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Program Targeting Foreclosed Bank and Tax Deeds Properties Expanded

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Homeowners in South Carolina facing risks of losing their properties to bank foreclosures and foreclosure tax deeds properties can get assistance from the Homeownership and Employment Lending Program. The initiative was recently expanded to provide more coverage to troubled homeowners.

The program was established six weeks earlier to help address problems related to Columbia foreclosures and distressed properties in various areas of the state. The recent changes made to the initiative include financial assistance for unemployed borrowers. Under the expanded effort, homeowners who lost their jobs and have fallen behind in their loan payments by six months can seek financial help of as much as $36,000. The number of days has been extended to 180 from the original provision of 120 days.

The expansion of the program is reportedly meant to help lower the number of foreclosed homes in South Carolina by helping borrowers before their properties enter the foreclosure process. Another change made on the initiative was a provision for financial assistance of as much as $15,000 for struggling borrowers who have not entered the foreclosure process yet. According to program officials, the expansion also gives more focus on homeowners who fall behind on payments due to unemployment.

Local officials revealed that unemployment is now the primary reason for the increase in the number of bank foreclosures and foreclosed tax deeds properties in the state. South Carolina hit an unemployment rate record of 12% in the early part of last year, which remained at double digit as 2011 started. The state's delinquency rate was also higher than the nationwide average as of the 2010 fourth quarter.

Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the delinquency rate of the state was at 9.4% during October-December 2010, a figure that is higher than the national average of 8.2%. Foreclosure listings also increased during the fourth quarter in South Carolina by 3.7% when compared with the 2010 third quarter.

The state's program meant to lower bank foreclosure and tax deeds properties numbers has accumulated around 200 applications as of December of last year, with the initiative only one and a half month old. It is being supported by $300 million provided by the federal government under the Hardest Hit Fund.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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