“Florida Hardest Hit” program is helping Orlando homeowners in a big way.
Florida Hardest Hit is part of a federal initiative to help states devastated by the housing crash. Last week state housing officials announced changes to a $1 billion foreclosure prevention program that will make it easier for qualified homeowners to get more money. As an Orlando Realtor this makes me happy because although not everyone will qualify for this program, it will be a savior for many Orlando homeowners.
The program offers money to cover mortgage payments for homeowners who are unemployed or in jobs with salaries below what they need for basic living expenses. Funds also are used to bring delinquent mortgages current for people who have returned to work or found higher-paying jobs.
One of the major new changes to the program is that homeowners that apply to Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund don’t have to be at least 180 days late on their mortgage to get qualified. Also, it will no longer be a requirement that loans have to be originated on or before Jan 1, 2009 and If you were formerly denied by the program you will now be able to reapply.
Keep in mind that these changes must be approved by the U.S. Treasury and likely won’t be effective for at least six to eight weeks.
One of the proposed changes is that unemployed homeowners can receive as much as $24,000 back to pay their mortgage over 1 year. Right now it stands at $12,000 which is a huge difference. Orlando homeowners also may be eligible for as much as $18,000 to bring past-due mortgages current. Although the program only began in April 2011, homeowners are already complaining that the Hardest Hit requirements were too restrictive.
Florida Hardest Hit has helped more than 5,540 homeowners statewide.
“Florida Hardest Hit” current qualifications for an eligible Orlando homeowner:
*Must be a Florida resident
*Must occupy property as primary residence (the property cannot be vacant, abandoned or rented)
*Borrower/co-borrower must be unemployed or underemployed through no fault of his/her own, which makes the first mortgage unaffordable
*Must have documented total household income at or below 140% of the area median income (AMI), adjusted for household size
*Must have an active checking/savings account that can be debited by the ACH method of funds transfer
*May not have unencumbered assets of $5,000 or more, or three times the current monthly mortgage payment (whichever is greater)
*Cannot have a bankruptcy that has not been discharged or dismissed
*Cannot have been convicted of a mortgage-related felony in the last 10 years.
To learn more about the program, contact an Orlando Realty Expert or go to http://www.flhardesthithelp.org.
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