Foreclosure prevention loans available

The Grand Junction Housing Authority is accepting applications for foreclosure prevention loans.

The housing authority has been selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Emergency Homeowner Loan Program, which offers interest-free loans of up to $50,000 to help homeowners at risk of losing their homes make mortgage payments. The loan can last up to two years, as long as the loan amount remains under $50,000 during that period.

The Grand Junction Housing Authority will accept applicant-screening worksheets for the program through July 22. The worksheets are available at http://www.gjha.org or by calling 855-346-3345.

If there are more applicants than there are loans available, which Grand Junction Housing Authority Homeownership Services Supervisor Amy Case predicts will happen, names will be placed in a lottery.

Winners of the lottery likely will be notified at the beginning of August. Those people will be invited to fill out a full loan application, which will be reviewed by the Bank of New York. If a person is not approved for the loan, another person from the lottery will be invited to fill out an application.

The program is being offered in 32 states, according to the HUD website, and has funding to help an estimated 984 Coloradans. Case said the program estimates roughly 39 loans will be awarded in the Grand Junction area.

To qualify, loan recipients have to have experienced a decline in income due to unemployment or underemployment, be at least three months late on their mortgage payments, and meet other criteria listed by HUD. The loan is only for primary homeowners (no vacation homes), and loan recipients don’t have to make payments on the loan for at least five years as long as they keep up with their mortgage payments.

Last month, 92 Mesa County homes went into foreclosure, down slightly from 96 in May 2010, according to the Colorado Division of Housing. Fifty-seven Mesa County homes were sold at foreclosure auction in May, down from 90 during the same month the previous year.

For more information about the loan program, contact the housing authority at 683-1056 or visit http://www.findehlp.org.


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