us into this mess in the first place. All we’re doing is building up another housing bubble that will eventually pop when the taxpayer money runs out.

George Younglund January 6, 2011

Oregon isn’t “giving” away anything. Realistically, it is trafficking in stolen merchandise (aka taxpayer monies).

People that sign up for this should be ashamed.

Karen January 8, 2011

We are a farm family that is facing F/C. Per this program, if you are self employed, you are pretty much screwed. We actually are making decent money now, and can probably pay our arrears if the bank would suit down and talk with us.
Our experience: Must say that the online OHSI application was fairly sophisticated and lengthy, but overall was a well laid out site to use. However, it might be hard for the average homeowner to deal with w/o some outside assistance.
One BIG problem for us was they used my husbands gross income, which was about $70k not his net income (about $45k) in the calculations. This does not take into the account the horrendous farm expenses he pays out,that we can document, therefore we did not qualify.
IMO, this whole program is a temporary bandaid anyway, this F/C problem needs to be met head-on w/ Fed legislation of banking & mortgage industry. NOW!! People can’t take much more of this.

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