A bailout could be coming for Arizonans in foreclosure

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A bailout could be coming for Arizonans in foreclosure so who would qualify? 3TV tells you what it would take to get a piece of the $125 million pie.

Jim Watters, his wife and children were living the dream in their Gilbert house but with the current economy they found themselves needing to modify their loan and that is when they woke up to a nightmare.

"Basically what we have here is the loan agreement which says, "We are pleased to advise you that your loan has been approved…in order for the modification to be valid the enclosed documents need to be signed and returned."

With their modified loan, the Watters started making their new mortgage payments. Jim explains, “Here are all my cancelled checks from September, October, November, December, February, March…right up until last week when we were told our home was being auctioned off. "

The situation the Watters are in is something the director of the Arizona Department of Housing is familiar with.
Michael Trailor says loan modifications are not going well in our state. "Most of the modification efforts today are ending in foreclosure," Trailor explains.

When President Barack Obama announced in February that Arizona would be getting $125 million to help with foreclosures, the Arizona Department of Housing decided its focus would be on modifications.

The Department of Housing thinks paying down the principle will be important so who will qualify? Trailer tells 3TV the following are the guidelines so far:
-60 behind on mortgage
-Personal responsibility
-Cannot exceed 120% of median income
In Maricopa County for a family of four that is just over $79,000.

Trailor says, “We would contribute an amount to buy down the principle as part of the modifications. They would pay back the money by staying in their homes over a period of time.”

That could mean a homeowner would have to stay in the house for five years. Trailer say he hopes to help as many as 4,000 people.

For families like the Watters, the help did not come soon enough. The government will not start accepting applications until sometime this summer.

To voice your opinion, email: susy.bustillos@azhousing.gov.