homeport housing advisory center

OHFA Anticipates Completion of the State's Foreclosure Prevention Program

$101 Million Still Available to Assist Struggling Ohio Homeowners

COLUMBUS – With 80 percent of its allocated funds distributed on behalf of 16,560 Ohio homeowners facing foreclosure, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) today announced plans to bring its Save the Dream Ohio effort to a close during the next year and a half.

Save the Dream Ohio was funded with $570.4 million through the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund. Since the program's inception in 2010, Ohio has served as a leader among the 18 states and the District of Columbia who received a portion of the funds.

"Throughout the last four years, OHFA and its partners have worked with Treasury to implement and modify the Save the Dream Ohio program to address the state's evolving needs and keep Ohio families in their homes," said OHFA Executive Director Doug Garver. "Thanks to the outstanding efforts of housing counseling agencies across the state as well as more than 400 mortgage servicers, this program has made a swift and progressive impact on Ohio's communities."

In addition to the $226 million OHFA distributed, the Agency also committed $75 million to assist Ohio families with ongoing mortgage assistance. With approximately $101 million remaining, the Agency estimates that the program can assist an additional 6,400 homeowners. Based on these projections, OHFA will no longer accept registrations after April 30. OHFA will continue to process completed registrations until July 31. The Agency expects to close all remaining applications in 2015, more than two years ahead of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's 2017 program deadline.

OHFA encourages Ohio homeowners facing default or foreclosure to visit www.savethedream.ohio.gov to learn more about the program, complete a few simple questions to determine eligibility and register. Individuals can also register by calling the toll-free Save the Dream Ohio hotline at 888-404-4674.

In August, the Agency announced approval from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to utilize up to $60 million of uncommitted program funds to assist with preventing foreclosures and stabilizing local property values through the removal of blighted and vacant properties. OHFA will announce the results of the first round of funding for the Neighborhood Initiative Program on February 28.

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About the Ohio Housing Finance Agency
OHFA is a self-supporting quasi-public agency governed by an eleven member board. The Agency uses federal and state resources to provide housing opportunities for families and individuals through programs designed to develop, preserve and sustain affordable housing throughout the state of Ohio. OHFA is also the administrator of the state's foreclosure prevention program, Save the Dream Ohio.


Don’t wait another minute. Homeport can help YOU now – even if you have missed several payments or have received foreclosure documents. Foreclosure prevention counseling is available for individuals and families who have fallen behind with their mortgage payments. The goal is to provide the information and tools necessary to maintain home ownership by identifying the cause of default or delinquency, intervention strategies, and reviewing budgeting skills. Financial assistance is available through the Ohio Home Rescue Fund for those who qualify.

Call 614-221-8889 ext 134 to discuss this or other programs.

Independent Foreclosure Review Update April 2013

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Homeport is here to help if you are uncertain about what to do during a foreclosure. 


March 18, 2013

$9.3 Billion in Payments and Foreclosure Assistance to Begin in April 2013

On March 18, 2013, more than 4.2 million people were sent postcard notices about payments they will receive as a result of an agreement between federal banking regulators and 13 mortgage servicers. As a result of this agreement, the Independent Foreclosure Review ceased at those servicers. A full list of companies and their affiliates or subsidiaries covered by the agreement are listed below.

The agreement provides $3.6 billion in cash payments to borrowers covered by the agreement. Borrowers covered by the agreement include those whose primary residences were in any stage of the foreclosure process in 2009 or 2010 and whose mortgages were serviced by one of the participating servicers.

Payments are expected to range from a few hundred dollars to $125,000. By accepting the payment, borrowers do not waive any legal claims against their servicer and may pursue additional actions related to their foreclosure.

In most cases, a letter with an enclosed check sent by the Paying Agent—Rust Consulting, Inc.—will arrive in 4 to 8 weeks. Some borrowers may receive a letter from Rust requesting additional tax-related information that will be needed to process their payment. Correspondence will be sent at the direction of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.The federal banking regulators will provide more details about the payments in early April.

To verify that you are covered by the agreement or to update contact information, call Rust Consulting at 1-888-952-9105. Information provided to Rust will only be used for purposes relating to the agreement.

If you need additional help with foreclosure prevention, please contact the Homeowner's HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE (4673) (or at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov) and they can put you in touch with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approved nonprofit organization that can provide free assistance.

While the agreement ended the Independent Foreclosure Review for 13 companies, the review process for more than 450,000 eligible borrowers serviced by OneWest, Everbank, and GMAC Mortgage continues because these companies did not enter into the agreement with federal banking regulators. Regulators expect the review process for these companies to be completed over the course of the coming year. Eligible borrowers at these servicers who requested a review will receive information about the outcome of their review when that information is available.

Answers to frequently asked questions and other information about the agreement and the Independent Foreclosure Review are available at https://independentforeclosurereview.com/Settled.aspx and the Web sites of the OCC (www.occ.gov/independentforeclosurereview) and the Federal Reserve (http://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/independent-foreclosure-review.htm).

Companies and their affiliates or subsidiaries covered by the agreement include:

America's Servicing Company Countrywide PNC Mortgage
Aurora Loan Services EMC Mortgage Corporation Saxon Mortgage
BAC Home Loans Servicing Goldman Sachs Sovereign Bank
Bank of America HFC SunTrust Mortgage
Beneficial HSBC U.S. Bank
Chase Litton Loan Servicing Wachovia Mortgage
Citibank MetLife Bank Washington Mutual (WaMu)
CitiFinancial Morgan Stanley Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
CitiMortgage National City Mortgage Wilshire Credit Corporation


Related Links


Fifth Third Bank Partners to Empower Communities

Get on board for an experience like no other. The Fifth Third Financial Empowerment Mobile is a financial services eBus where you can experience...

  • Assistance with requesting your Credit Report
  • Financial Education
  • Fraud Awareness and Prevention
  • Internet Banking and Bill Payment Demonstrations
  • Home Ownership Counseling
  • How to Avoid Foreclosure

Homeport staff will be in attendance at the following times to explain our services and how we can help:

Saturday, July 21 from 11:00am - 6:00pm
Jazz & Rib Fest | Spring Street, Columbus OH 43215
Tuesday, July 24 from 9:00am - 4:00pm
Homeport | 562 E Main St, Columbus OH 43215
Wednesday, July 25 from 9:00am - 4:00pm
St. Stephens House | 1500 E 17th Ave, Columbus OH 43219
Friday, July 27 from 9:00am - 4:00pm
Ohio State Fair | 717 E 17th Ave, Columbus OH 43211
Saturday, July 28 from 8:00am - 3:00pm
Mexican Consulate | 2883 Valleyview Dr, Columbus OH 43204

Click here to view the flier with all dates and locations.

Homeport Housing Advisory Center highlighted on Moving Forward video

Tune in to the latest episode of Moving Forward - a community show highlighting business and community resources in Central Ohio - to hear Netta Whitman explain the programs offered by the Homeport Housing Advisory Center.

Hosted by President of the Mt. Vernon Avenue District Improvement Association Al Edmondson, this episode also highlights educational resources offered by I Know I Can and youth development opportunities through Rodgers Neighborhood Basketball.

Homeport supports South Side revitalization

Homeport was proud to be one of the nonprofit partners for the May 27th Food Truck and Cart Hop. Being only the second time this event has taken place, the Hal & Al's brainchild is already gaining a following from the Columbus community.

Eight vendors were on hand this steamy Memorial Day weekend dishing out their inventive food truck fare, with fellow partner nonprofit Merion Village Association serving up root beer floats to keep patrons cool and hydrated.

Anchored by the growing Nationwide Children's Hospital to the north, the South Side area the Hop is home to has undergone a number of changes in only the last few years. Local business owners part of the Parsons Avenue Merchants Association have joined efforts to spur further revitalization efforts.

Homeport also has a hand in building a vibrant community in this area - with 72 rental homes between our Southside Homes and newly-finished Whittier Landing neighborhoods.

Thanks to business leaders like Hal & Al's owner Jay Cheplowitz - who is partnering with nonprofits and residents alike - positive change is coming to the Parsons Avenue area, and we are happy to be a part of it.

To read more on the changing South Side landscape, check out The Columbus Dispatch and ThisWeek Community News.

Friends of Homeport found out There’s No Place Like My Home on May 17th

Over 70 friends joined the Board and staff of Homeport for our 1st Annual There’s No Place Like My Home Fundraising Breakfast on May 17th at Franklin Park Conservatory.

This event showcased how we Build Vibrant Communities, in addition to our plans to increase the quality and the amount of affordable housing and related services this year. Our guests heard from clients and residents that benefit from Homeport’s services and viewed the premiere of our new My Home video made possible by PNC Bank.

Yes, this was a fundraiser, too. Our job at Homeport was to inspire our friends to want to give or get involved in other ways. The response was far greater than we expected.

We would like to thank Shremshock Architects & Engineers for their support of the event.

Remember, you can still help us give more families a place to call My Home by donating! Click here to make a donation today.

Logo - Thank you Chase



How to spot foreclosure loan scams

Below are just a few scenarios, contact the Homeport Housing Advisory Center at 614-221-8889 ext 134  or our contact form, if you believe you may have been the victim of a scam.Ask yourself the following questions:

Did anyone contact you offering assistance to modify your mortgage, either directly by telephone, or by other means such as by mail or a flyer?

Were you guaranteed a loan modification or asked to do any of the following: pay a fee, sign  a contract, redirect mortgage payments, sign over title to your property, or stop making loan payments?

Phony Counseling or Foreclosure Rescue Scams
The scam artist poses as a counselor and tells you he can negotiate a deal with your lender to modify your loan or save your house—if you pay him a fee first. Once you pay the fee, or a few mortgage payments, the scammer disappears with your money.

Fake “Government” Modification Programs
Some scammers may claim to be affiliated with, or approved by, the government, or they may ask you to pay high, up-front fees to “qualify” for government mortgage modification programs. The scammer’s company name and Website may sound like a real government agency, but the Website may end with .com or .net instead of .gov.

Forensic Loan Audit
The scammer who may be called a forensic or mortgage loan “auditor” offers to review your mortgage loan documents to determine whether your lender complied with state and federal mortgage lending laws. The scammer will usually require that you pay a fee to start the process. The scammer may say you can use the audit report to avoid foreclosure, accelerate the loan modification process, reduce your loan principal, or even cancel your loan. There is no proof that a forensic loan audit can save your home from foreclosure although it’s conducted by a licensed, legitimate and trained auditor, mortgage professional or lawyer.

Mass Joinder Lawsuit
The scam artist, usually a lawyer, law firm or a marketing partner will promise that they can force your lender to modify your loan. They will tell you that by joining other homeowners in a mass joinder lawsuit against a particular lender, you will be able to stop a foreclosure, reduce your loan balance or interest rate, receive monetary damages, or even receive title to your house free and clear. Mass joinder lawsuit scammers will try to “sell” you participation in a lawsuit against your mortgage lender, claiming that you cannot participate in the lawsuit until you pay some type of fee.

The scam artist convinces you to sign documents for a “new loan modification” that will make your existing mortgage current. This is a trick. You actually just signed documents that surrender the title or deed of your house to the scam artist in exchange for a “rescue” loan.

Rent-to-Own or Leaseback Scheme
A scammer urges you to surrender the title or deed of your home as part of a deal that will let you stay in your home as a renter and then buy it back in a few years. He may tell you that surrendering the title will permit a borrower with a better credit rating to get new financing—and keep you from losing your home. However, the scammer may have no intention of ever selling the home back to you. But the terms of these deals usually make buying back your home impossible. Worse yet, when the new borrower defaults on the loan, you’re evicted.

Short Sale Scam
Scammers, sometimes called “short sale negotiators” or “short sale processors,” may promise to expedite a short sale and usually require you to pay a fee, which is illegal in many states. A short sale may be a legitimate option for a homeowner in default or homeowner who is current yet the value of the home has fallen -- if the lender agrees to the short sale. But homeowners should only work with a licensed real estate professional or licensed real estate attorney since the law requires that the person be properly licensed to negotiate the short sale with your lender.

Bankruptcy to Avoid Foreclosure
The scammer may promise to negotiate with your lender or get refinancing on your behalf if you pay a fee up front. Instead of contacting your lender or refinancing your loan, he pockets the fee and files a bankruptcy case in your name—sometimes without your knowledge.

A bankruptcy filing often stops a home foreclosure, but only temporarily. Filing bankruptcy stops any collection and foreclosure while the bankruptcy court administers the case. But, eventually you must start paying your mortgage, or the lender will be able to foreclose.

These are just a few scenarios, contact the Homeport Housing Advisory Center at 614-221-8889 ext 134  or our contact form, if you believe you may have been the victim of a scam.

Reference: http://www.loanscamalert.org/common-scams.aspx

Down Payment Assistance available from Ohio Housing Trust Fund

Homeport administers this Down Payment Assistance Program in order to assist low- and moderate-income households in financing the acquisition of a home. To be eligible, you must meet program guidelines. The funds for this program are limited. As such, they will be available on a first-come, first served basis.

Homeport received a grant from the Ohio Housing Trust Fund to provide down payment assistance to eligible Franklin County residents. The State periodically reviews these regulations and from time to time may make modifications, which Homeport may have to institute to remain in compliance with the grant regulations.

Eligibility Standards

Geographic Location - The property must be located inside Franklin County.

Eligible Property - The property must serve as the principal residence for the borrower. The type of property can be an existing residential single family home that is decent and safe or newly constructed residential property, which has received a Certificate of Occupancy. The home must be in compliance with local housing codes.

Eligible Applicants
The applicant(s) must be a first-time homebuyer, or must not have owned a home in the past three years.
The applicant(s) must earn at or below 65% of the HUD income guidelines for Columbus metropolitan service area‘s median income adjusted for family size. Total household income is used when calculating gross income.

 Ohio Housing Trust Fund Down Payment Chart

The applicant(s) must not have liquid assets which exceed $5,000 (excluding 401K and pension funds).

Financing Guidelines

Homeport will administer down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible homebuyers in the form of 0%, deferred loans. These loans will be forgiven after five (5) years. The entire balance will be due and payable at resale or transfer during the first five (5) years. The loan amount represents 3% of purchase price or maximum of $3000.00 whichever is less, to be applied toward the required down payment and closing costs.

At the time of application to Homeport for down payment assistance, the buyer must have $500 of their own funds available, exclusive of loans or credits, to contribute as equity. If the first mortgage loan is a FHA insured loan, the borrower must have an investment of 3% of the purchase price from other acceptable sources. These funds may include amounts paid for the purpose of credit report fees, appraisals, inspections and/or down payment.

The applicant will execute a Note and a Mortgage Deed with Homeport on behalf of the Ohio Department of Development as evidence of the loan. To assure long-term affordability, the Note stipulates that if the beneficiary does not remain in the home for five years, the loan will become due and payable. Subletting or renting, even on a temporary basis, is not permitted. The applicant must return to Homeport for an additional budgeting counseling session within 6 months after closing on the loan.

The first mortgage loan must be a conforming fixed interest rate. The interest rate may be no more than 2% more than the current market rates.

This down payment assistance loan is not assumable by a third party. The Mortgage Deed signed by the applicant will prohibit additional loans on the property.

Property Inspection/Appraisal

If FHA financing is obtained, a complete copy of the FHA appraisal with Valuation Condition Sheet must be supplied with the application to Homeport. If the applicant obtains a Conventional loan, a copy of the home inspection should be supplied to Homeport. Homeport assumes no responsibility to borrower, the Ohio Housing Trust Fund, or any other person with respect to Homeport’s review of an appraisal, inspection report, or inspection of the Property, and may not be relied upon by the borrower for any purposes whatever.

Additional Provisions

Homebuyer Education must be provided by Homeport or any other HUD certified housing counseling agency and a certificate of completion must be submitted to Homeport at time of application. No Fast Track to Quick Start certificates will be accepted.

To find out more about this program please call Call 614-221-8889 ext 148

OHFA Announces Changes to the State's Foreclosure Prevention Program

Substantial changes are being made to Ohio's Foreclosure Prevention Program. Stop by our office to learn more and see how you may be affected.

Read the major changes below, or click here for the press release in its entirety.

Administered by OHFA, the Restoring Stability program helps homeowners with financial hardships including unemployment, reduced wages or hours, death of a spouse, increased medical expenses or divorce. Under the recent changes, more unemployed and underemployed Ohioans may be eligible for mortgage assistance.

Other changes to the program include:

  • An increase in the amount of liquid assets a homeowner may have;
  • Homeowners residing in manufactured homes titled as real estate are now eligible
  • Homeowners who have a discharged Chapter 7 are now eligible even if they did not reaffirm their mortgage, subject to approval by their mortgage servicer;
  • Homeowners who have missed mortgage payments but are now able to make payments on their own may access up to $25,000 to reinstate their mortgages; and
  • Homeowners who are unemployed and underemployed may receive full mortgage payments for up to 15 months or $20,000.

North of Broad Development

NoBo (North of Broad) part of the King Lincoln District North of Broad is a development in the King-Lincoln District, developed by Homeport, www.HomeportColumbus.com, in collaboration with the City of Columbus. The vision for North of Broad (NOBO) is to develop an economically diverse urban community that sets a new standard in Columbus for neighborhood revitalization. We’re right downtown. Ideally located just minutes from downtown Columbus and the airport. Our homes are grand and we’re Columbus’ center for Jazz. Things are boppin’ at North of Broad. In a three block area we have built over 30 new homes and renovated several historic homes.

The NoBo Community is being revitalized as new residents work side by side with long-time residents to form block watches, tend community gardens and build a new civic association.

Huntington Bank and Columbus Housing Partnership act to stabilize homeownership in Central Ohio

April 29, 2009

Jeri Grier (jeri.grier@huntington.com) 614-480-5413
Nathan Minerd (nathan.minerd@chpcolumbus.org) 614-545-4820

$10 million, 3-year program to help families avoid foreclosure and buy homes

Huntington BankCOLUMBUS, Ohio – Columbus Housing Partnership (CHP) and Huntington Bank took unprecedented action today to stabilize home ownership in Central Ohio. The 3-year, $10 million Huntington Homeownership Alliance, a Strategic Partnership with CHP, will help an estimated 9,000 households through housing counseling, foreclosure avoidance services and affordable mortgages. The mortgage programs will enable at least 100 people to purchase homes here inCentral Ohio.

“Homeownership strengthens our families, our community and our economy,” said Huntington President and CEO Stephen D. Steinour. “CHP has an established record for helping individuals get back on track so they can remain in their homes. Huntington is proud to enter into this strategic partnership with CHP on this groundbreaking program to stabilize Central Ohio neighborhoods. We think that CHP will help us develop better tools and processes for working with homeowners in all of our markets where we service over 185,000 mortgages.”

CHP President and CEO Amy Klaben said the organization has experienced significant increase in demand for services and expects it to increase for the foreseeable future as Central Ohio families struggle to maintain homes in the current economy. “We are excited to have Huntington as our partner in expanding delivery and services and in making homeownership possible through affordable funding. Through this strategic partnership, Huntington demonstrates their commitment to finding creative ways to engage the community and help address challenges.”

CHP services will also be expanded through a new virtual “Homeownership Center.” The online tool will use Web distribution and chat capabilities to provide financial education resources to a broader audience.

“In these tough times, it is gratifying to see our community come together to make the City ofColumbus an even better place to live,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “I applaud Columbus Housing Partnership and Huntington for their efforts. The Huntington Homeownership Alliance with CHP compliments our efforts to revitalize Columbus neighborhoods, and is a model for others to follow.”

Nine thousand households are expected to take part in the joint program, receiving counseling from CHP. In addition, Huntington will fund for CHP $10 million in 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages with low closing costs and potentially below-market interest rates, available to anyone purchasing CHP homes.Huntington associates and mortgage clients will receive special invitations to participate in CHP programs.

Lastly, the Homeownership Alliance will also enable CHP to better respond to the foreclosure crisis affecting our community. This innovative partnership will provide the tools and products necessary to address the needs of Central Ohioans and expand those services to those in need of homeownership and foreclosure-related services. In addition to other support, Huntington will provide match-funding for establishing new and growing existing activities and programs.

To learn more about CHP programs, visit www.homehelp.org or call 614-221-8889.

About Huntington
Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (www.huntington.com) is a $52 billion regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Huntington has more than 143 years of serving the financial needs of its customers. Huntington’s banking subsidiary, The Huntington National Bank, provides innovative retail and commercial financial products and services through over 600 regional banking offices in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan,Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Huntington also offers retail and commercial financial services online at huntington.com; through its technologically advanced, 24-hour telephone bank; and through its network of almost 1,400 ATMs. Selected financial service activities are also conducted in other states including: Private Financial and Capital Markets Group offices in Florida and Mortgage Banking offices in Maryland and New Jersey. Huntington Insurance offers retail and commercial insurance agency services in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. International banking services are made available through the headquarters office in Columbus, a limited purpose office located in the Cayman Islands, and another located in Hong Kong.

About Columbus Housing Partnership (CHP)
Columbus Housing Partnership (CHP) (www.chpcolumbus.org) is a private, nonprofit organization founded in the belief that a decent and affordable home is the cornerstone of family life and a healthy community. Columbus Housing Partnership provides quality, affordable housing and related services to low to moderate-income households in Columbus and the surrounding area. Since its inception in 1987, Columbus Housing Partnership has developed 4,000 affordable homes, which have served 23,000 people.

CHP offers free and convenient housing counseling programs which address the underlying social and economic needs facing families within Central Ohio. Programs include Home Buyer Education, Financial Fitness, Credit and Budget Counseling, Home Maintenance Workshops and Foreclosure Prevention Workshops and Counseling. In 2009, CHP will serve 2,600 families through these programs. Columbus Housing Partnership offers both affordable rental and home ownership opportunities throughout Columbus and the surrounding region, and provides programs that offer residents support and the opportunity to keep their homes and families stable, safe and secure. Through these programs and a number of out of and after school programs, Columbus Housing Partnership is a partner in building communities and enhancing the lives of its residents.