Kentucky Mortgage Assistance for Unemployed Homeowners

The Kentucky Unemployment Bridge Program (UBP) provides mortgage payment assistance to unemployed or underemployed homeowners, as well as those with a qualifying disability.

The Kentucky Unemployment Bridge Program, which is funded through the Hardest Hit Fund, provides mortgage payment assistance to unemployed and underemployed homeowners, as well as those who have experienced long-term or permanent disability. Keep reading to get an overview of the program, learn how much assistance is available, and find out if you are eligible. (To learn about foreclosure procedures in Kentucky, and programs to assist Kentucky homeowners, visit our  Kentucky Foreclosure Law Center.)

Hardest Hit Fund

In 2010, the U.S. Department of the Treasury created the Hardest Hit Fund to provide targeted aid to homeowners in those states most affected by the housing market crash. As part of this program, $7.6 billion in aid was allocated to the 18 states, along with Washington, D.C., that experienced the most extreme home price declines and high unemployment rates as a result of the economic crisis. (Learn more about the  Hardest Hit Fund.)

Kentucky was awarded $148 million in funds through the Hardest Hit Fund to help eligible homeowners avoid foreclosure. (Learn more about the  Kentucky foreclosure process.) Additional funding was approved in 2016. To help homeowners, Kentucky set up the Unemployment Bridge Program (UBP).

The Unemployment Bridge Program

Unemployed and underemployed homeowners (or those with a qualifying disability) who have fallen behind in their mortgage payments can use UBP funds to bring their loan current and cover future mortgage payments. The program will pay up to $15,000 to reinstate a delinquent mortgage (including late fees, interest, taxes, insurance, and costs) and help pay future mortgage payments. If the entire $15,000 is put towards reinstatement, you will not qualify for monthly mortgage assistance. If you don't use the full amount to reinstate, any remaining assistance may be used for monthly mortgage payments up to 12 months or until the maximum assistance amount is reached.

How the Program Works

UBP assistance is provided in the form of an interest-free, forgivable loan secured by a junior lien that is recorded against the property. You only need to repay the loan if:

  • you sell the property before the forgiveness period expires and there are sufficient proceeds from the sale after paying all superior secured loans
  • you refinance to consolidate debt or take cash out, or
  • fraud is found.

Borrower Eligibility

To be eligible for UBP assistance, you must meet all of the below criteria.

  • You are a Kentucky resident.
  • You experienced a loss of income due to unemployment or a reduction in income due to substantial underemployment, or you experienced a qualifying disability.
  • The qualifying event was in the previous three years.
  • If unemployed, you are receiving, received, or are eligible to receive unemployment benefits from the state of Kentucky.
  • You can demonstrate a need for assistance, which is defined as having at least a 15% reduction in current income (employment, unemployment, or disability benefits) as compared to previous employment income.

Other Eligibility Criteria for UBP

Additionally, your existing mortgages and savings must meet the below criteria.

  • Your first and second mortgage unpaid principal balance do not exceed $275,000 (based on the sum of the outstanding mortgages on the property.)
  • There are a maximum of two liens on the property.
  • Your maximum liquid reserves are six months of PITI (excluding retirement savings).

UBP Exclusions

You are not eligible for assistance through UBP if one of the below conditions applies to you.

  • Your job loss or income reduction was due to divorce, death, or short-term disability.
  • You have been convicted of felony larceny, theft, fraud, forgery, money laundering, or tax evasion in connection with a mortgage or real estate transaction within the last ten years.
  • You filed bankruptcy and the bankruptcy is active. (If you previously filed bankruptcy and it was dismissed or you received a discharge, then you are eligible to apply for the program.)
  • Your cash reserves exceed six months PITI (excluding retirement funds) for the first and second mortgage payments. Anything over that amount can be used toward the mortgage debt or other debts before you are eligible for the program.

Servicer Participation

Servicer participation in this program is voluntary. (A mortgage servicer is the company that collects monthly mortgage payments from borrowers on behalf of the owner of the loan, as well as tracks account balances, manages the escrow account, handles loss mitigation applications, and pursues foreclosure in the case of defaulted loans.)

If your mortgage servicer has not signed up to participate, then you are not eligible to receive assistance from this program. To find out if your servicer is part of the UBP, go to http://protectmykyhome.org/Pages/Servicers.aspx.

How to Apply

To apply for UBP assistance, go to www.ProtectMyKYHome.org and click on “Get Free Help” to complete an intake form. You can also apply by calling (866) 830-7868.

Beware of Scammer Websites

There are a number of scammer websites on the Internet purporting to be Hardest Hit Fund application sites. The Kentucky Housing Corporation is the only agency authorized to administer the UBP in Kentucky. The program is free and you should not pay for any services associated with applying for assistance.

For More Information

Go to www.ProtectMyKYHome.org and click on “Unemployment Bridge Program” or call (866) 830-7868 for more information.

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