Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, March 19 2012 at 4:09 PM, Updated: Mon, March 19 2012 at 4:20 PM
If you're unemployed and struggling with a mortgage, here's some news that just might help you to keep your home.
Chantelle Lumbreras was just approved for the Mortgage Payment Assistance / Unemployment Program - that will help her to keep her home.
"I was laid off in May of last year, and I have two children."
Michelle Scott of Klamath & Lake Community Action Services notes that the program will cover mortgage payments for up to one year, or 20 thousand dollars - whichever comes first.
"We've been allocated 107 slots for Klamath County, and 47 for Lake County."
The first phase of the program began in 2010, and Scott notes that more homeowners will qualify for this second phase...
"Far less restrictions. This is an unemployment program, where if you are receiving unemployment benefits, and you are on the deed or trust, or the note, you'll be eligible."
"My mortgage is through a major lender, so that qualified me." Added Lumbreras.
The program is administered through ACCESS of Medford, and Klamath & Lake Community Action Services of Klamath Falls. Scott notes that the program has already helped over 100 families in Klamath County...
"We're seeing them exit off the program at this point."
And now, the program will help Chantelle Lumbreras...
"I feel like I can breathe. I feel some relief. I'm excited - I think it's a great thing."
You'll find more information online at: www.oregonhomeownerhelp.org
Over 4,000 Oregonians qualified for mortgage assistance during the first phase of the program in 2010. The second phase is expected to help about 3,000 more.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.