Options that homeowners have when it comes to combating mortgage payment distress and problems like unemployment has come through modification programs but some of the latest programs that have arisen are the result of the Hardest Hit Program, which is available in various states by housing agencies and certain mortgage services. Yet, there are some homeowners who are still unaware of these programs or have yet to take advantage of assistance that may help them with their mortgage payment needs or when unemployment is a problem simply because there are some servicers who may not be participating at the present time in certain states, some state housing agencies are still developing programs that may help a wider number of homeowners, but there are still some homeowners who simply have not heard of these options that could be beneficial in keeping them from foreclosure.
As an example, Illinois recently began implementing this Hardest Hit Fund opportunity despite the fact that some states have had these plans in place for quite some time. What this equates to is a lack of consistency in terms of when these programs arise from one state to another, what they offer, and what banks are able to make these programs available to homeowners. Again, many states where a high level of unemployment, housing troubles, and other financial distress is in place may be able to help homeowners in certain situations but some servicers have not implemented the total amount of assistance options that a state housing agency has set in place, nor as every state housing agency put programs in place to address the totality of the needs that homeowners may face.
As a result, homeowners are being urged to look at what opportunities are available from their state housing agency, as some may offer unemployment payment assistance, help homeowners who have missed payments and may be behind on their mortgage, or there may be opportunities for help for underwater homeowners as well. After homeowners have established what their state housing agency may offer in areas where the Hardest Hit Fund is available, it may require that homeowners consult housing counselors or representatives from their servicer to see if these particular banks are working within this program to help homeowners as well.
While modification programs, in-house assistance plans directly available from services, and extension plans within HAMP had been beneficial for some, homeowners can greatly be helped by the state-specific plans but in areas where homeowners are unsure of what opportunities may be available, the Treasury Department offers a list of state’s where these options are available and state websites may be able to provide more information for distressed homeowners in terms of what help is currently in place.