Aug 1, 2012 6:32 PM by David Sherman - MTN News

"Keep My Montana Home" may help some homeowners facing foreclosure

The new Keep My Montana Home program aims to help homeowners in the state facing foreclosure with counseling and loan services.

Several months ago, five national banks, including Bank of America, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and GMAC, agreed to a $25 billion package of benefits for homeowners and payments to states. The settlement came after an investigation found those banks signed foreclosure documents without the presence of a notary.

The settlement provides benefits to borrowers whose loans are owned by the settling banks, as well as to many borrowers whose loans they service. It also provides modest payments to those who were foreclosed upon from 2008 to 2011.

If you are facing foreclosure or struggling to make house payments, and you have a mortgage serviced by the banks involved in this agreement, you may qualify for help.

Montana's share, estimated at about $20 million, means qualifying Montana borrowers can get help including principal reductions, deficiency waivers, and short sales.

The state already received a direct payment of around $5.8 million, most of which will support services like foreclosure counseling and legal advice. Program partners include NeighborWorks Montana and the Montana Legal Services Association.

Montana homeowners who are not in default, but "underwater" on their home loans will be eligible for over $4.5 million in available funds specifically for refinancing these underwater loans. "Underwater" means a person owes more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth.

Montana borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure by one of the five settling banks between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2011, are eligible for direct cash payments from a pool of $2 million.

The Keep My Montana Home program was established to provide a variety of benefits for struggling homeowners, including lowering the principal of a home loan. Others may qualify to re-finance their mortgage at a lower interest rate to bring down their monthly payment.

To learn more about the program, call 1-800-481-6896 or contact Duncan Adams at 406-444-2556. You can also email or visit Keep My Montana Home.


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