Foreclosure Prevention Program in Georgia: HomeSafe Georgia

HomeSafe Georgia, funded by the federal Hardest Hit Fund, provides financial assistance to homeowners so they can avoid a foreclosure.

HomeSafe Georgia, which is funded through the federal Hardest Hit Fund, offers financial help to eligible homeowners. As of May 2018, HomeSafe Georgia offers two programs to help borrowers who are struggling with their mortgage payments:

  • a reinstatement program, which provides money so the borrower can get caught up on a delinquent loan, and
  • a principal reduction program, which provides funds to pay down the borrower's total outstanding loan.

Keep reading to get an overview of both of these programs, learn how much assistance is available, and find out if you might be eligible.

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, including Georgia, along with Washington, DC, that experienced the most extreme home price declines and high unemployment rates as a result of the economic crisis.

Georgia was awarded over $339 million in funds through the Hardest Hit Fund, and additional funding was approved in 2016, to help eligible homeowners avoid foreclosure. (Learn about the foreclosure process in Georgia.)

To help homeowners, Georgia set up the HomeSafe Georgia program.

HomeSafe Georgia

The two types of mortgage assistance available under the HomeSafe Georgia program are:

  • the Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance program, and
  • the Underwater Georgia program.

Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program

HomeSafe Georgia's Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance program provides up to $50,000 to eligible homeowners to reinstate a delinquent loan.

To qualify, you must have have suffered a qualifying type of hardship, like:

  • involuntary unemployment or underemployment
  • military
  • divorce (finalized)
  • catastrophic medical
  • disability, or
  • death.

You must also be two or more months delinquent on your loan, your current gross household income must support the mortgage payment, and you must meet other eligibility criteria.

Underwater Georgia

Underwater Georgia is a limited-time program for eligible homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth (their homes are "underwater") through a one-time principal reduction of up to $50,000.

To qualify, the property must have a loan-to-value equal to or greater than 110%, which can be reduced to 100% to 125% with assistance from $5,000 to $50,000. The total gross household income (including all income that residing applicants receive) cannot exceed 140% of the averaged area median income of the relevant county. Also, you can be current or delinquent on payments, your current gross household income must support the mortgage payment, and you must meet other eligibility criteria.

General Eligibility Requirements

Generally, for both programs, you must meet the basic eligibility criteria listed below.

  • The total mortgage lien balance on all mortgages for the property can't exceed $453,100.
  • You can't be in active bankruptcy.
  • You must be current on tax return filings. (Tax liens, if any, must be less than $10,000 total and you must have a documented active payment plan in place.)
  • You haven't previously received HomeSafe Georgia assistance.
  • You can apply for assistance for only your primary residence. Second homes and investment properties don't qualify. (If you're applying for the Underwater Georgia program, you must have purchased the home before January 1, 2015.)
  • The servicer must be participating in the HomeSafe Georgia program or agree to participate.
Additional underwriting requirements might apply to these programs and is subject to change. So, go to the HomeSafe Georgia website to verify your eligibility for the relevant program.

How to Apply for Help From HomeSafe Georgia

To learn more about the application process and apply for one of the open programs, go to the HomeSafe Georgia website and select "Start Application."

Beware of Scams

The HomeSafe Georgia program is free of charge and you should not pay for any services associated with applying for assistance. Do not pay any company that promises to expedite your application or guarantees approval.

For More Information

If you want more information about HomeSafe Georgia's programs, you may call the customer service help line at 877-519-4443 or send an email to homesafe@dca.ga.gov.

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