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Going through foreclosures? There’s assist accessible in Maine

PORTLAND, Maine — Folks going through foreclosures in Maine have choices that housing specialists say most may not find out about.

On March 7, MaineHousing relaunched the House owner Help Fund. This system makes use of federal COVID-19 pandemic aid {dollars} to assist those that fell behind on funds in the course of the pandemic. It’s meant to assist low- and moderate-income households who suffered monetary hardships since January of 2021. Householders can obtain as much as $50,000 relying on their eligibility.

Householders can examine eligibility and start the applying course of on-line at

“There may very well be a stage of despair that kicks in and says, ‘I am to date behind, I am by no means going to get this mounted.’ Effectively, this program is designed to assist resolve for that,” MaineHousing govt director Dan Brennan stated. “We will repair their downside and transfer ahead.”

An alternative choice is to get assist from an actual property firm. Some supply choices to guard the home-owner’s credit score by both promoting the house by a “brief sale” or modifying the mortgage, which includes extending the mortgage and spreading out the price of the missed funds over that long run.

“I had no thought. I simply assumed foreclosures meant the financial institution was taking the home again. Interval. Finish of story,” Lolly Comstock stated.

Comstock fell behind on mortgage funds on her apartment in Scarborough after her divorce, however she was in a position to make the most of this course of by Portland-based Keller Williams Realty and the staff of Money Wiseman and Jessica Web page.

“It actually put me in a tailspin. I’ve by no means been so terrified in my life. I imply, are you able to think about being homeless with two small youngsters? It is simply the worst feeling ever,” Comstock stated. “I used to be very nicely off at one level in my life and for a lot of, a few years, and this ended up taking place to me.”

However how she discovered the Wiseman Group sounds fishy. She received an unsolicited letter within the mail from Wiseman, providing “free assist,” with “no obligation,” that was a “confirmed win-win.”

“I used to be a bit skeptical. I used to be like, ‘Is that this a complete rip-off?'” Comstock stated.

It was actual.

“With the stock issues now we have, the rates of interest now we have, they most likely simply suppose we’re searching for a list to promote a property and receives a commission on a fee,” Wiseman stated. “Being on this enterprise, you receives a commission on fee. We receives a commission on altering folks’s lives.”

Wiseman’s teammate, Jessica Web page, has labored on the opposite facet of foreclosures, too, telling folks they have been behind on their funds. She stated getting assist remains to be a tough course of.

“It is numerous paperwork. You mainly should put your life down on paper and clarify why you may’t afford your mortgage,” Web page stated. “I feel one of many hardest issues is for folks to ask for assist. So I feel it is essential for folks to know there’s assist on the market, you simply should ask for it.”

Brennan stated most instances, folks don’t fall behind on mortgage funds alone. In the event that they lose revenue or undergo a hardship, they miss all sorts of funds, together with utilities, automotive funds, and extra.

The HAF permits folks to make use of that cash for overdue mortgage or tax funds, overdue utility payments together with sewer, water and electrical energy and/or heating fuels. This system may pay overdue home-owner affiliation dues and costs or the lot hire for a cellular dwelling that’s owned by the occupants. For some eligible householders, this system may also pay as much as three months of future mortgage funds to make sure housing stability.

Lots of of individuals in Maine want that assist. In 2022, 668 folks entered the foreclosures course of in Cumberland, York, Oxford, and Kennebec counties alone. These 4 counties make up greater than half the state’s inhabitants.

“I am a problem-solver. I am not a salesman,” Wiseman stated.

In the end, Comstock discovered a brand new condo with Wiseman’s assist.

For extra details about the Maine House owner Help Fund and to start the applying course of on-line go to

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