Last Friday, the board of directors at Florida Housing Finance Corporation approved changes to eligibility requirements for the Florida Hardest-Hit Fund (HHF) Program. Such changes will not be effective until the U.S. Treasury reviews and accepts the revised term sheets for the program, Advisor Agencies have been re-trained, and the online application is updated. The new program is expected to take effect in June or July, 2012. As of April 9, 2012, $101.8 million has been set aside for eligible applicants in the State of Florida (though the state received more than $1 billion from the federal government in 2010).
Highlights of the newly-expanded program include:
- Up to 12 months of mortgage payments on behalf of unemployed or underemployed borrowers (up from 6 months);
- Mortgage reinstatement to bring delinquent mortgages current, up to $18,000 (currently the maximum is $6,000);
- Allowing more condominium unit homeowners to be eligible for relief;
- Making the program available to homeowners regardless of when their mortgages originated (rather than limiting the program only to those whose loans originated on or before January 1, 2009);
- Extending eligibility to homeowners who are delinquent more than 6 months (if the servicer agrees); and
- Requiring a minimum 10% reduction in income to constitute a hardship.
The foreclosure defense attorneys at PERENICH The Law Firm are monitoring the progress of these ongoing changes in the Florida Hardest Hit Program. For years, we have assisted homeowners throughout the Tampa Bay, Florida area in saving their homes from foreclosure by negotiating mortgage loan modifications at mediation, defending their foreclosure cases in court, and helping them catch up on missed payments in Chapter 13 bankruptcy.