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LENDER PARTICIPATION

The HomeSafe Georgia Program launched April 1, 2011, providing monthly mortgage payment assistance or mortgage reinstatement assistance on behalf of unemployed and underemployed Georgia homeowners to their first and second mortgage lenders. 

Your first mortgage lender must be participating in the HomeSafe Georgia Program before we can review your application for assistance eligibility.  You will find the name of your lender on your mortgage payment statement or coupon.  Whether a lender or servicer, this company will be referred to as your lender on your application and within the information provided on this website. If you do not see your lender’s name below, contact your lender and ask them when they will be participating in Georgia’s Hardest Hit Fund® program, HomeSafe Georgia.  The lender participation list will be continuously updated.

HomeSafe Georgia will review approved applications in which the second mortgage lender is not currently participating in the Program, to determine if any assistance for the second mortgage can be provided.  To expedite the closing process, loan funds may be reserved for the second mortgage.  This will be in addition to the reserved funds for the first mortgage; the Note will list the total amount reserved.  Depending on the lender, monthly payments for the second mortgage may begin at a later date, funds may be used to reinstate the second mortgage at the end of participation, or funds may go unused and be returned to the Program.  In no case can the second mortgage reserved funds be used for the first mortgage.

If your first mortgage lender’s name is not on the list, you may still complete the application and submit an application package. By completing the application, you let us know which lenders we need to contact to encourage participation. Unfortunately, your application must be held in an inactive status until such time the lender’s participation has been approved. Depending on the amount of time between your application and your lender’s participation, you may be asked to update your application and submit a new application package with current supporting documents.

Please note: 

· The software used for the HomeSafe Georgia application has been uploaded with most lender names; the lenders are not participating in our Program unless they are listed here. 

· Assistance participation and the process of handling loans in foreclosure vary from lender to lender.  This means even if we approve your loan, there is a small chance your lender may choose not to allow the assistance.

· Private individual investors must have a Georgia Mortgage Lender license to be eligible to participate as a lender in this program. 

CLICK HERE FOR PARTICIPATING LENDERS

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding lender participation.

1.      What if my lender is not participating but I need help now?

First, contact your lender’s Loss Mitigation department and ask what type of assistance they offer. If unemployed, ask your servicer about forbearance plans that are available for unemployed homeowners. Visit the Making Home Affordable website for information on programs that may be available to you at http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov.  You may also want to speak with a HUD approved housing counselor to determine if there are other assistance programs for which you may qualify.  Find a housing counselor in your area:
www.dca.ga.gov/housing/homeownership/programs/downloads/HBed.pdf. Applicants who are suffering with severe financial hardship may also want to contact United Way by dialing 211 for referral to available local assistance.


2.      What if my loan is in foreclosure?

Most loans in foreclosure are not eligible for this Program.  Your loan cannot be more than 6 months delinquent at the time of receipt of your application package, and other applicant and property requirements must be met.  Additionally, your lender must be participating in the Program and be willing to stop the foreclosure.  HomeSafe Georgia must be able to have time to review, approve, and notify your lender of our approval.  The minimum time of notice to stop foreclosure required by lenders varies between 7 to 30 days.

The foreclosure process in Georgia is non-judicial, which means a lender may begin foreclosure proceedings without going to court if you are at least 90 days behind on your mortgage. The lender or the lender’s attorney must advertise the intended date of foreclosure for 30 days in a legal publication in your county of residence. If you need help or have questions regarding foreclosure, contact a HUD approved housing counselor who can provide foreclosure prevention counseling:
www.dca.ga.gov/housing/homeownership/programs/downloads/HBed.pdf



3.      Why isn't my lender participating?

A contract or agreement is required to allow both HomeSafe Georgia and the lender to set conditions and arrangements for payments.  If your lender is not participating, contact your lender to ask if and when they will be participating in the “Hardest Hit Fund®” HomeSafe Georgia Program.

Lenders who wish to participate will find information and the Servicer Participation Package at
http://www.dca.state.ga.us/housing/homeownership/programs/downloads/HomeSafeGeorgiaServicerParticipationPackage.pdf

Customer Service regrets that it is unable to answer further questions regarding anticipated lender participation or any lender’s specific policy regarding assistance.

4.      How does lender participation vary?

Each participating HHF® state offers different programs and the lenders may not wish to participate in all programs. The HomeSafe Georgia Program offers Mortgage Payment Assistance and Reinstatement Assistance, accepted by most lenders.  HomeSafe Georgia will contact your lender upon underwriting approval; however, your lender has the option to deny the assistance.  An applicant’s current bankruptcy filing and the lender’s foreclosure policy are the most common reasons for lender denial. HomeSafe Georgia will only reinstate (bring current) up to 6 months up front for monthly payment assistance. Fees and forbearance differentials may be left outstanding, and some lenders will refuse assistance for applicants they deem too delinquent. 

NOTE:  A borrower in a Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) trial period may not use funds from a Hardest Hit Fund program to make trial period payments.  Because HomeSafe Georgia is a Hardest Hit Fund® program, this means homeowners cannot receive Mortgage Payment Assistance while in a HAMP trial period.


5.      What if my second mortgage lender is not participating?

The Program allows mortgage assistance to both the first and second mortgage lenders. Approved applications in which the second lender is not participating will be reviewed on a case by case basis to determine if any assistance can be provided.  If there is any possibility of assistance during the borrower’s participation in the Program, funds may be reserved.  The reservation of the funds does not relieve the borrower of the responsibility for payments if the assistance cannot be provided.  The reserved funds may be used to make monthly mortgage payments (going forward) once the lender participates, may be used to reinstate the second mortgage, or may go unused and will be returned to the Program at the termination of the borrower’s participation.  The reserved funds for the second mortgage cannot be used for the first mortgage.

Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and HomeSafe Program for more information.

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