Senator Bill Nelson Wants Florida's Foreclosure Aid Program Investigated
Published March 28th, 2013
We have in florida about three times the national average of foreclosures." said Justin Simmons the Marketing Director for Allison Ables, a Gainesville real estate agency. In February 2010 "Florida's Hardest Hit Fund" was created for those on the verge of losing their home. This meant the US Treasury allocated funds to states in need, to assist in preventing foreclosures.
Today more than three years have passed and according to senator bill nelson 85 percent of the money hasnt been distributed to homeowners in need. Senator Bill Nelson urged an investigation by the "Troubled Assets Relief Program," because he says things have been mismanaged here. Senator Nelson, said, "I have asked the inspector general, of tarp to do an investigation in their on-going audit as to why the state of Florida was so slow."
According to Reality trac there are almost 32 thousand foreclosure properties. That's about one in every three hundred housing units. Florida's total award amounts to more than one billion dollars however nelson says only 15 percent of those funds have been spent to help people.
Simmons, says there's a reason for the foreclosure madness. "You know in florida we really did have during the real estate boom had a huge volume of new construction which you didn't see quite as prevalent in as many states. Now of course in north florida we didn't have quite as high a number as south florida. But simply the volume and density of the south florida real estate market really exasperated the problem during the real estate bubble."
Florida currently hands out the money to homeowners who lose their jobs or take pay cuts, as loan payments. Despite the circumstances with the little money that's been distributed, Simmons says it's not too late to apply for homeowners to apply for relief. "Senator Nelson is investigating right now the disbursements of the funds, right now only about 16 percent of the total funds have been allocated and the deadline for the program is december 31st, 2017. It is coming up pretty soon, especially with he foreclosure rate at the level that is is right now," Simmons said.
Nelson says there have been encouraging signs the state is easing access to the money, but he says after three years it needs to start moving faster.
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