Different people will argue different points regarding the improvement or lack thereof with the economy. But many homeowners and renters continue to struggle with the combination of a monthly mortgage or rent and either no job or a job that pays less than what they are qualified for. Many of these “underemployed” or unemployed individuals just need temporary assistance so they can stave off foreclosure and the foreclosure lawyers here are working with a program that can provide the much needed assistance. This program, The Illinois Hardest Hit program utilizes federal funds to help support people who need assistance with their monthly mortgage payments due to “unemployment or underemployment.” The assistance comes through the program bringing the loan and all the past payments and penalties current and by paying monthly mortgage payments for up to 18 months or $20,000.
A recent article in The State Journal-Register describes the program and gives a few of the guidelines that must be met for someone to utilize the program. The Hardest Hit program is “a component of the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network administered through the Illinois Housing Development Authority.” Different not-for-profit organizations partner with the Illinois Housing Development Authority to work with this new program and administer aid to the qualified applicants. The need is apparent as Illinois currently sits at number 8 among states in the number of foreclosures. Our Oak Park and River Forest foreclosure lawyers know all too well this statistic as they work with clients every day who are either facing foreclosure or are on the verge of it.
A few of the requirements for the Hardest Hit Program include:
- Property must be a primary and only residence located in Illinois
- Household must have a documented income reduction of at least 20% due to unemployment or underemployment through no fault of their own
- Arrearage caps of $20,000-25,000 depending on the county
- Principal loan balance of mortgage cannot exceed $500,000
- Household liquid assets cannot exceed $10,000 or $12,500 depending on the county
- The current servicer of the mortgage must agree to accept payments from IHDA on the borrowers behalf
- Borrowers must not have been convicted of a mortgage related felony in the past 10 years
Additional requirements and details are found at www.illinoishardesthit.org.
The requirements explain a great deal about who the program is designed to help and who it is not designed to help. It is not for people who are looking to get out of investment properties. It is strictly for those people who through no fault of their own are in difficult financial situation.
Our foreclosure lawyers work with these types of people each day who are not in a difficult situation due to greedy real estate deals or large spending sprees, but because the job market has not recovered and the mortgage must be paid or they are on the streets with their families.
This program is more than an ATM for needy homeowners. It provides a support system that provides counseling and step by step updates to ensure the homeowners have the best chance for success. This program works to keep families in their homes and have the best chance to stay there while they get back on their feet and move forward with their family.
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