Through a federal lottery, a portion of a homeowner's monthly bill can be paid for up to two years or $50,000 -- whichever comes first.
"The mortgage assistance is offered to individuals that are three months behind with their mortgage, they have to be unemployed or underemployed due to the economy or medical condition," says Kelly Gill-Gordon, who works with the Virginia Housing Development Authority.
Additional criteria must also be met, and not all who qualify will receive assistance. Those that do receive it will still have to contribute to mortgage payments.
"Homeowners would contribute 31 percent of their current monthly income or $150, whichever is greater," adds Gill-Gordon.
The selection process will be quick. Applications are due July 22, and housing officials will hope to have appointments scheduled by the middle of September.
"When the lottery information comes back, housing counseling agencies will immediately be setting up appointments, probably through the 15th of September," she says.
Recipients must stay current with their normal mortgage payments once the loan expires, and the loan is forgivable for those who do so for five years after the program begins.