This week, the Obama Administration announced that the U.S. Treasury Department has approved additional assistance for Florida homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgages due to unemployment.

The Treasury Department has approved a plan by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) to use $238.9 million it had already been allocated to expand foreclosure prevention programs for Floridians struggling due to economic conditions. Treasury also approved an additional $401 million for FHFC foreclosure prevention activities. The money is part of a Treasury Department program called the Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund for the Hardest Hit Housing Markets (the “Hardest Hit Fund”).

Florida Allocated $1 Billion for Local Home Foreclosure Prevention Programs

The Hardest Hit Fund is intended to provide states with flexibility in deciding how to use the funding they receive. The programs have included targeted mortgage assistance for unemployed homeowners, reinstatement assistance, which helps delinquent borrowers get current on their mortgages, loan modifications that provide principal reduction when homeowners are “underwater” on their mortgages, help with second mortgages, and facilitation of short sales.

Since the Administration announced the Hardest Hit Fund in February 2010, the Treasury Department has allocated more than $1 billion through the program. The Fund allows states hit hard by the housing crisis and the economic downturn to implement programs that meet challenges to homeowners that are specific to that state.

The additional funding announced this week was allocated based on each recipient state’s population. It will be up to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation to determine the timing of any assistance.

“This Administration recognizes that unemployment and steep home price declines are concentrated in specific states and localities, so we will continue our work to stabilize the housing market and assist distressed homeowners in states hardest hit by these economic realities,” said Herb Allison, the Department of the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability.

“We believe that these efforts at the state level will help get local housing markets back on track and complement our national housing stability and foreclosure prevention efforts.”

For more information about programs available through the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, visit the FHFC’s website.

Source:

“Treasury Dept. provides update on program to help struggling Florida homeowners” (Ponte Vedra Recorder, October 1, 2010)