|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 27, 2012
|Media Contact: Arlyne Alston
OHFA Commemorates Two-Year Anniversary of the State of Ohio's Foreclosure Prevention Program
COLUMBUS – The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) is proud to mark the two-year anniversary of Ohio's statewide foreclosure prevention program, Restoring Stability: A Save the Dream Ohio Initiative which has disbursed $82.5 million on behalf of 7,459 homeowners.
"In just two years, OHFA has helped 7,459 unemployed and underemployed homeowners stay in their homes, making Ohio a leader among the 18 states participating in U.S. Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund program," said OHFA Executive Director Doug Garver. "Ohio ranks third in the nation in terms of the funds distributed."
Restoring Stability was designed to assist Ohio homeowners with financial hardships such as unemployment, reduced wages, increased medical expenses or divorce. Of the 7,459 homeowners who have received assistance through the program, 71 percent are currently unemployed and unable to qualify for most loan modification and foreclosure prevention programs.
Restoring Stability prevents foreclosures by providing up to $25,000 per household to help homeowners make their monthly mortgage payments, become current on their mortgage payments, modify their existing loans, eliminate a lien, or gracefully exit their home and avoid foreclosure.
OHFA was allocated $570.4 million from the U.S. Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) to administer the Restoring Stability program. Established to provide financial assistance to families in states most impacted by the downturn, Ohio was one of 18 states and the District of Columbia to receive a portion of $7.6 billion in HHF assistance.
OHFA administers the program through agreements with more than 350 mortgage servicers and through partnerships with housing counseling agencies in every county.
Cincinnati residents Gary and Jackie Hart began receiving assistance through Restoring Stability in April 2012. A brief recount of their experience is noted below:
Cincinnati residents Gary and Jackie Hart fell on hard times after Gary's job was downsized with a manufacturing company in August 2009. Jackie was permanently injured in 2003 following a failed routine medical procedure that left her unable to work, making Gary the sole provider.
After several unsuccessful attempts with their bank to refinance their home, Gary did not know where to turn to next. He then heard about the state's foreclosure prevention program, Restoring Stability: A Save the Dream Ohio Initiative. Gary and Jackie worked with their local housing counseling agency, the Homeownership Center of Greater Cincinnati, to apply for Restoring Stability. After falling behind more than $5,800 on their mortgage, Gary and Jackie were happy to be informed they had been approved for assistance through Restoring Stability.
"It was really looking exasperating," Gary said. "The idea of losing your home really changes your entire perspective. I couldn't imagine us not being able to keep our house. You can't put a value on being able to stay in your home. Without it, we would have been devastated."
For more information on the Restoring Stability program, visit the Save the Dream Ohio website at www.savethedream.ohio.gov or call the toll-free hotline at 888.404.4674. To speak with a homeowner about their experience, contact Arlyne Alston at 614.387.2863.
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About the Ohio Housing Finance Agency
OHFA is a self-supporting quasi-public agency governed by an eleven-member board. The Agency uses federal and state resources to provide housing opportunities for families and individuals through programs designed to develop, preserve and sustain affordable housing throughout the State of Ohio. OHFA is also the administrator of the state's foreclosure prevention program, Restoring Stability: A Save the Dream Ohio Initiative.