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Promoting Housing Options >> Homeownership

Hardest Hit Fund


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On August 11, 2010 the U. S. Treasury announced the State of Georgia’s inclusion in an expansion of
the “Hardest Hit Fund”. This fund provides mortgage payment assistance to unemployed borrowers in
states with sustained unemployment rates for the past 12 months. The Georgia Department of
Community Affairs, Georgia Housing Finance Agency will administer this program in Georgia.

ATTENTION HOMEOWNERS

If you are a homeowner currently delinquent on your mortgage or facing foreclosure


contact a housing counselor immediately.
Click Here

We will not be accepting applications for this program until the development and
implementation of policies and procedures for distributing the assistance have been
completed.

PLEASE VISIT THIS SITE OFTEN FOR UPDATED INFORMATION!

Questions & Answers

1. Why is the State of Georgia receiving these funds?


The United States Department of Treasury (Treasury) established the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) Program
in February 2010 to provide targeted aid to families in states hit hard by the economic and housing
market downturn.

The HHF plans for Georgia were approved by the Treasury on September 23, 2010. Other states
approved for HHF funds include Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,
Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South
Carolina, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia.

For more information on the Treasury’s HHF Program, go to


http://www.financialstability.gov/roadtostability/hardesthitfund.html
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) under contract with Georgia Housing and Finance
Authority’s GHFA Affordable Housing Inc. will administer Georgia’s HHF Program.

2. What is the purpose of the Georgia HHF Program?


The purpose of the Program is to prevent foreclosure by providing mortgage payment assistance to
Georgia unemployed or underemployed homeowners while they find new or better employment.

3. What type of assistance will be offered?


Successful applicants will close on a subordinate loan similar to a home equity line of credit. The loan
will be at 0% interest. DCA will use the loan funds to pay all or a portion of the monthly mortgage
payment to the lender until the borrower can resume payments, or for up to 18 months, whichever comes
first. Following the assistance period, the loan will be forgiven at a rate of 20% per year for five years.

http://www.dca.ga.gov/housing/homeownership/programs/hardesthitfund.asp 3/17/2011
DCA | Hardest Hit Fund Page 2 of 3

Loan funds may also be used to bring a past-due (no more than six months) first mortgage current. This
is referred to as a reinstatement. The number of past-due months in a reinstatement will count towards
the maximum 18 months of assistance.

There is no cost to participate in the Program; however, the borrower may be required to make partial
mortgage payments during the Program.

4. When will the assistance be available in Georgia?


Before the HHF Program can be launched statewide, DCA must conduct a “Pilot”, now in progress, to
ensure processes, compliance, and reporting functions work properly and meet Treasury’s requirements.
Statewide launch is expected no later than April 1, 2011. If an earlier start date is possible, it will be
announced on this website.

Please continue to visit the DCA website for updated information as it becomes available. If you need
help now, refer to #7 for information.

5. Is there an application? If so where do I get one and how do I submit


it?
The HHF Program is not open to the general public at this time. Once the HHF Program is launched,
the website will be posted and linked from this DCA website. The dedicated website will provide more
information about the HHF Program and will include a list of participating lenders that will be updated
as the Program progresses. Applicants will complete the application (electronically) on-line.

6. Who is eligible for HHF Program assistance?


Applicants must meet all applicant eligibility requirements and the property must meet all property
eligibility requirements. The eligibility requirements must be maintained during HHF Program
participation; monthly certification is required.

Eligibility Requirements for Applicant and Property


The Applicant must be:

z Currently unemployed, or
z Currently substantially underemployed, or
z Currently able to make their mortgage payment, but got behind while
they were unemployed or underemployed; and
Additionally, the Applicant:

z Must be unemployed or underemployed resulting from an involuntary


separation (self-employed will be required to provide additional
documentation of loss of income);
z Must have been current on mortgage payments prior to the period of
unemployment/ underemployment;
z Must have monthly mortgage payment(s) greater than 31% (including
escrow payments) of current monthly household income;
z Must not have an active bankruptcy;
z Must not have liquid assets exceeding $5,000;
z Must not have any IRS or Georgia tax liens;
z Must be the owner of the property; and
z Must be a legal resident of the United States and Georgia.
The Georgia Property:

z Must be owned by the applicant;


z Must be the primary residence of applicant;
z Must be a single-family home, condominium, or townhome; or a two,
three, or four family dwelling unit (in which the applicant resides in one
unit);
z Must be classified as real estate and affixed on permanent foundation if a
manufactured or mobile home;
z The sum of all mortgage debt must not be more than 125% of the value
of the property; and
z The total unpaid principal balance, including all mortgages and lines of
credit, must be less than or equal to $417,000.

http://www.dca.ga.gov/housing/homeownership/programs/hardesthitfund.asp 3/17/2011
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Additional Requirements:

z Lender/Servicer must agree to participate in program (on all mortgage


loans on property);
z Applicant may be required to pay an affordable payment while receiving
the assistance.
Additional underwriting criteria may also be established.

7. What if I don’t meet eligibility requirements, or I need help now?


First, contact your mortgage loan servicer’s loss mitigation department (the company/bank to which you
pay your mortgage). Ask your servicer about forbearance plans including those that are available for
unemployed homeowners. Information on programs that may be available to you may be found on the
Making Home Affordable website at http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/.

After speaking with your loan servicer, you may want to contact a local United States Department of
Housing & Urban Development (HUD) approved counselor. A counselor could help you determine if
you are eligible for a workout plan and assist you in negotiation with your loan servicer. A link to a list
of home buyer education agencies is found near the bottom of this page in the section titled Downloads
and Related Links.

8. What is the foreclosure process in Georgia?


The foreclosure process in Georgia is non-judicial. This means that the lender may begin foreclosure
proceedings without going to court. There are steps that the lender must take to initiate the foreclosure.
You must be at least 90 days behind on your mortgage.

The lender or the lender’s attorney must advertise the intended date of foreclosure for 30 days in a legal
publication in your county of residence. We recommend that you speak to a certified housing counselor
for answers to your specific questions and for assistance in avoiding foreclosure.

If you need help now, contact a home buyer education counselor. A link to a list of home buyer
education agencies is found near the bottom of this page in the section titled Downloads and Related
Links.

Please continue to visit the DCA website for updated HHF Program information as it becomes available.

Downloads & Related Links


Program Summary (PDF)
Home Buyer Education Agencies (PDF)
Monthly Payment Calculator
GHFA Approved Counselors for Georgia Fair Lending Act (PDF)
Quarterly US Treasury Reports
Servicer Participation Package

Contact Information
For additional assistance contact Hardest Hit Fund (HHF).

Georgia Department of Community Affairs


60 Executive Park South, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30329-2231

Copyright © 2004-2011 The Georgia Department of Community Affairs. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.dca.ga.gov/housing/homeownership/programs/hardesthitfund.asp 3/17/2011