As the federal government shutdown continues, a growing number of those employees may have trouble making ends meet. While Congress has passed legislation guaranteeing back pay for federal workers, approximately 800,000 of those workers started to miss paychecks on January 11. Unemployment offices around the nation are reporting an uptick in claims from federal workers. According to CNBC.com, applicants include a scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency, a judge for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and a data analyst at the Department of Transportation.
Not knowing how long they will go without a paycheck, some workers report they may eventually need to take money out of their 401(k) retirement accounts to make mortgage payments. Others face costly medical bills and other financial obligations. Some banks and credit unions that cater to federal workers are providing low- or no-interest payroll advances and loans.
But there are other options for federal government employees who own homes and are worried about making their mortgage payments. Those who will not be paid due to the government shutdown can now use HLP’s new, free platform, MyLoanHelp.me (https://myloanhelp.me) to find assistance, connect with the right organizations and securely apply for a forbearance with their mortgage company. A forbearance may allow homeowners to postpone upcoming mortgage payments until the shutdown is resolved.
Funded by a grant from the Finance of America Foundation, MyLoanHelp.me combines a comprehensive data base of financial aid programs available nationwide with the ability to apply for many of these programs via HLP’s secure, online channel. The platform’s purpose is to empower individuals facing a financial hardship with the tools and resources they need to help them keep their homes.
It also offers free, on-demand chat services with nonprofit HUD-approved housing counselors, including those that speak Spanish. This means a homeowner needing to quickly find out more about financial aid programs provided by various governments or their mortgage company won’t have to go it alone. A qualified counselor can work with them to find help and work to avoid foreclosure.
MyLoanHelp’s national database of information can make a significant difference by providing quick assistance to homeowners struggling to find a way to keep their home. Also, organizations that offer aid or resources can register their program by going to MyLoanHelp.online and clicking on the "Register" button. After registering, the organization can add programs and quickly define any eligibility criteria. The process takes less than 10 minutes and will enable the organization to connect and work directly with directly with homeowners. Organizations with questions can contact HLP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HLP urges all impacted federal government employees that are homeowners to inform and work with their mortgage company if they need extra time to make their next mortgage payment.
HLP has a history of helping homeowners in financial distress. In 2017, more than 5,000 homeowners in Texas and Florida contacted more than 20 mortgage servicers via HomeownerConnect.org following the devastating damage by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Mortgage servicing companies found that they could eliminate wait times on the telephone and serve customers faster by using HomeownerConnect.org. For example, US Bank says more than 50 percent of its requests from homeowners for an emergency forbearance affected by last year’s hurricanes came via HLP’s HomeownerConnect.org.
Mark Cole is Chief Executive Officer of HLP, a nonprofit mortgage technology company based in Baltimore. HLP’s web portal is a one-stop technology solution to help homeowners nationwide ensure that critical documents from distressed homeowners reach mortgage companies. To find out more about HLP’s services, visit www.hlp.org.