The Hardest Hit Fund Program has been established by the federal government to help pay the mortgages of qualified homeowners who are unemployed or underemployed through no fault of their own. Currently, this funding is only available to homeowners in Lee County, FL as a pilot program. The program is expected to become available statewide in early 2011. For a complete list of programs providing help for troubled homeowners click HERE.
Homeowners who qualify for financial assistance may receive up to 18 months of monthly mortgage payments and/or funds to pay past due mortgage payments to bring the mortgage current; these funds are paid directly to the loan servicer/lender.
Homeowners must meet ALL ELIGIBILITY requirements to be considered for the program. Please review the following criteria and refer your clients to www.flhardesthithelp.org for assistance.
An eligible homeowner:
- Must be a Florida resident
- Must occupy property as primary residence (the property cannot be vacant, abandoned or rented)
- Must have suffered an approved hardship that makes the first mortgage unaffordable
- Must have documented total income at or below 140% of the area median income (AMI), adjusted for household size (in Lee County, the total income for a household of our cannot be more than $86,240)
- May not have unencumbered assets of $5,000 or three times the current monthly mortgage payment (whichever is greater)
- Cannot have a bankruptcy that has not been discharged
- Cannot have been convicted of a mortgage-related felony in the last 10 years
The current mortgage:
- Must be serviced by a participating lender, who agrees to accept payments on behalf of the homeowner
- Must not be more than 90 days past due at the time of application
- Must have been originated on or before January 1, 2009
- Must have an existing principal balance of less that $400,000
The list above is not all inclusive; other information and documents will be required prior to determining eligibility. For a complete list of requirements or to begin the application process, got to www.flhardesthithelp.org.