Bryan Cohen Apr. 16, 2013, 6:54pm

DOVER, Del. (Legal Newsline) - Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced Monday that manufactured homeowners will be able to participate in foreclosure prevention programs through the new Manufactured Housing Assistance Program.

The MHAP is now available for manufactured homeowners through Delaware Homeowner Relief, a partnership between Biden's office and the Delaware State Housing Authority. The program allows the owners of manufactured homes on rented land or on a lot owned by the homeowner to receive payment assistance for past due home payments and/or lot rent.

Before the institution of the program, many manufactured homeowners were unable to participate in foreclosure prevention programs because their homes were considered personal property and not real estate.

"The housing crisis that brought our economy to the brink of collapse has affected homeowners throughout Delaware," Biden said. "We are using a portion of the national foreclosure settlement to provide some relief to manufactured home owners who have been hurt by the downturn in the economy."

Biden's office secured approximately $45 million for the state of Delaware in the national mortgage foreclosure settlement with the five largest mortgage servicing banks in the U.S.

Eligible manufactured homeowners will receive a maximum benefit of up to $5,000 to use toward arrearages, in addition to continuing payment assistance up to 12 months or until reaching the maximum benefit. Applicants must have suffered a 15 percent or more decrease in income from loss of employment, injury, illness or reduction in hours.

MHAP provides no-interest loans secured by a lien must be repaid if the property is sold or refinanced, if the borrower no longer lives in the property or if a title is transferred.

Manufactured homes make up approximately 11 percent of the housing stock in Delaware. Homeowners at risk of eviction or repossession can meet with an approved MHAP housing counseling agency right away to determine if they are eligible for the program.

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