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Glossary Definitions and Explanations

To help understand the terminology used, definitions or explanations have been provided.

Bankruptcy              The filing of a bankruptcy petition is a legal matter and prevents or ends assistance from HomeSafe Georgia.
Backend Reinstatement   Applying funds to a mortgage at the end of HomeSafe Georgia participation.

The term used for signing the documents at the attorney’s office.

Closing Attorney   The person who will be in charge of your closing.
Counselor   We have partnered with CredAbility, CCCS of Macon, CCCS of Savannah, and D&E Financial Group. Counselors not listed are not part of HomeSafe Georgia.
Conforming loan  

A loan that meets Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines and is limited to $417,000 in Georgia.

Current on Mortgage   You do not owe any payments on your mortgage. This is different than being late. If your payment was due for May 1st and your hardship date was May 25th, you are current at hardship as the payment was not delinquent until June 1st.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs, responsible for HomeSafe Georgia.

Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)   The ratio of monthly total liabilities and housing expenses divided by the monthly gross income of the borrower. HomeSafe Georgia does not review debt to income, only mortgage payment to income, also known as a frontend ratio.
Department of Labor   The Department of Labor (DOL) is a state agency that provides unemployment benefits for most wage earners. One consideration for eligibility if terminated from employment is if the reason for termination would be of a type that would be eligible for DOL benefits, as the unemployment must have resulted involuntarily. Some types of jobs do not qualify for the benefits and additional documentation may be required.

Past due 30 days or more on a mortgage payment.

Eligibility Requirements   A list of requirements in which all must be met to be eligible for HomeSafe Georgia assistance. See the Eligibility Requirements tab on the homepage.
Escrow   Fees such as homeowner’s insurance and property taxes included in the mortgage payment (PITI= principal, interest, taxes, insurance). HomeSafe Georgia provides mortgage assistance for PITI for escrowed loans.
Foreclosure   Procedure by the lender to repossess a home in which the mortgage is delinquent.



The HomeSafe Georgia loan is forgivable at 20% per year after the assistance ends. This means that after five years, the lien will have a $0 balance and will be cancelled. Unless in default, the homeowner will not have had to pay back anything on the loan.

Forbearance   Term used for a payment that is agreed upon by the lender in writing that differs from the regular payment. The forbearance payment is for a limited time and can be more or less than the regular payment. Forbearances occurring within three years of the hardship date must be included in supporting documentation.
Hardest Hit Funds®  

Treasury’s name used for the program designated to assist homeowners who live in states hardest hit by the economy in terms of unemployment and decreased housing values.

Hardship   An event that has caused a person to have financial distress. Only hardships of unemployment or underemployment are eligible for HomeSafe Georgia assistance. Other hardships, while unfortunate, do not qualify.
Hardship Event Date   For HomeSafe Georgia, the date of your unemployment or underemployment, which must have occurred on or after January 1, 2008.
HomeSafe Georgia   The name given to Georgia’s Hardest Hit Fund® program.
Homestead Exemption   Allows the assessed value of a principal residence to be reduced by the amount of the exemption for the purposes of calculating property tax.
Household Income   The amount of income earned or received by all homeowners and non homeowner spouses. Dependent or other residing household members’ income may be included.
Investor   The company, bank, credit union, or agency that owns your loan. The mortgage investor buys mortgage loans from lenders, which gives the lender funds that can be used for more lending.
Lender   The company, bank , or credit union that provided funds for your loan and is listed as the lender in the upper right hand box on page 1 (or on page 2 if the loan was table funded) of the HUD settlement statement. In the HomeSafe Georgia application and website, the term "lender" is used interchangeably with "servicer". Most lenders sell their loans to an investor. If the lender holds your loan, it is called "portfolio".
Loan   Funds provided by others. HomeSafe Georgia provides assistance in the form of a 0% forgivable loan. A lien is placed against the property and must be satisfied or cancelled before the sale of the property.
Loan Modification   A recorded written agreement changing the terms of the original Promissory Note. Loan modifications can include a change in length, interest rate, payment amount, and principal deferment. Loan modifications occurring within three years of the hardship date must be included in supporting documentation.
Loss Mitigation   The lender’s department that is able to review the loan for available options. This is not the same as Customer Service.
Missed Payment   A payment that is 30 days or more past due (delinquent). The payment history is reviewed. HomeSafe Georgia will give credit for any payment that is paid as agreed under written contract. This means if the regular payment is $800 but the lender has agreed in writing to accept payments of $100 for three months and they are paid timely, they are not deemed missed payments.
MA 1098   The Mortgage Assistance form is provided to borrowers for each year assisted and will indicate the amount of assistance provided to the lender by HomeSafe Georgia and contributions (partial payments) from the borrower.
Mortgage Payment   The amount due to your lender each month for payment of your mortgage loan. The payment may or may not include insurance or property taxes (escrow). HomeSafe Georgia sets the assistance amount based on the current payment. If the loan is delinquent and the payment is set to change, the amount is based on the oldest (current) amount due.
Partial Payment   For HomeSafe Georgia, this is the amount that a homeowner will contribute toward their mortgage payment, based on 5% of the household income. The amount collected will reduce the amount of assistance provided.
Primary Residence   The home in which you live and where you should have a homestead exemption.

The amount of the loan itself; the principal balance is the amount outstanding. Payments by the borrower of only the amount set for the principal balance are considered missed payments unless there is a written agreement from the lender.

Principal Deferment   As part of a loan modification, the lender may place some of the principal loan amount aside. This amount is not forgiven, but will be due at the stated time or at the sale of the home. The deferment allows the payment to be based on a smaller principal, thereby reducing the amount of the payment.
Processing   As it applies to HomeSafe Georgia, the reviewing of the application and supporting documents to determine eligibility. An application deemed eligible by a processor is then sent to underwriting for approval.
Reinstatement   To bring a mortgage loan current. In some cases the HomeSafe Georgia assistance will only provide a partial reinstatement. Under Reinstatement Assistance, assistance is provided for the hardship months. For Payment Assistance, up to 6 months of payments is provided upfront.
Self Employed   A contract person who receives a 1099 or a person owns his/her own company. If the contract person has expenses, a Profit and Loss (P&L) Statement will be required. All persons owning a company will be required to provide a P&L Statement plus any W2 or 1099 received from the company.
Servicer   The company to which you send your mortgage payments. In most cases, this is not the same as your lender, but the terms "lender" and "servicer" are used interchangeably on this website and in the application. The servicer may represent several investors (private, portfolio, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, VA, FHA, etc.).
Statement of Ineligibility   Applicants who are deemed ineligible by a processor will receive a Statement of Ineligibility which will list the ineligible reason. A Statement of Denial is sent by the underwriter. Applicants who disagree may dispute the findings by contacting the person on the Statement.
Significant Loss of Income   For purposes of HomeSafe Georgia eligibility, it is defined as a 25% reduction in income for wage earners and a 30% reduction in gross receipts for a person self employed.
Underwriting   A review of the application and supporting documents plus title review and lender acknowledgment to confirm eligibility and set loan and lender payment amounts.
Underemployment   For purposes of HomeSafe Georgia eligibility, it is defined as a 25% reduction in income for wage earners and a 30% reduction in gross receipts for a person self employed. The loss of income must have occurred through no fault of your own.
Unemployment   For purposes of HomeSafe Georgia eligibility, it is defined as a loss of a job through no fault of your own.
Unemployment Program   Currently the only program that HomeSafe Georgia offers. Assistance is available to eligible homeowners who suffered a hardship due to involuntary unemployment or underemployment.
Veteran Waiver   Persons currently serving in the military or veterans who were honorably discharged can request exemption from the 5% partial payment by requesting a Veteran Waiver form. Documentation of service is required.



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