Are you eligible for The Florida Hardest Hit program?
In February 2010, Florida received $1 billion dollars in Hardest Hit money to help eligible homeowners to bring their mortgages current ($18,000 cap) and receive up to a year of mortgage payments ($24,000 cap)or just bring the mortgage current ($25,000 cap).
As of the audit by the April audit by the inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program Florida has used 5% of the funds for homeowners with 5,995 being helped. Florida needs to ramp up it’s approval process in order to meet the goals set…45,000 helped by 2017. Since the quarterly report was released to Congress, the Florida program has been retooled to increase the amount of assistance to homeowners and increase the eligibility pool.
Hardest Hit applications are available online at flhardesthithelp.org or by calling (877) 863-5244. Some eligibility requirements for Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund:
• Must be a Florida resident and a legal U.S. resident.
• Must occupy property as primary residence.
• Must be unemployed or underemployed, with at least a 10 percent reduction in income.
A Sarasota, Florida resident, Stephen P. said he was receiving money from the Hardest Hit Program starting in April and then was kicked out after he couldn’t reach his case manager to check in with required documents. Since then he has been reapproved for the plan and has been able to keep his home. Document processing and working through the non-profits that manage the program seem to be sited as the most common problem and obstacle to entering and staying in the program.
I suspect that the red tape is a problem for many that apply but staying proactive through the process is usually required for any assistance that someone seeks. It is daunting for those who are not familiar with government processes. The paperwork can be intimidating. But the effort could make the difference in keeping your home, and that’s usually worth it.