Arenac participating in program to fight foreclosures

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ARENAC COUNTY — Arenac County residents now have the opportunity to take part in the “Helping Michigan’s Hardest-Hit” program, according to Treasurer Dennis Stawowy, which allows them to get no-interest loans to fight off foreclosures.

Stawowy said the program, which comes from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) passed in 2009, has allocated $2.7 million to Michigan to give out the loans on a first-come, first-serve basis.

He said that those who receive funds will get a one-time loan award of up to $30,000 per household. If the residents stay in the house for five years, the loan is forgiven. Selling or transferring the property before then will require the repayment of the loan, with the amount owed reduced by 20 percent of the total each year. There are no monthly payments, according to the program’s website.

The Michigan Homeowner Assistance (MHA) nonprofit housing corporation is running the program, according to Stawowy, and determines the eligibility based on a qualifying, involuntary hardship that is resulting in mortgage or property tax delinquencies.

He said the treasurer’s office at the county courthouse has informational packets, and people can apply for the program through www.stepforwardmichigan.org or by calling 866-946-7432.

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