New Refinancing Plan From Ohio For Distressed Home Owners

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency will issue $100 million in taxable municipal bonds in April as part of a refinancing program to help homeowners faced with foreclosure.

The program, offered through OHFA's 185 lending partners throughout the state, will provide 30-year fixed-rate loans for homeowners burdened by adjustable rate or interest-only mortgages or faced with circumstances like unemployment and divorce.

The bonds should provide assistance for about 1,000 loans (average loan amount is $100,000 per home) at about a 6.75 percent interest rate.

Loans are reserved for those residents with income up to 125 percent of the median gross income of their county, ranging between $73,000 and $84,000. Homeowners will be required to attend face-to-face counseling before a loan can close.

With enough demand, the program could provide up to $500 million each year through additional bonds and financing.

The program should help Ohio reduce its foreclosure rate, ranked highest of the 50 states in 2006, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The state also had the highest rate of subprime loans in foreclosure.

Residents can visit beginning April 2 for more information on income limits and participating lenders.

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