PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As the foreclosure rate continues to climb in Pennsylvania, homeowners now have some extra help to stay in their homes via a federally-funded emergency home loan program.

The state is getting $105 million from HUD; of that money, an estimated 15- to 20-percent will be allocated for the Pittsburgh area.

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As Michael Dear of Action Housing explains, homeowners facing foreclosure must meet specific guidelines. “The Foreclosure Prevention Program is intended to help families in danger of losing their home through involuntary unemployment, under employment or medical reasons.”

Homeowners who qualify will be able to secure a declining, deferred balance bridge loan of up to $50,000.

The United Way of Allegheny County is launching the new helpline to offer a number of services including foreclosure assistance.

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Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato says the first step for homeowners in trouble is to call the new 211 number.

“Just remember one number: 2-1-1,” Onorato adds. “If you got a problem, if you think you are going to be foreclosed on, your house is under water — call that number and they’ll be able to at least send you in the right direction.”

Brian Hudson of Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency says callers will then be referred to a counseling agency which will gather their information for the application.

Qualified applicants don’t have a lot of time to take action, though. Unless the state gets a deadline extension, applications must be submitted before September 30th.

RELATED LINKS:

  • HUDs Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP)
  • PHFA” Search For A Counseling Agency
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