Hundreds of Hamilton County Residents At Risk of Foreclosure

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Published July 7, 2021

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn]-

According to the Hamilton County Mayor’s Office, nearly five hundred residents risk losing their homes over delinquent mortgage payments. These 447 homeowners have missed three or more payments. However, there is relief still available for a short amount of time. 

Chattanooga, Tennessee At Night

Those with loans through the Federal Housing Authority can apply for Covid-19 forbearance relief. This would temporarily postpone any mortgage payments. Residents must apply by July 31. 

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Department of Agriculture (USDA), all extended their foreclosure moratorium until July 31 as well. 

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Mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through the Federal Housing Finance Agency, are also extending their moratorium until the end of the month. 

“Once the moratoria end, HUD, VA, and USDA will take additional steps to prevent foreclosures on mortgages backed by those agencies until borrows are reviewed for Covid-19 loss mitigation options that are affordable,” reads a statement posted by the Hamilton County Facebook page.

“FHA will continue to work with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure that borrowers are evaluated for home retention solutions prior to any referral for foreclosure. In addition, HUD, VA, and USDA will also continue to allow homeowners who have not taken advantage of forbearance to date to enter into Covid-related forbearance through September 20, 2021, while homeowners with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac-backed mortgages who have Covid-related hardships will also continue to be eligible for Covid-related forbearance.” 

HUD, VA, and USDA are planning to announce additional steps within the next month to offer possible payment reduction options. This would allow homeowners to continue to stay in their houses. 

Homelessness rates increased throughout Hamilton County and the entire nation during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In June, HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge announced the funds for Emergency Housing Vouchers made possible through the American Rescue Plan. The $1.1 billion created 70,000 vouchers, which allowed homeless residents to get off the streets. 

“Addressing our nation’s homelessness crisis is a top priority for HUD,” Fudge said during the June announcement. “With COVID-19 still a threat and with the sweltering summer months just around the corner, the $1.1 billion we are announcing today comes at a critical time in our efforts to get people experiencing homelessness off the streets and into safe, stable homes. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, communities now have the robust resources they need to make significant progress toward ending homelessness.”

$5 billion in total was allocated as part of the American Rescue Plan. The plan was created to help communities across the country that were facing homelessness, or the risk of homelessness. 

During the initial announcement, Fudge said, “Homelessness in the United States was increasing even before COVID-19, and we know the pandemic has only made the crisis worse. HUD’s swift allocation of this $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funding reflects our commitment to addressing homelessness as a priority. With this strong funding, communities across the country will have the resources needed to give homes to the people who have had to endure the COVID-19 pandemic without one.”

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About the Author:

Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative 

Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen and the Crossville Chronicle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com

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