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Home Rescue Program
Frequently Asked Questions

Home Rescue Program

The Home Rescue Program helps unemployed and underemployed Oregon homeowners avoid foreclosure by providing up to 12 monthly mortgage payments or $20,000, whichever is used first. The program also brings delinquent mortgages current if homeowners are no more than $10,000 behind on their payments.

 

The program helps wage earner, self-employed and unemployed homeowners by sending full monthly mortgage payments directly to loan servicers. View a complete list of eligibility criteria here.

 

Because the loan is forgiven 20% each year for five years, you may have to repay the loan if you sell or refinance your home before the five-year forgiveness period ends and you have sufficient equity after you pay off your first mortgage.

To be eligible for the Home Rescue Program, homeowners must:

  • Currently earn less than 120% of state median income, based on household size 
  • Currently earn at least 10% less than they earned in in either 2011 or 2012 
  • Live in a one-unit, single-family dwelling (condos and townhomes are eligible) 
  • Have an unpaid principal balance less than their county’s FHA loan limit 
  • Not be in active bankruptcy 
  • Not own any other residential property 
For a full list of eligibility criteria, take the eligibility questionnaire.

The Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative uses loan limits set by the Federal Housing Administration when reviewing applications. Each county in Oregon has its own FHA loan limit. A homeowner’s first-lien unpaid principal balance must be less than their county’s FHA loan limit unless the homeowner qualifies for an exception. Exceptions are based on (1) the size of the property; (2) whether the property is used for business purposes; and (3) whether the home’s current value is less than the FHA loan limit.

No, OHSI does not provide assistance for second mortgages or other junior mortgages. OHSI provides assistance only for first mortgages.

It depends. If you previously received any form of monthly payment assistance from OHSI, you are ineligible for the Home Rescue Program. Any other form of assistance from OHSI does not affect your eligibility for the Home Rescue Program.

No, OHSI is able to provide assistance only to homeowners with a participating servicer. A full list of participating servicers can be found on the Servicers page.

 

If your servicer is not enrolled, you can ask OHSI to contact your servicer about participating.

  • Send an e-mail to ohsi.servicers@hcs.state.or.us with a subject line of "servicer enrollment." 
  • Include the name and contact information of your servicer in your email message. 
Keep in mind that servicers are under no obligation to participate in OHSI programs.

Homeowners in a HAMP trial period cannot receive Home Rescue Program assistance until the HAMP trial period is complete. Homeowners can apply for the Home Rescue Program but will need to choose between completing the HAMP trial period and the Home Rescue Program, if approved.

 

Homeowners with a permanent HAMP modification can receive Home Rescue Program assistance, if approved.

 

If you have applied for HAMP, or are in a HAMP trial period, contact your servicer for more information.

Openings for the Home Rescue Program are available on a two-week cycle. Slots fill up quickly so apply early in the cycle for the best chance to secure a slot. If all slots are gone, you must wait for the next cycle to open.

 

Openings are based on available funds and could close at any time. Click here for more information about the application process and timelines.

Apply for the Home Rescue Program online at Home Rescue Program page

If you’re unable to get past the first page of the Home Rescue Program application, it may be for one or more of the following reasons:

  • No more slots remain for the current application cycle. Try again at the beginning of the next cycle. 
  • It is too late to start an application for the current cycle; try again at the beginning of the next cycle. See the schedule for the date the next cycle begins. 
  • Your servicer is not enrolled in the Home Rescue Program. Click here for a list of participating servicers.

Completing the Home Rescue Program application and gathering all of the required supporting documents can take an hour or more. The time it takes depends on your unique situation.

 

It is a good idea to begin gathering supporting documents before beginning your application. Please review the Submission Checklist to learn more about what supporting documents you will need to apply.

It can take up to 120 days to process your application for the Home Rescue Program. To avoid delays, be sure to provide all required information when sending in your application. You may be contacted if you fail to provide information or if more information is needed to review your application. Respond to requests as quickly as you can.

 

The process works as follows:

  1. Applicant completes online application and gathers supporting documents. 
  2. Applicant sends application and supporting documents to intake agency. 
  3. Intake agency reviews application for completeness and may contact you if information is missing. 
  4. Applicant receives an e-mail from OHSI indicating that the application is under review or that the application is incomplete. 
  5. OHSI and your mortgage servicer review your application. 
  6. Approved applicants are contacted by their intake agency to sign program loan documents. 
  7. Denied applicants receive a letter from OHSI explaining the reason for denial. 
Keep in mind the following:
  1. If you miss the deadline to submit your application and all supporting documents, you will have to start from the beginning in the next application cycle. 
  2. The deadline to submit your application and all supporting documents is 9 days from the beginning of the cycle. 
  3. Servicers are under no obligation to participate in OHSI programs. Follow this link to see participating servicers.

Homeowners who submit incomplete applications or miss the deadline will lose their slot and have to start from the beginning in the next application cycle.

 

Incomplete applications commonly occur when the applicant does not supply all the supporting documentation with their application.

Applicants will be notified by their intake agency if they have been accepted into the Home Rescue Program.

 

Once notified, you will need to sign program loan documents within 14 days.

Applicants are responsible for paying their own mortgage payments due the month they sign program loan documents and the month following. Program payments will then begin.

 

For example:

 

John signs program loan documents in September. He is responsible for making his mortgage payment for September and October. OHSI would make John’s November mortgage payment.

Under the Home Rescue Program, OHSI will provide no more than 12 full monthly mortgage payments and no more than $20,000 in total assistance. Payments are sent directly to your loan servicer. If you have received 12 payments, but not the full $20,000 in possible assistance, no further payments will be made.

 

Following acceptance into the Home Rescue Program, OHSI will check with your servicer to see if you have arrearages that meet eligibility requirements. If eligible, OHSI will make a one-time payment up to $10,000 to bring your mortgage current.

Because the loan is forgiven 20% each year for five years, you may have to repay the Home Rescue Program loan if you sell or refinance your home before the five-year forgiveness period ends and you have sufficient equity after you pay off your first mortgage. If you have questions, please contact ohsi.payoffs@hcs.state.or.us.

If you refinance your mortgage after submitting your application or while receiving assistance, you will be disqualified for assistance. Your eligibility for the program is tied to the specific mortgage you identify on your application. By refinancing you are obtaining a new mortgage and your previous mortgage is closed. You will not be able to update your mortgage information with OHSI or reapply for further assistance from the Home Rescue Program.

The Homeowner Education Program is a series of online videos that helps OHSI program participants maximize their assistance. All enrolled participants must complete the series. Videos review budgeting tips, credit repair, debt repayment strategies, savings planning, and other financial education topics.

Participants are required to provide a verification of their continuing eligibility for the program in the months of January, April, July, and October.

  • Household income does not exceed 120% SMI. 
  • Please note that electronic signatures on verification forms will not be accepted.
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OHSI provides an anoymous fraud reporting hotline; If you are currently aware of, or suspect fraud, you can report it anonymously by calling 1-800-948-7688.

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