Free Mortgage Assistance Starts Thursday
There's good news for anyone struggling with a mortgage that's worth more than their home's value.
If you are eligible, you could receive up to $50,000 worth of help from the state.
Florida's high foreclosure rate lead to the Federal Government giving the state one billion dollars worth of assistance money in 2010. Homeowners drowning in underwater mortgages will be eligible for the money starting Thursday.
"What we're hoping is that, for those who qualify, up to 50 thousand dollars will come off of that unpaid principal balance," said Cecka Rose Green, Florida Housing Finance Corporation.
Applicants for the Hardest Hit Fund will need to be current on their mortgage payments. Homeowners must have purchased their house before 2010. Their unpaid balance can't be more than $350,000. There are also income limitations.
The state tried the program back in September, but it was only open for a few days.
That's because the program capped applications at 25 thousand. The Florida Housing Finance Corporation says there will be no limit this time around.
"Currently we have approved 2,400 homeowners in the state and we have allotted about 102 million dollars from the original 350 million dollars that has been earmarked for this program," said Green.
While this program was closed another that helped people behind on their payments remained ongoing. Walter Dartland with the Consumer Federation of the Southeast says the whole system is broken.
"What you have to do is have a simple system to advise people and encourage them to apply even if they don't think they qualify. Because they may or they may not, don't discourage them from doing that," said Dartland.
The state has until 2017 to spend all of its assistance money. They have a little over half a billion left.
The application website will open at 9 a.m. Thursday. You can visit www.principalreductionFLHHF.org to apply. The website will include details on eligibility requirements.
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