Today is the last day to apply for mortgage help from Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund. Homeowners can seek relief from these programs:
The Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program will provide unemployed or underemployed borrowers with up to 12 months of payments or $24,000, whichever comes first. Additionally, up to $18,000 can be paid to help satisfy all or some of any past due amounts on a first mortgage.
The Mortgage Loan Reinstatment Payment Program is a one-time payment of up to $25,000 to the lender to help satisfy all or some of any past due amounts owed on a first mortgage.
Florida homeowners can apply for either of these programs at www.FLHardestHitHelp.org.
The Principal Reduction Program is designed to assist eligible homeowners by providing up to $50,000 to reduce the principal balance of the first mortgage. Apply for this program at www.PrincipalReductionFLHHF.org.
The Elderly Mortgage Assistance Program (ELMORE) is for seniors who are in arrears on their reverse mortgage by providing up to $50,000 to pay past due and future property charges so that they may avoid foreclosure and can stay in their homes.
Florida homeowners with a reverse mortgage can apply for the program through the toll-free ELMORE Application and Information Line at 1-(800) 601-3534. A live advisor will assist applicants with the process.
Downpayment Assistance Program provides qualified first-time homebuyers with up to $15,000 in down payment and closing costs assistance. The program is available only in Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough, Polk, Brevard, Clay, Orange, Osceola, St. Lucie and Volusia counties. Information on how to apply is available at www.floridahousing. org
The $7.6 billion federal Hardest Hit Fund was created in 2010 to help Florida and 17 other states that had been wracked by the housing crash. Although Florida’s $1.1 billion share helped more than 45,000 homeowners, critics have charged that the programs have been poorly run and failed to help thousands of other desperate borrowers.