It is hard to deny that we have suffered through some tough economic times in the recent years. Many individuals are still feeling the effects of the recession, including the hardships that come with homeownership when money is scarce. Property tax and mortgage payments can become overwhelming when an individual is trying to get by on very little. Fortunately there are resources in the community that can help educate and advise seniors when they are faced with foreclosure or struggling to come up with the funds to pay their property taxes. This list of resources is not exhaustive, but it does offer a few options for assistance.
Property Tax Assistance:
If paying your property taxes has become a burden for you, one of the following programs may offer some help.
1. Modified Reverse Mortgage Program through the City of Madison (608-266-5917)
2. The “Help” Property Tax Loan Program through Dane County (608-266-4109)
3. The Property Tax Deferral Loan Program through the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) (608-266-3528/1-800-755-7835)
These programs all have similar requirements for eligibility. Applications must be 65 years of age or older and have proof of homeowner’s insurance. For the City and the County program, the household income for one person cannot exceed $44,800. For the WHEDA program, the household income cannot exceed $20,000. The county and the WHEDA program will not pay for delinquent taxes, however the City’s program does offer assistance with delinquent taxes, although they will not pay for interest or penalties. Please contact the individual program you are interested in to get more information about borrowing limits and interest rates.
If you are in the process of foreclosure, have received a foreclosure summons, or may be worried you are going into foreclosure, one of these resources may offer you some assistance.
1. The Dane County Foreclosure Clinic. This clinic was created by the Dane County Foreclosure Prevention Taskforce and its legal partners in response to a rising number of homeowners facing foreclosure suits without lawyers — about 85 percent are unrepresented in court, program sponsors said. It’s every first and third Thursday in Room 354 of Madison’s City-County Building, the sessions, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., are not intended to provide detailed legal advice. It’s a first come, first serve basis.
2. City of Madison Foreclosure Prevention Program (261-5677).*
3. Greenpath Debt Solutions (888-776-6735). Request an appointment in the Madison/Monona office.*
*Information from the second and third resources listed were found on the Dane County Housing Authority’s Housing Center website: http://www.dcha.net/housingcenter/trouble-paying-your-mortage.php.
Taking advantage of the programs and information available in your community can give you a greater understanding of your situation and more control over your financial future. While these topics can be cumbersome, it is important to remember that there are individuals in the community who want to share their expertise and help you through a difficult process.