‘Save The Dream Ohio’ Foreclosure Prevention Program Is Ending

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Save the Dream Ohio will stop accepting new applications on Wednesday. The 4-year-old program still has about $80 million on hand from the $570 million it received in federal foreclosure-prevention funds.

Through March 2014, about 18,000 people got an average of $16,000 each to help pay off liens or up to 18 months’ worth of mortgage payments. Homeowners do not have to be delinquent, just have a hardship such as medical expenses or job loss.

Antoinette Smith is with Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People, a non-profit housing counseling agency. She says some people who did not qualify in the past may be able to get help now.

“They were asking for a lot of documentation; some things that some people couldn’t get [if] the hardship was a few years ago. Of course, they wanted something from their employer [but] that employer may not even be around anymore. So the state recognized that and changed some of their program guidelines.”

Assistance to sign-up homeowners will be available this week by phone with ESOP in Cleveland, and evenings through Wednesday night at Mason Elementary in Akron.

Although applications need to be started by Wednesday, the deadline to complete applications is July 31.