Frequently Asked Questions
Unemployment Bridge Program (UBP) Questions
Q. Do I have to be in the foreclosure process to speak to a Kentucky Homeownership Protection Center counselor?
A. No. The Kentucky Homeownership Protection Center is a resource for all Kentuckians. If you have questions about budgeting, credit, utility assistance, home repairs or foreclosure, our staff is here to help you.
Q. Will it cost me anything to work with the Kentucky Homeownership Protection Center?
A. No. All counseling services are free to callers through the Protection Center. Some callers may qualify for free legal advice from Legal Aid. Contact us now to find out what possibilities are available for your situation.
Q. What is the difference between a lender and a servicer?
A. A lender originally provided the funds for your loan when you first got your house. A servicer collects the monthly mortgage payments for the lender and if you have an escrow account, they also pay the taxes and homeowner's insurance on your behalf. Often the servicer is a different company than your original lender.
Q. How can I find out who my servicer is and how to contact them?
A. The name of your servicer, their address and phone number should be listed on your monthly mortgage statement or mortgage coupons.
Q. What information should I have when I call my servicer?
A. You should have your account number from your mortgage statement or payment coupons, a brief explanation of your situation, a copy of your paycheck stub or other income information and a list of regular household expenses.
Q. What is foreclosure?
A. Foreclosure is a legal process where a bank or mortgage company can take back a home to satisfy a mortgage debt to them. For a full explanation, please view the About Foreclosure page.
Q. Who can foreclose on my property?
A. Anyone who has a mortgage or lien on your property can foreclose if you do not repay your loan.
Q. From the first time I become delinquent on my payment, how long does it take to complete the full foreclosure process?
A. Different types of loans have different time frames. The foreclosure process is also affected by state laws and regulations. Contact us to speak to a counselor who can advise you in your situation.
Q. If I have already missed a payment, do I have alternatives to facing foreclosure?
A. Yes. Immediately call your servicer to explore loss mitigation strategies and work out options. The sooner you call, the more options you have. If you are unable to work with your servicer, Contact us immediately. A counselor can help you find an alternative at no cost to you. To better understand your options, please view the Alternatives to Foreclosure page.
Q. How do I know if I qualify for a foreclosure alternative?
A. A counselor can help you determine what your needs are and what plan would work best in your situation. Contact us to speak to someone who can help.
Q. How many payments do I need to miss before I lose my home?
A. A loan is in default after the first missed payment. Your mortgage contract should state how many payments must be missed before a notice of default is sent. Most servicers will start the foreclosure process after three missed payments, but late charges and fees can quickly add up after the first. If you have missed a payment or are about to, call your servicer immediately and inform them of the situation. If you are unable to work with your servicer, please contact us as soon as possible.
Q. I have received a foreclosure warning, should I move out now?
A. No. You are not required to leave your home until it is the property of another person. Stay in your home to make sure you qualify for any possible assistance. Call us immediately to speak to a qualified counselor at no charge.
Q. My lender has started foreclosure proceedings. What should I do?
A. Contact an attorney immediately. Many counties have lawyer referral services that can assist you in finding an attorney. Some Kentuckians may qualify for free legal advice from Legal Aid. Contact us to discover all your options.
Q. What about all the advertisements I see that tell me I can keep my house for a small fee to a private company?
A. There are many unscrupulous people in the world who will take advantage of the panic a homeowner feels when faced with foreclosure. Do not sign anything or make any agreement without speaking to a reputable counselor first. Contact us to find a counselor in your area.
Q. My loan is currently in foreclosure. I have called to get reinstatement figures and found that there are foreclosure fees and costs due. Why do I have to pay these fees?
A. Many mortgage agreements specify that if the servicer has to take legal action, any expenses incurred will become the responsibility of the borrower for reimbursement. This would also include any costs for property preservation and would have to be paid in addition to payments that are due.
Q. When does a homeowner’s legal responsibility stop in the foreclosure process?
A. The property remains the homeowner’s responsibility until the foreclosure sale has been confirmed. This process can take quite some time depending on the circumstances and the court schedule. Even if the homeowner has vacated the property, it still remains in their name until the sale has been confirmed.
Q. I experienced a foreclosure of my home during this past year. When I went to have my taxes done, I have been informed that I am responsible for additional tax liabilities. Why does this happen?
A. There are tax consequences to any financial situation, such as a foreclosure. Your tax consultant will be able to explain these consequences. For more information about the effects of foreclosure on your taxes, visit the IRS Web site or contact us to speak to a counselor who can answer many questions.
Q. I lost money on the foreclosure of my home. Can I claim a loss on my tax return?
A. No. Losses from the sale or foreclosure of personal property are not deductible.
Q. If I were to file bankruptcy, would that help me?
A. Bankruptcy will suspend the foreclosure proceedings and give you time to work out a plan through the courts. However, you should speak to a qualified counselor and/or attorney before taking this course of action. Bankruptcy can lead to more financial problems down the road. Call us immediately to find out your options.
Q. If I lose my property through foreclosure, will I get any money from the foreclosure sale?
A. Possibly. Before you receive any money, the remaining balance on the mortgage, outstanding property taxes and court fees must be paid first. Usually, there will be little to no money left for you.
Q. How does Kentucky’s Unemployment Bridge Program (UBP) work?
A. Kentucky’s Unemployment Bridge Program (UBP) is a new loan option of eligible homeowners to assist them in making their mortgage payments. To be eligible, the homeowner must have experienced a job loss or reduction in income due to changing economic conditions, through no fault of their own, and must demonstrate a need for assistance. The employment or income-related event must have occurred within the three(3) year period prior to the date of application. The maximum amount of assistance is $30,000 or 18 months, whichever comes first (effective with closings on or after March 4, 2013). Of the $30,000, the maximum amount that may be used for reinstatement—all related fees and payments to bring the loans) current—is $12,500.
Q. Can I enroll in the Unemployment Bridge Program if my servicer won’t accept the payments?
A. No. Unemployment Bridge Program is only available to borrowers whose mortgage servicing company agrees to partner with Kentucky Housing Corporation. A borrower cannot receive assistance if their servicer has not enrolled as a participating servicer.
Q. Can the Unemployment Bridge Program pay my rent?
A. No. Renters are ineligible for the Unemployment Bridge Program.
Q. Can the Unemployment Bridge Program pay the mortgage on my investment properties?
A. No. The Unemployment Bridge Program will only pay the first and second mortgage payments for a homeowner’s primary residence.
Q. Can I access the Unemployment Bridge Program without using my personal savings?
A. Homeowners may only retain six (6) months PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance) in liquid assets (excluding retirement funds). Anything over that amount may be used toward your mortgage or other debts before you are eligible for UBP.
Q. What are the eligibility requirements?
A. Homeowners must meet all criteria within each category to qualify. However, homeowners who meet all eligibility criteria are not guaranteed approval for UBP assistance; homeowners can still be denied eligibility by their mortgage servicer.
- Must be a Kentucky resident;
- Must occupy property as primary residence;
- Maximum amount of liens on the property cannot exceed $275,000.
- Maximum of two mortgage liens permitted on the property.
- Must be unemployed or have experienced a reduction in employment income due to changing economic conditions, through no fault of their own. The employment or income-related event must have occurred within the three(3) year period prior to the date of application.
- Must demonstrate a need for assistance.*
- Maximum mount of liquid reserves is six (6) months PITI**. (excluding retirement funds)
- The servicer of the loan must be enrolled as a participating servicer. A borrower cannot receive UBP assistance if their servicer has not enrolled as a participating servicer.
*Unemployed homeowners are receiving or eligible to receive unemployment income. They demonstrate a need for assistance if their PITI exceeds 31% of their current gross monthly income or their current income is at least 15% less than their pre-event income. Underemployed homeowners are working but have experienced a reduction in their employment income compared to their pre-event income. They demonstrate a need for assistance when their current income is at least 15% less than their pre-event income.
**Homeowners who have unencumbered assets or cash reserves (not including retirement or qualified education plans) that are equal to or more than six times the total monthly mortgage payment (including tax and insurance payments), must first use those assets toward mortgage payments or other existing debt before being eligible for UBP funds.
Homeowner cannot have:
- A seller financed mortgage;
- An active bankruptcy; and
- A conviction within the last ten years on a mortgage‐related felony.
**NOTE: Homeowners will be required to sign a certification stating s/he has not been convicted of a mortgage-related felony in the last ten years; this includes larceny, theft, fraud, forgery, money laundering, and/or tax evasion.
Q. Which properties can be used with the Unemployment Bridge Program?
A. A homeowner’s primary residence must be located in Kentucky and can be any one of the following structures:
- A single-family home;
- A condominium [unit must be listed on current Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae approved list];
- A townhome; or
- A manufactured or mobile home on a foundation permanently affixed to real estate owned by the homeowners;
- The property cannot be abandoned, vacant, or condemned; and
- The homeowner cannot have more than one property other than their primary residence.
Q. How do I apply for the Unemployment Bridge Program (UBP)?
A. To apply for financial assistance from UBP, you will need to use our Web-based system from a computer with Internet access. The Web site address is www.ProtectMyKYHome.org; this site contains all the information you will need to begin your application for assistance, with step-by-step instruction and prompts to help you.
You simply click “Get Free Help” and enter minimal information. Once completed, the system will assign a counselor to you and will then lead you to a list of documents to print and take with you when you meet with your counselor. You will be provided their contact information and will be instructed to call them to set up your first appointment. Appointments may be completed over the phone if you are unable to physically go to your counselor’s office.
If you do not have access to the Internet from your residence, public computers can be found throughout many communities at public libraries, schools or educational centers, or government‐run facilities in your county.
When you first contact your counselor, you will be completing information related to your financial situation. Therefore, it will be necessary for you to have the following documents readily available:
- Information about your first mortgage, such as your monthly mortgage statement;
- Information about any second mortgage or home equity line of credit, or other liens on the house;
- Your most recent income tax return;
- Information about your checking and/or savings accounts, and other assets; and
- Information about the monthly gross (before tax) income of your household, including recent pay stubs, or documentation of income you receive from other sources, such as unemployment compensation.
Q. What if I do not have internet access?
A. You may also call a toll-free hotline to access this program at (866) 830-7868. Much of the intake may be done over the phone and an initial package of information may be mailed to you. You will then complete the paperwork, gather your information about your mortgage, paystubs, bank statements, and previous year’s tax returns before calling your assigned counselor.
Q. What happens once I complete the application?
A. Once you complete the required application forms and gather documentation concerning your finances (paystubs, bank statements, tax returns, mortgage information), you will contact your automatically assigned counselor to set up an appointment. Please keep in mind that interest in these programs is high, so your appointment may be set for several weeks after you initially contact your counselor.
Q. How much assistance is available for me?
A. A homeowner may receive a maximum of $30,000 (effective with closings on or after March 1, 2013) in UBP assistance. Of that amount, up to $12,500 may be used towards reinstatement—the amount of fees and payments needed to bring the mortgage(s) current.
The funds used to pay the monthly mortgage payment(s), including any possible reinstatement will be disbursed by Kentucky Housing Corporation directly to the loan servicer on behalf of the homeowner.
Q. Will I have to pay back the Unemployment Bridge Loan?
A. The Unemployment Bridge Program funds will be in the form of a 0 percent‐interest, deferred-payment loan that will be subordinate to current mortgages on the home. The loan is forgiven at a rate of 20 percent on the closing anniversary each year over a five-year period.
The UBP loan must be paid back if your home is sold prior to the end of the loan period and there are sufficient proceeds from the sale after paying all superior secured loans.
Kentucky Housing will agree to make the UBP loan subordinate for homeowners who refinance their mortgage(s) to receive more favorable loan terms. However, if a homeowner refinances the mortgage loan(s) to consolidate debt or receive cash out, the homeowner will be required to repay the UBP loan according to the loan terms.
Q. What if I have questions about the application I have already completed or I have questions during the process of completing the application?
Once you completed the initial information on the UBP Web site or completed the initial intake over the phone, you would have received contact information for your assigned counselor. If you have additional questions about your application at any stage in the process, you should contact your assigned counselor directly.
Q. Where can I find additional information about the Kentucky’s Unemployment Bridge Program?
More information on the UBP can be found on the Web site at www.ProtectMyKYHome.org.
Q. What if I decide to refinance my mortgage while receiving UBP mortgage payment assistance?
Homeowner's may refinance their mortgages at any time and are encouraged to do so in order to obtain a more affordable mortgage payment. FAQ's previous detailed that Kentucky Housing will subordinate the UBP mortgage to the new mortgage that results from the refinance. However, homeowner's who refinance during the period of time in which the UBP is making mortgage payments should note that once the original mortgage has been paid off with the new mortgage, UBP assistance will end. UBP assistance will not transfer over to the new mortgage.
Q. Active bankruptcy is listed as an exclusion from eligibility requirements. What if my bankruptcy has been discharged?
Discharged bankruptcies are inactive bankruptcies and are therefore, eligible under UBP guidelines. However, homeowner's with a discharged Chapter 7 Bankruptcy must provide a copy of their Reaffirmation Agreement to their mortgage.
Q. I filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Do I need to provide a Reaffirmation Agreement?
No. Chapter 13 bankruptcy does not discharge debt. Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges debts and therefore, require a Reaffirmation Agreement in order to qualify for UBP.
Q. I did not file a Reaffirmation Agreement during my Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Is it too late to get one?
Homeowners would need to discuss reopening their bankruptcy case with their attorney in order to get the reaffirmation agreement after discharge.
Q. I did not include my mortgage in my Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Do I qualify for UBP?
Chapter 7 (No Asset) bankruptcies discharge ALL debts whether they were listed in the schedule of creditors or not. Omitting a creditor from that schedule simply means the creditor was never notified of the filing. However, in the eyes of the bankruptcy court, that debt has been discharged. Therefore, no exceptions will be made to the requirement of the reaffirmation agreement. Applicants would need to discuss reopening their bankruptcy case with their attorney in order to get the reaffirmation agreement after the discharge.
Q. I did not reaffirm my mortgage during Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, I did complete a mortgage modification afterwards. Does that work the same as a Reaffirmation Agreement?
Mortgages that were included in the bankruptcy and were discharged along with other debts, rather than be reaffirmed, do not qualify for the UBP, even if those mortgages were modified after the bankruptcy discharge. The only way to re-obligate a borrower to the loan is to reaffirm.
Q. Do federal employees being furloughed due to sequestration qualify for the Unemployment Bridge Program?
KHC has determined that furloughs alone do not qualify for UBP for the reasons detailed below, federal or otherwise:
1. In order to qualify for UBP program as "under-employed," applicants must demonstrate that they have lost 15% of their income--not that they anticipate losing the income. Therefore, they would have to be well into their furloughs before they could apply and then would have to demonstrate a continuance of the furlough.
2. Furlough is a temporary situation--not an indefinite loss of job or income.
3. One example of a letter received from a federal agency detailed the furlough as 88 hours over 11 weeks. If they work 40 hours/week and 52 weeks a year then the 88 hours out of 2080 hours represents only 4.2% reduction in their annual income. Applicants would have to lose 312 out of 2080 hours before they would demonstrate a 15% reduction in their income and by the time most would, the furlough period would be over.
4. Intermittent furloughs are ineligible for unemployment benefits as the unpaid leave is typically a day or two each pay period, not an extended amount of time.
Q. I completed the Unemployment Bridge Program under former terms. Now I see that the maximum amount of assistance has been increased. Can I reapply for more assistance?
No. A homeowner is committed to the terms of their UBP Note and Mortgage. Once maximum assistance has been provided, a homeowner cannot access the program again under new terms.