Being in a position of financial hardship and unable to keep current on a mortgage can leave a home owner desperate for help. When that homeowner is unaware of options, that homeowner may not seek available help or may not make the most informed or best decisions regarding ways to avoid home foreclosure. One recent report notes that Florida is not dispersing mortgage assistance money as effectively as other states, leaving many homeowners struggling who may be entitled to that relief.
Federal mortgage assistance money was given to each state as a means of helping homeowners avoid home foreclosure during and after the recession. Florida was reportedly given $1 billion to help those in need. So far, the Sunshine State has only dispersed half that amount.
Nearly 110,000 homeowners have applied for the federal assistance. Slightly more than 22,000 have been helped by the program. Florida ranked as having the lowest rate of success, at 20 percent, while other states approved almost 50 percent of applicants. Florida officials say that not being ready for the influx of applications is one reason for the ineffectiveness of the program, and a re-evaluation of the requirements has been recommended.
While federal programs and other forms of mortgage assistance and loan modifications may prove useful as Florida homeowners look for ways to avoid home foreclosure, exploring all options is the best approach. The fine print, overall costs and timeframe for achieving some aid can do more harm than good for some homeowners. Other options, such as filing for bankruptcy protection, may be the most beneficial manner in which to avoid home foreclosure and regain financial stability in many circumstances.
Source: gainesville.com, “Federal report: Florida lags in disbursing foreclosure aid“, Mike Schneider, Oct. 10, 2015