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      Housing program aims to help avoid foreclosure

      A Michigan housing program will soon help thousands across the state avoid foreclosure.

      The Step Forward Michigan program was established earlier this year after the state received nearly $500 million in federal stimulus dollars.

      Now, local treasurers are working with families who face financial issues to help see if they qualify for money set aside by this program.

      "Our community is losing people left and right, because they can't stay in their homes and they can't find another job to get them back out of their whole it's very important to keep them here," Cheboygan County Treasurer Linda Cronan said.

      There are four programs that individuals can benefit from. Some help give a year's support to catch up on mortgage payments. Others can provide up to $30,000 in payments to help close the gap on money own in payments and/or back taxes.

      T o be eligible for the program , you must have fallen behind on paying your property taxes or your mortgage and ensure that you will be able to financially support yourself for years to come.

      " They have to show that they can make their payments in the future going forward after they are rescued , because they don't want to help people who are going to get in trouble next year and lose their home anyway when they could have spent the money to help people get bailed out who are going to be able to keep it moving forward ," Northern Homes Community Development Foreclosure Prevention Advocate Amy Rozycki explained.

      To find out if you are eligible, contact your county treasurer.