Guam – Vice Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz has written to Guam’s Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo requesting she take action to ensure Guam residents are able to take full advantage of programs designed to assist homeowners having a difficult time paying their mortgages.
Last week, President Barack Obama announced $3 billion in assistance for homeowners through the Department of Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Assistance is available through a declining balance, deferred payment “bridge loan” (zero percent interest, non-recourse, subordinate loan) for up to $50,000 to assist eligible borrowers with payments on their mortgage principal, interest, mortgage insurance, taxes and hazard insurance for up to 24 months or through other programs designed by each eligible state.
Cruz is concerned Guam may have been overlooked under the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund program which represents $2 billion of the total package. States identified to be eligible under this program were selected because their average home prices plummeted by over 20 percent since the beginning the housing market crash in 2007. Cruz believes this may have in fact happened on Guam according to data compiled by a local real estate firm.
Cruz wants to also ensure Guam fully participates in the HUD Emergency Homeowners Loan Program which will address the needs of homeowners in local
areas that may not be in the states that were identified in the Treasury program.
The Department of Treasury has yet to identify eligible local areas.