Financial help for people facing foreclosure due to delinquent property taxes

(WXYZ) - A program designed to help Michigan homeowners with their past due mortgage payments has been expanded to also offer financial help to those who are delinquent with their property taxes.

Since the modified portion of the program, A Step Forward, began in mid-January, over 4,500 Wayne County homeowners have received the funds. In Oakland County, about 700 have received the forgivable loans; 370 homeowners in Macomb County, and about 50 in Washtenaw County.

If they meet the program requirements, each homeowner could received up to $30,000 in assistance through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to be used for delinquent property taxes, mortgage payments or both.

The funds are from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and are designed to help bridge a financial gap that has put homeowners at risk of losing their property.

The funds are given as a loan, but the debt is forgiven if the homeowner continues to make their mortgage and/or property tax payments, as well as live in the home for five more years.

If the homeowner moves out before the five years are up, only 20% of the loan is forgiven for each year the homeowner continued to reside in the property.

For more information, call (866)946-7432 or go to stepforwardmichigan.org .

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has given the state $500 million to help Michigan homeowners and any funds not used by late 2017 must be returned.

But state officials expect Michigan will be out of these funds by the end of 2014.

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