In February 2010, the US treasury created the Housing Finance Agency (HFA)
Innovation Fund for the Hardest-Hit Housing Markets (HFA Hardest Hit Fund). This fund was created due to the excessive housing market depression and subsequent high unemployment rates in the United States. On September 29, 2010, in the last round of funding, Florida was allocated more than 1 billion dollars to distribute to eligible homeowners. The pilot program was first offered to Lee County in October 2010, but the program will expand to other counties by early 2011. In November 2010, Florida Housing committee expanded the programs eligibly requirements to homeowners who are up to 180 days delinquent on their mortgages to quality for the funding. Previously, it was only available to homeowners who were 90 days or fewer delinquent on payments.
The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) was directed by the US Treasury to create and administer foreclosure prevention assistance programs for eligible Florida residents. Currently the Florida Housing has 2 available funds that generates from the Hardest Hit Fund, the Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program (UMAP) and the Mortgage Loan Reinstatement Payment (MLRP). **
The UMAP Program was created for individuals who are currently unemployed, underemployed, or had a reduction of income due to death, divorce, or disability of a borrower or co-borrower. The loan funds are to be used to pay the first monthly mortgage and escrowed mortgage-related expenses (i.e., property taxes, homeowners insurance, and mortgage insurance) for up to 18 months or until the homeowner can resume payment.
The MLRP Program is for eligible individuals who have in the past been unemployed, underemployed, or have had a reduction of income due to death, divorce, or disability of a borrower or co-borrower. The funds for this program are to be used to bring past-due first mortgages current. This program allows for past payments up to 4 months to be paid. Verification that the homeowner has returned to work and will be able to make payments will be required.
** Must be eligible and willing to complete a hardship affidavit.
Eligibility Requirements (“Flordia hardest hit,” 2010)
Eligibility requirements are organized into 3 categories: Household eligibility requirements; Property eligibility requirements; and Mortgage eligibility requirements. **
Household eligibility requirements:
• Must be a Florida resident;
• Must be a legal US resident or a legal alien;
• Must occupy property as primary residence;
• Must be unemployed or underemployed;
• Total household income must be below 140% of the area median income (AMI)
as provided by US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); total
household income includes all income for persons living in the home who are
age 18 years and older; and
• Must have monthly housing debt of more than 31% of the homeowner’s gross
monthly income; the combined monthly dollar cost of the mortgage principal,
interest, taxes, insurance and association dues of all secured mortgages must
be greater than 31% of the total household’s gross income after the financial
ALSO: Homeowners who have unencumbered assets or cash reserves (not
including retirement or qualified education plans) that are equal to or more than
three times the total monthly mortgage payment (including tax and insurance
payments), or that total $5,000 (whichever is greater), must first use those assets
toward mortgage payments or other existing debt before being eligible for
IN ADDITION: The borrower and/or co‐borrower, through no fault of their own,
must have experienced a financial hardship. The areas of financial hardship that
must be reviewed include job loss (unemployed), reduction in income or hours
worked (underemployed), or reduction of income for a self‐employed homeowner.
As of November 23, 2010, reduction of income due to the death, divorce or
disability of a borrower or co‐borrower will not qualify as a financial hardship.
Homeowner cannot have:
• A seller financed mortgage;
• A bankruptcy that has not been discharged or dismissed; and
• A conviction within the last 10 years on a mortgage‐related felony.
o Homeowners will be required to sign an affidavit stating s/he has not been
convicted of a mortgage‐related felony in the last 10 years; this includes
larceny, theft, fraud, forgery, money laundering and/or tax evasion.
Homeowner’s primary residence must be located in Florida and can be any one of
the following structures:
• A single‐family home;
• A condominium [unit must be listed on current Federal Housing Administration
(FHA), Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae approved list];
• A townhome;
• A manufactured or mobile home on a foundation permanently affixed to real
estate owned by the homeowners; or
• A two‐, three‐ or four‐family dwelling unit of which one unit is occupied by the
homeowner as the primary residence.
• The property cannot be abandoned, vacant or condemned; and
• The homeowner cannot have more than one property other than their primary
• First mortgage is currently being serviced by a participating servicer/lender (as
indicated by Florida Housing);
• First mortgage is with a regulated financial institution;
• First mortgage is no more than 180 days past due, at time of application;
• The existing first mortgage was originated on or before January 1, 2009, and the
outstanding principal balance of the first mortgage is $400,000 or less at the
time of application; and
• The maximum combined loan‐to‐value is not more than 200%.
• The mortgage cannot be seller‐financed.
** Homeowners must meet all criteria within in the 3 categories to qualify. Homeowners who meet all eligibility criteria are not guaranteed approval for UMAP/MLRP assistance (listed below); Homeowners can still be denied by their personal mortgage company.
Florida hardest hit. (2010). Retrieved from https://www.flhardesthithelp.org/
For more information on the Hardest Hit Fund, call or visit United Financial Counselors today!