Blog / 10.10.2016

New Way for Ohio Homeowners to Spell Relief: “D.O.L.L.A.R.”

(as in Ohio Sub. H.B. 303’s D.O.L.L.A.R. Deed Program)

By: Stephen D. Richman, Esq., Senior Counsel, KJK

On September 28, 2016, Ohio Sub. H.B. 303 became effective. Governor John R. Kasich signed the bill into law in June of this year, after unanimous passage in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate.  The most frequently asked questions and answers to the same are as follows:

What does Ohio Sub. H.B. 303 do?
The bill enacts new sections 5315.01, 5315.02, 5315.03, 5315.04, and 5315.05 of the Ohio Revised Code, creating the D.O.L.L.A.R. Deed Program.

Who introduced the bill and why?
Republican Reps. Jonathan Dever of Cincinnati and Robert McColley of Napoleon jointly introduced the bill last August. According to Rep. Dever, “This legislation is a small step in helping to keep the American dream of homeownership alive for thousands of Ohioans… As our communities struggle to preserve continuity, this legislation will be a tool to keep our neighborhoods together, kids in school, and bolster our economy.”

What is the basic premise of the D.O.L.L.A.R. Deed Program?
The program basically provides homeowners and lenders the option of allowing homeowners to remain in their homes as tenants instead of foreclosing on their property. During the tenancy (up to two years) the former homeowner will have the right to repurchase/refinance its property.

What do the letters in the D.O.L.L.A.R. acronym stand for?
The program’s acronym means Deed Over, Lender Leaseback, Agreed Refinance.

Who is eligible to apply?
Any mortgagor who is a resident of his/her home, whose debt to income ratios are below the then current ratios set for the program.

How does the program work?
Once an applicant applies, the lender is not required to participate, but must respond to the homeowner within thirty (30) days. If the lender approves the application, the homeowner and lender enter into a deed in lieu of foreclosure whereby the homeowner deeds title back to the lender, and in return, the lender terminates the foreclosure proceeding and enters into a lease for the property with the homeowner, which lease includes a right of the homeowner to repurchase the property with the lender refinancing the original loan. The homeowner must sign an estoppel affidavit acknowledging, among other things that the original mortgage is not extinguished during the lease term and that the homeowner relinquishes its statutory right to redeem the property outside of the program.

What are the terms of the lease?
Responsibilities of the tenant that are established by Ohio’s Landlord Tenant Act apply. However, statutory repair/maintenance obligations of the landlord do not apply to a lender-landlord under this program. The duration of the lease is the shorter of the period of time necessary for the homeowner to be approved for the new financing (or other FHA mortgage assistance) and two years. Rent cannot be less than monthly taxes, insurance and association or condominium dues.

Where can the full text of the “D.O.L.L.A.R. Deed statute” be found?
See Ohio General Assembly website for the full text of the Statutes: http://search-prod.lis.state.oh.us/solarapi/v1/general_assembly_131/bills/hb303/EN/05?format=pdf