Foreclosure Prevention Assistance: The Florida Hardest-Hit Fund (HHF)

The federal government has allocated funding through the Florida Hardest-Hit Fund (HHF) program to help pay the mortgages of qualified homeowners who are unemployed or underemployed through no fault of their own. Troubled homeowners in all 67 counties can apply for financial assistance.

Homeowners who qualify for financial assistance may receive up to 12 months of monthly first mortgage payments (including escrowed mortgage-related expenses) and funds to pay past due first mortgage payments to bring the mortgage current; these funds are paid directly to the loan servicer/lender. Homeowners may also apply for Principal Reduction assistance if they owe significantly more than their home is currently worth.

Florida Housing Coalition’s Florida Hardest-Hit Fund Technical Assistance

Since the program’s inception in 2010, the Florida Housing Coalition has provided technical assistance and training to Advisor Agencies throughout Florida that help to implement the Hardest Hit program.

Training has been offered through face-to-face workshops, as well as regular staff calls and telephone technical assistance. The Coalition has offered assistance throughout the development of HHF – during the pilot program in Lee County, when the program was prepared to launched statewide, and when staff has required refresher training. Here is some of the feedback the Coalition received from its last round of workshops:

“It was very informative and it is good to have twice a year workshops to continue to expand our knowledge.”

“You all always do such a thorough job. Excellent information and explanations. Was worth the trip!”

“Fun and enjoyable workshop with every section explained thoroughly. As a result, I am much more confident with the program.”

Florida Housing Finance Corporation Hardest Hit Resources

Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) administers the Florida Hardest-Hit Fund. Quarterly reports to the US Department of Treasury that outline the progress of HHF are available on Florida Housing’s website.

Apply for Hardest Hit Fund Program Assistance
Use the official application website to apply for Florida HHF program assistance with your monthly mortgage payment or past due amount.

 

U.S. Dept. of Treasury announced additional Hardest Hit Funding – Florida slated to receive nearly $78 Million

Florida is slated to receive nearly $78 million in additional funding from the federal Hardest Hit Fund (HHF).  On February 19, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced it will obligate up to $2 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds for distribution to the 19 state already participating in the federal program.  This will be a fifth round of HHF funding, which will be allocated in two phases of $1 billion each.  Under the first phase that is based mostly on population data, Florida’s allocation is $77,896,538.  The State has until December 31, 2020, to use its HHF funds (including those previously allocated)which is an extension from the current program end date of December 31, 2017.  The second phase will be an application process. 

The additional allocation provides participating HHF states and the housing finance agencies (HFAs) that administer programs with more resources to continue assisting struggling homeowners and helping to stabilize neighborhoods in many of the nation’s hardest-hit communities. Florida’s HHF currently has six programs and, to date, has assisted 26,106 families with committed funds totaling $667.6 million, which is second in the country for number of families assisted.

Click here for more details.

 

ALTERNATIVE ASSISTANCE: Principal Reduction (PR)

The the Principal Reduction (PR) program is for homeowners who are current on mortgage payments, but may be struggling to afford them.  The PR program provides up to $50,000 to help reduce the principal balance of the first mortgage.

Eligible homeowners must have “underwater” mortgages, in which the mortgage loan is higher than the value of the property.  The loan-to-value for the first mortgage must be greater than 125%.  Other eligibility requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • Must be a Florida resident and a legal US resident/legal alien;
  • Must occupy property as primary residence;
  • Must be current on the monthly mortgage payment (cannot be 60 or more days late on the first mortgage within the past 24 months);
  • Property must have been purchased prior to January 1, 2010;
  • Must have an unpaid principal balance (UPB) that does not exceed $350,000 for the first mortgage;
  • Total household income (including all persons living in the home age 18 years and older) must be less than 140% of the area median income (AMI) as provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

For more information and to apply online, visit the Principal Reduction – Florida Hardest Hit website.