Florida's Hardest Hit Program

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

Tallahassee, FL - Foreclosure signs are the face of Florida's housing bust. With every rock-bottom deal they advertise, chances are there's a family in a tough spot, but the state has a solution that might help.
It's called Florida hardest hit.
It could by key to keeping laid-off homeowners in their homes.
Wiley Dawsey's been looking for a new gig for the better part of four months.
Dawsey says, "That kind of job that i was working in, there's only one company like that. So, to find something even close to it is very hard."
Most mortgage companies don't care. They want their monthly payment and if they don't get it. Foreclosure isn't far off.
Statewide, tens of thousands of homeowners have become tangled up in the weeds of perennial unemployment. They're behind on their mortgages, and they're in dire need of a temporary bailout.
Well, now they may be in luck.
If you've been laid off and you're fewer than 90 days behind on your mortgage. You could be eligible to have the Florida Housing Finance Corporation cover your monthly payment for up to a year-and-a-half.
FHFC's Cecka Rose Green calls it critical help that could keep 20,000 Floridians in their homes.
Green says, "The eighteen months gives them breathing room. It gives them the opportunity to know that their mortgage is going to be paid so that they can use all of their energy to try and find a job that will help them sustain their household."
For now, the federally-funded program is in a pilot phase in lee county. It's on track to go statewide early next year. For the growing ranks of Florida's unemployed homeowners, that expansion can't come soon enough.
Wiley says, "It's a very good idea - it'll help a lot of people out."
It could be a key tool in turning the housing crisis into a new tomorrow.

Note: State officials say only homeowners with original mortgages less than 300,000 dollar are eligible for the program. For homeowners who are behind on their payments, 'Hardest Hit' would bring their mortgages up to date, then make payments for up to 18 more months.
The program's website is due to go online October 25th.

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  • by Jason Location: Tallahassee on Oct 8, 2010 at 12:14 PM
    What makes anyone feel they have the right to community resources to pay off their personal home loan. Even for 18 months, thats money that we as a community need to keep police, fire, and other services that we ALL NEED!!! I personally saw this housing problem coming and rejected buying a home in favor of renting so that I would not be in this situation. So much so that I fired 3 realtor's that would not stop talking about how to get into a bigger home than I could afford.Now I get stuck with someone else's bills. As a responsible person you need to take responsibility for your actions. I have family that has lost 70% value in their homes underwater and cant refi, but no one is able to help them out. Have we become such a society of leeches that we cant take responsibility for our own home purchases any more. Anyone that thought an interest only loan that made payments of $500 a month on a $400k home loan is an idiot to think they are not going have problems down the road.
  • by Muffin Location: Tallahassee on Oct 7, 2010 at 04:55 PM
    What about people who have no mortgage but can't pay their taxes and insurance because they are unemployed or under-employed? This would help a lot of people also.
  • by DJ Location: Madison on Oct 7, 2010 at 03:47 PM
    If this program is truly desinged to help families in crisis, and you are entitled to 18 months of benefits (payments), why are they only going to help people less than 90 days behind? Why does it matter? If you are in foreclosure and they are willing to cover 18 months, why can't they help you if say for example: You are 12 mos behind, pay it current, you'd have 6 more months of assistance. In my opinion that would be beneficial to help more people during these rough economic times we are currently experiencing. I thank God everyday that I still have my job and won't lose my home, but many are not as fortunate as I am. I have friends and family members that are facing this very unfortunate predicament. I do all I can to help. I don't have all the answers, and I don't know what the answer is, it just seems like this program could help more people if they weren't placing the 90 day limit on it.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 7, 2010 at 08:47 AM
    CDSs are the big reason for what we are seeing now, but the borrower made the initial decisions to get the huge boulder rolling. Without their stupidity, there would not have been so many failures and massive payouts in the derivative markets.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 7, 2010 at 08:19 AM
    Taz, That's why they have shelters.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 7, 2010 at 08:01 AM
    Securitization has nothing to do with foreclosures. If the value of my house decreases, I may be underwater. This does not prevent me from paying my mortgage. The value will come up (eventually). The loss in value doesn't really play into the foreclosures. What does is people not paying. I know times are tough and many have lost jobs, and will not be able to pay. I hope this program will help these individuals, but to sign a mortgage with a balloon payment, or increased interest rate years down the road is just stupid. These people should lose their house and learn their lesson. Don't blame the banks for trying to make a profit, that's why they're in business. The bubble only burst when people found out they really didn't want these payments, and stopped paying. The holders of these mortgages, securities investors,(Securitization) started losing money and could not get rid of these bad loans.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 7, 2010 at 06:38 AM
    Finally a program for resppnsible people who work hard and get hit with bad luck - all of the other programs make you wait until your way behind before you're even eligible. I love the state of Florida!
  • by taz Location: tallahassee on Oct 7, 2010 at 06:28 AM
    what about the people who could not offord to buy so thay rent.then lose there job,unemployment dont cover food,now you have rent to pay on top of that,with kids
  • by Tally Location: Tallahassee on Oct 7, 2010 at 06:26 AM
    I agree with Anonymous! I knew what I could and could not afford. I "just said no" to what I couldn't afford. Why buy something if you know you can't afford it down the road???? The "What if" is part of your financial scenario. Be prepared for it!
  • by Jim Location: Worthington Springs, Florida on Oct 7, 2010 at 06:17 AM
    What you say is true on the micro level. But, the meltdown in the overall economy came from the macro level of lenders who got rid of any risk by selling, bundling these bad loans to investors who had no clue what was underlying the security they bought, called securitization!
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