- The Hardest Hit Fund - What It Is And Is Not
- April 26, 2011
- Law Firm: Amerihope Alliance Legal Services LLC - Plantation Office
- This week sees the launch of the Hardest Hit Fund statewide in Florida. Totaling over $1 billion, unemployed homeowners can now apply online to get up to $12,000 for their mortgage problems. This can be applied either to mortgage payments or past due balances depending on the situation. There are a number of restrictions are described on their online submission form, which is the only way to apply for the program.
The idea is that unemployed borrowers can stay in their homes long enough to find the revenue necessary to get current with their loan or apply for a loan modification.
A large injection of government aid to a foreclosure victim is by no means a bad thing. But as a law firm dedicated to the best interests of Floridian homeowners, it is our opinion and duty to warn that the Hardest Hit Fund is very unlikely to save homes!
The Hardest Hit Fund does not make it easier to get a loan modification, it does not replace the necessity of legally defending against foreclosure, and it in no way frees homeowners from the usual mortgage servicing pitfalls such as improper fees and lost paperwork. In fact, the entire program seems tailored to send government money directly to the banks to pay for mortgages that they wouldn't be getting anything from otherwise, while offering nothing but an "opportunity" for the borrower to go find some more money. Floridians whose mortgages are outright unaffordable get no help whatsoever. Worse still, successful applicants would likely have to apply for a loan modification to get current, where the risk of foreclosure is still very high.
In other words, the Hardest Hit Fund treats the symptoms without curing the illness. In today's job market, many participants in this program are almost certain to be unable to improve their finances and lose their house anyway. The benefit for them will be just a few more months in their home while the banks get thousands of dollars they otherwise would've lost.
Amerihope Alliance does recommend that homeowners see if they are eligible for this program, but they must know that this is yet another government foreclosure prevention program that will not succeed in most cases. It is no substitution for the hiring of a qualified foreclosure defense attorney that can advocate for a loan modification, defend against foreclosure notices, and enter into mediation with suing mortgage lenders. The vast majority of government anti-foreclosure efforts have been a serious distraction to many homeowners from the seriousness of the threat of improper, deceptive foreclosures that are overwhelming our entire economy, and the Hardest Hit Fund is no exception. Look into it...but then get a consultation from an experienced foreclosure defense attorney!