Business & Economy

Riverside County residents at risk of foreclosure may qualify for financial aid

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Riverside County homeowners on the brink of foreclosure have some new ways to seek help. The California Housing Finance Agency is launching a series of financial aid programs.

The U.S. Treasury allocated close to $2 billion for distribution to Californians in, or on the brink of, foreclosure. The state Housing Finance Agency plans to award the money on a case-by-case basis.

The taxpayer-funded programs can offer up to $50,000 in aid to each qualifying homeowner. Homeowners don’t have to pay back the money unless they choose to sell their property within three years.

To qualify, property owners must also plan to stay in their residence for at least three years. They also cannot own second properties like vacation houses, and they can’t have taken out home equity lines of credit.

Riverside County recorded the second-highest foreclosure rate in California last year, with about 7 percent of the region’s homes in some stage of the foreclosure process.