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Last Friday, the State of Florida powers-that-be announced that they were revamping the Hardest Hit Fund for Florida residents, making eligibility requirements easier to meet for lots of Floridians.   Which is good news if you are past due on your mortgage payments, right?

What’s the Florida Hardest Hit Fund?

Go here for our earlier post that gives all the details.

Of course, the okay by the Board of Directors for the Florida Housing Finance Corporation is not enough: the federal government has to give its approval, as well – and this is expected to come from the Treasury Department sometime this month.  Looks like Florida homeowners fighting foreclosure to stay in their homes may soon have more time and money available via the Hardest Hit Fund as soon as late June 2012.

No need to wait for details on how the FHFC has changed the Florida Hardest-Hit Fund (HHF) Program; unless the Treasury suits revise the terms that the Florida Housing board submitted, things should change as follows (though the public notice with final changes will not be released until the federal stamp of approval is given) according to the FHFC Board Notice:

First, the money assistance for those out of work or cash-strapped is to be offered in two ways:

  • an unemployment mortgage assistance program, where HHF pays the monthly mortgage payment; or
  • a mortgage catch-up, where HHF pays the past-due mortgage payments in an HHF loan reinstatement payment program.

Second, the amount of money available for mortgage payments has increased:

  • now, HHF fund can provide monthly mortgage payments can be paid up to one full year at a total of $24,000 (before, it was over after 6 months with a cap of $12,000);
  • HHF will provide money to bring a mortgage current up to a total of $18,000 (three times more than the old total of $6000);
  • HHF will pay up to $25,000 to homeowners applying to have their past due mortgage payments;

Third, time limits have changed:

  • HHF no longer has a deadline to determine which mortgages are eligible for the HHF program – which makes the Hardest Hit Fund available to more Florida home owners than other the old requirement of mortgages issued before Jan. 1, 2009.
  • Before, HHF was limited to mortgages that were less than 6 months behind; now, how many months a mortgage is past due isn’t a factor (but two requirements here remain: you cannot be in foreclosure and the mortgage servicer has to agree to the HHF participation).

Larry Tolchinsky’s Tip:

Florida homeowners need help as fast as they can get it: no one knows this better than a Florida foreclosure defense lawyer.  Attorneys defending Florida homeowners against the threat of Florida foreclosure actions are also very well aware that the Hardest Hit Fund has been around for a year now, and it’s hasn’t helped many people at all.

It makes sense that the Hardest Hit Fund has been revamped because it had to be.  As it was and by all accounts, it was a failure. Consider this: it’s reported that one year later,  over 90% of the $1 Billion of the federal TARP monies used to fund the Hardest Hit Fund is still sitting there.

Ninety Percent.

This new version of the Hardest Hit Fund is designed to help more Florida home owners avoid foreclosure.  Let’s hope that it is much more successful than its predecessor… of course, that won’t take much, will it?

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to Chat with Larry in the comments below, at info@hallandalelaw.com or (954) 458-8655.

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