Construction and manufacturing sectors lost 5,500 jobs from February 2009 to February 2010, according to Texas Workforce Commission statistics reported in the Austin American-Statesman. The leisure and hospitality sector gained 5,000 jobs over the same period. The statewide unemployment rate was 8.2 percent last month, holding steady, a sign that the labor market has bottomed out. Austin and Texas are starting to feel some of the economic pain of the recession.
Meanwhile the Obama Administration is revising its plan to prevent foreclosures. Borrowers will get help in three ways: Jobless homeowners can get a three- to six-month break on their mortgage payments. Banks will get financial incentives to reduce mortgage balances for underwater borrowers. And lenders can offer refinanced loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration to these borrowers.
There’s a specific program for unemployed homeowners:
Borrowers will have three to six months in which they’ll have to spend no more than 31 percent of their monthly income on their mortgages. If you do find a job during that time, you will be evaluated for a loan modification that could permanently reduce your payments.
The story links to the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program.
If you are struggling to make your monthly mortgage payments you should contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency for free advice and help working with your mortgage servicer. Trained professionals are available to help you explore loan modification or refinance options, including those offered through the Making Home Affordable program.
That site has a foreclosure counselor lookup.