ELMORE: Help for Struggling Florida Homeowners
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ELMORE: Help for Struggling Florida Homeowners

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February 27, 2014

Like many older adults, Jane*, 73, wants to remain in her home and community as she ages. That’s why she took out a home equity conversion mortgage (HECM)—one of the most popular forms of reverse mortgages available to older homeowners.

Yet when a storm caused extensive damage to her Broward County home, Jane was unable to maintain her insurance, and soon was facing a default amount of over $5,000. When she received notice last November of a court hearing for the sale of her property scheduled for January 9, she knew she had to act quickly.

Fortunately, Jane’s loan servicer alerted her to a new program that is helping to save older homeowners from foreclosure. The Elderly Mortgage Assistance Program (ELMORE) assists HECM borrowers who, as a result of a hardship, have fallen behind on their property tax and homeowner’s insurance payments. 

Thousands in assistance

The loan servicer connected Jane to Jennifer Pascale, one counselor in a network of property charge loss mitigation specialists supported by a new partnership between Fannie Mae and the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Pascale helped push through Jane’s application to ELMORE quickly, in order to save her home before her court date.

Six weeks later, Jane received over $12,000 in assistance from ELMORE to cover her default amount, legal fees, and to pay ahead 12 months of her 2014 taxes and insurance. She also got help from Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit that rehabilitates homes for those in need, to make post-storm repairs on her home.

Jane isn’t the only older adult benefitting from ELMORE. At the same time she was assisting Jane, Pascale helped an elderly woman and her daughter to apply for help paying down the $11,589 tax and insurance debt owed on the woman’s home. Two months later, ELMORE had reduced the daughter’s $700/month payment on her mother’s debt to nothing.

About ELMORE

ELMORE was created in cooperation with Fannie Mae, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help reverse mortgage borrowers save their homes. The program is funded via $25 million in federal monies allotted to Florida from the Treasury’s Hardest-Hit Fund.

Florida homeowners with reverse mortgages who want to see if they qualify for the ELMORE program should first contact their reverse mortgage servicer. If the servicer is unable to assist, a homeowner should then contact the toll-free ELMORE Application and Information Line at 1-(800) 601-3534 to apply and/or receive more information on the program. Additionally, you may visit the ELMORE program website at www.FloridaELMORE.org or www.KnowYourOptions.com/reverse for more information.

*Not her real name

I

want to live in a country where

older adults don't have to choose between paying for medicine or food.

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