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Disaster Loan Deadline Extended for Third Time

Posted at: 01/31/2013 10:11 PM
Updated at: 01/31/2013 10:17 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
manderson@wdio.com

Minnesota Housing announced another extension Thursday for Northland homeowners to apply for the Quick Start Loan Program. The new deadline gives homeowners through February to apply for a loan.

This is the third extension of the program since the original deadline passed in early December. To date, 139 loans in the amount of $2.1 million are in the pipeline, but they said hundreds more could qualify for the state loan.

"It will open up a couple dozen more people who will be able to apply to get these $40,000 loans from the state, and that's a really good thing because the process has been more complicated than anybody wants it to be," said Drew Digby, Special Projects of Long-Term Recovery Manager for Carlton County.

Digby said the process can be daunting for homeowners, many are seeking help but get lost in the paperwork.

"There's a lot of laws that sort of come into play that the federal government has to do this and the state government has to do this and then they sub-contract with a regional housing provider," Digby said.

To close a Quick Start loan the following is needed: a letter of denial or benefits from homeowner’s insurance; a letter of denial or partial benefits from SBA; photos of damage; proof of homeowner’s insurance; contractors bids and you need to be current on your mortgage and property taxes.

But Digby added although the work is frustrating, it's worth the loan.

"The state loans once you can get them are really fantastic because there's no interest, no payments, and if you live in your home for 10 years, it's completely forgiven," Digby said.

Digby said homeowners should call their hotline at (218) 499-9480 to be connected with a disaster case manager that will take them through every step of the qualifying process.