Sen. Bill Nelson wants federal investigation of Florida's Hardest Hit Fund after Tampa Bay Times investigation
Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for a federal investigation of Florida's Hardest Hit Fund, a $1 billion mortgage assistance program that has denied aid to thousands of desperate homeowners while helping felons, tax scofflaws and people chronically in debt.
Nelson's request was prompted by a Tampa Bay Times investigation that uncovered dozens of homeowners with questionable backgrounds getting aid.
It also comes as state officials are moving forward with a plan that could change how some of the money is used. Starting in the Tampa Bay area, they propose spending $50 million in Hardest Hit Fund money to reduce loan principals, a boon to homeowners who owe more than their property is worth.
In a letter accusing state officials of "mismanagement" and "inaction," Nelson urged an investigation by the special inspector general of the federal Troubled Assets Relief Program, commonly known as TARP.