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www.877GetHope.org

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Indiana’s Hardest-Hit Fund?

The U.S. Department of the Treasury established the Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund for the Hardest-Hit Markets (“Hardest Hit Fund”, “HHF”) to provide financial assistance to families in the states most impacted by the downturn of the housing market. Indiana was awarded over $221.7 Million to help provide mortgage payment assistance to homeowners who are experiencing financial hardship and are at risk of mortgage loan default or foreclosure.

IHCDA worked with the Lieutenant Governor, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN) partners to develop a comprehensive strategy to provide Hardest Hit Fund assistance to low-to-moderate-income homeowners whose primary residence is located within any of the 92 counties in Indiana. Indiana’s HHF program options are designed to assist homeowners with financial hardships who have been unable to qualify for existing loan modification and foreclosure prevention programs.

How will Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) help Indiana homeowners?

There are three programs within Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund: the Unemployment Bridge Program; the Recast/Modification Program; and the Transition Assistance Program. The types and amounts of assistance available to homeowners through these programs vary. Each program is described in detail below, including the criteria that applicants must meet to be eligible for assistance.

A. Unemployment Bridge Program (UBP)

1. Reinstatement with Monthly Assistance for Unemployed Borrowers

The purpose of this assistance is to cover the PITI for eligible unemployed homeowners, allowing them to: (a) secure re-employment in their occupation; or (b) access training made available through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (“DWD”) that will help them secure employment in a new occupation.

Eligibility:

  • Currently unemployed from a job loss that occurred on or after January 1, 2009;
  • Monthly first mortgage PITI payment must be greater than 25% of the borrower’s gross monthly household income, excluding unemployment insurance benefits (“Minimum Affordability Threshold”);
  • Following reinstatement, there must be enough funds remaining to allow IHCDA to make 6 monthly mortgage payments to the servicer before reaching the Maximum Household Assistance limit;
  • Current household income below 140% of AMI, adjusted for borrower household size;
  • Upon approval, must engage in approved job training, education, or structured volunteer work (as defined by IHCDA); and
  • Upon approval, must complete a financial literacy educational course provided by IHCDA.
2. Reinstatement-Only Assistance for Re-employed Borrowers

The purpose of this assistance is to mitigate the effects of recent unemployment.

Eligibility:

  • Re-employed following unemployment that occurred on or after January 1, 2009, as identified by hardship affidavit;
  • Qualify in all other respects for assistance;
  • Have post-unemployment household income that results in a maximum housing debt-to-income ratio of 31%;
  • Have an annual gross household income equal to or less than $150,000; and
  • Do not have the means for, or otherwise qualify for, another program providing mortgage reinstatement.
3. Reinstatement-Only Assistance for Unemployed Borrowers

The purpose of this assistance is to mitigate the effects of recent unemployment.

Eligibility:

  • Currently unemployed from a job loss that occurred on or after January 1, 2009, as identified by hardship affidavit;
  • Do not qualify for monthly assistance, but qualify in all other respects for assistance;
  • Have household income, excluding unemployment insurance benefits, that results in a maximum housing debt-to-income ratio of 31%;
  • Have an annual gross household income equal to or less than $150,000; and
  • Do not have the means for, or otherwise qualify for, another program providing mortgage reinstatement.

The following criteria apply to ALL Unemployment Bridge Program Applicants:

  • Owning only one mortgaged home;
  • Submission of affidavit documenting an involuntary unemployment-related financial hardship that occurred on or after January 1, 2009; and
  • Documentation supporting the application must show a correlation between the occurrence of the unemployment-related hardship and the difficulty in sustaining the mortgage.

Program Exclusions:

  • Property is vacant, abandoned or condemned.
  • Borrower has liquid assets sufficient to make 6 monthly PITI payments, excluding retirement accounts.
  • Home equity line of credit loans.

Property/Loan Eligibility Criteria:

  • One-to-four-unit, owner-occupied primary residence or condominium (attached or detached) located in Indiana. Manufactured or mobile homes are eligible if on a foundation permanently affixed to real estate owned by the borrower. Land contracts are not eligible.
  • The unpaid principal balance of the borrower’s first-lien mortgage cannot exceed the conforming loan limit established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, as modified from time to time.

Additional information:

  • Priority of service will be extended to veterans and military personnel (active or reserve).
  • Borrowers may receive more than one type of Hardest Hit Fund assistance through IHCDA (excluding Transition Assistance), however the total amount of assistance provided may not exceed $30,000.
  • In cases of non-escrow accounts, IHCDA will pay up to one (1) year of taxes and insurance; however the total amount of assistance provided may not exceed $30,000.

Per Household Assistance:

  • Total assistance per household is not to exceed $30,000.

Duration of Assistance:

  • For currently unemployed borrowers, up to the borrowers’ Maximum Household Assistance, twenty-four (24) months, or three (3) months after re-employment, whichever comes first.
  • For Re-employed Borrowers, assistance is a one-time payment to the lender/servicer.

B. Recast/Modification Program (RMP)

1. Principle Reduction with Loan Recast (re-amortization) Assistance for Borrowers with Under-employment, Death, Medical, or Military Hardships

The purpose of this assistance is to reduce the homeowner’s monthly first mortgage payment to an affordable level, allowing long-term sustainability of the mortgage.

Eligibility:

  • Qualifying hardship must have occurred on or after January 1, 2009.
  • To qualify with an underemployment hardship or death hardship, a minimum involuntary reduction in household income of 15%. If self- employed, a minimum 20% involuntary reduction in gross receipts.
  • To qualify with a medical hardship, expenses must be related to non-elective medical procedures or emergencies, and must be greater than or equal to 15% of household income (20% of gross receipts if self-employed).
  • To qualify for military hardship: (1) have serviced on active duty and been released because of a service-connected illness or injury; or (2) any individual who was in the National Guard or Reserves and was called to active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge is authorized.
  • Maximum post-recast housing debt-to-income ratio of 31%
  • Eligibility for recast/re-amortization will be determined by IHCDA.
2. Loan Modification Assistance for Borrowers with Hardships Due to Involuntary Loss or Reduction in Income, Significant Medical Expenses, Military Service, or Death of a Household Member

The purpose of this assistance is to reduce the homeowner’s monthly first mortgage payment to an affordable level, allowing long-term sustainability of the mortgage.

Eligibility:

  • Hardship, as identified by a hardship affidavit, which occurred on or after January 1, 2009, due to involuntary loss or reduction in income, significant medical expenses, military service, or death of a household member.
  • Final eligibility for loan modification will be determined by the mortgage servicer.

The following criteria apply to ALL Recast/Modification Program Applicants:

  • Owning only one mortgaged home;
  • Current household income at or below 140% of AMI, adjusted for borrower household size;
  • Submission of affidavit documenting involuntary hardship which occurred on or after January 1, 2009.
  • Documentation supporting the application must show a correlation between the occurrence of the hardship and the difficulty in sustaining the mortgage.
  • Priority of service will be extended to veterans and military personnel (active or reserve).
  • Borrowers may receive more than one type of Hardest Hit Fund assistance through IHCDA (excluding Transition Assistance), however the total amount of assistance provided may not exceed $30,000.

Program Exclusions:

  • Property is vacant, abandoned or condemned.
  • Borrower has liquid assets sufficient to make 6 monthly PITI payments, excluding retirement accounts.
  • Home equity line of credit loans (with the exception of transition assistance payments to lenders/servicers to extinguish subordinate liens in conjunction with a deed-in-lieu or short sale).

Property/Loan Eligibility Criteria:

  • One-to-four-unit, owner-occupied primary residence or condominium (attached or detached) located in Indiana. Manufactured or mobile homes are eligible if on a foundation permanently affixed to real estate owned by the borrower. Land contracts are not eligible.
  • The unpaid principal balance of the borrower’s first-lien mortgage cannot exceed the conforming loan limit established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, as modified from time to time.

Per Household Assistance:

  • Total assistance per household is not to exceed $30,000.

Duration of Assistance:

  • Assistance is a one-time payment to the homeowner and a one-time payment to the lender/servicer.
C. Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for homeowners with unaffordable mortgage payments who obtain a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure from their lender/servicer and leave their home in a saleable condition

The purpose of this program is to prevent avoidable foreclosure and help stabilize neighborhoods by helping homeowners to achieve and orderly exit from their home.

The following TAP assistance will be available:

  • $2,500 to the homeowner to assist with moving and relocation expenses; and
  • Up to $5,000 to lenders/servicers to extinguish and release subordinate liens as part of a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure agreement.

Note: All TAP assistance is structured as a non-recoverable grant. It is not a loan and does not require repayment.

Eligibility:

  • Qualifying hardship must have occurred on or after January 1, 2009.
  • To qualify with an underemployment hardship or death hardship, a minimum involuntary reduction in household income of 15%. If self- employed, a minimum 20% involuntary reduction in gross receipts.
  • To qualify with a medical hardship, expenses must be related to non-elective medical procedures or emergencies, and must be greater than or equal to 15% of household income (20% of gross receipts if self-employed).
  • To qualify for military hardship: (1) have serviced on active duty and been released because of a service-connected illness or injury; or (2) any individual who was in the National Guard or Reserves and was called to active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge is authorized or (3) have received a permanent change in station order necessitating a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
  • The short sale or deed-in-lieu transaction must not have occurred prior to the application for transition assistance funds.

The following criteria apply to ALL Transition Assistance Program Applicants:

  • Owning only one mortgaged home;
  • Submission of affidavit documenting involuntary hardship which occurred on or after January 1, 2009.
  • Documentation supporting the application must show a correlation between the occurrence of the hardship and the difficulty in sustaining the mortgage.
  • Priority of service will be extended to veterans and military personnel (active or reserve).
  • Homeowners who have received other types of Hardest Hit Fund assistance through IHCDA are not eligible for TAP assistance.

Per Household Assistance

  • Total assistance per household is not to exceed $7,500.

Duration of Assistance

  • Assistance is a one-time payment to the homeowner and a one-time payment to the lender/servicer.

Property/Loan Eligibility Criteria

  • One-to-four-unit, owner-occupied primary residence or condominium (attached or detached) located in Indiana. Manufactured or mobile homes are eligible if on a foundation permanently affixed to real estate owned by the borrower. Land contracts are not eligible.
  • The unpaid principal balance of the borrower’s first-lien mortgage cannot exceed the conforming loan limit established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, as modified from time to time.

Program Exclusions

  • Property is vacant, abandoned or condemned.
  • Borrower has liquid assets sufficient to make 6 monthly PITI payments, excluding retirement accounts.
  • Home equity line of credit loans (with the exception of transition assistance payments to lenders/servicers to extinguish subordinate liens in conjunction with a deed-in-lieu or short sale).

Who is eligible?

Are you currently struggling to pay your mortgage because of:

  • an involuntary and substantial reduction in employment income;
  • a substantial reduction in household income due to death of a contributing household member;
  • significant expenses related to non-elective medical procedures or emergencies;
  • significant reduction in income due to military service?

Are you re-employed, but still struggling to pay your mortgage due to becoming delinquent after re-employment?

If so, you may be eligible for Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund Unemployment Bridge Loan Program and receive assistance with your monthly mortgage payments.

For more information on the Hardest Hit Fund, please call 1-877-GET-HOPE (877-438-4673). Applicant and property must meet all requirements; additional underwriting criteria may apply.

You must:

  • Be an Indiana homeowner
  • Be an owner of only one home, and currently reside in that home
  • Have experienced the qualifying hardship on or after January 1, 2009
  • Be within the income eligibility requirements based on county of residence

What does “gross household income” mean?

Gross household income means the gross (before taxes) income of the applicant as well as the gross income of any other person living in the residence age eighteen (18) or older, (excluding full-time students);

How is gross household income calculated?

Gross household income is based on gross pay from employment, including any part-time, seasonal or sporadic income, shift differentials, overtime pay, and bonuses.

Gross household income also includes:

  • Alimony and separate maintenance payments;
  • Periodic payments for trust, annuities, inheritances, insurance policies, pensions, retirement funds and lotteries;
  • All public assistance payments (excluding Medicaid and food stamps) including any
amount by which educational grants, scholarships, and/or Veteran Administration educational benefits exceed expenses for tuition, fees, books, and equipment and reasonable rent and utility costs for a student living away from home;
  • Interest and dividends;
  • Payments in lieu of earnings, including social security, unemployment benefits, worker’s compensation, severance pay, disability or death benefits;
  • Income from partnerships;
  • Rental income for property owned;
  • Recurring monetary contributions or gifts regularly received from a person not living in the residence; and
  • All regular pay, special pay and allowances of a member of the Armed Forces, not including hazardous duty pay.

How much assistance is available to help each homeowner?

Eligible homeowners may receive assistance up to $30,000, for 24 months, or until 3 months after re-employment, whichever comes first.

Will the homeowner have to pay back the assistance they receive from Indiana’s HHF?

All assistance is structured as a forgivable, non-recourse, non-amortizing loan, secured by a junior lien on the property. The loan has a term of 10 years and is forgiven at a rate of 20% per year in years 6 through 10 of the loan term. If the borrower sells the property before the forgiveness period expires, all net sale proceeds up to the full principal balance outstanding will be due and payable to IHCDA.

Term (in years from closing date) Amount Due Back to IHCDA
Years 1 through 5 100%
Year 6 80%
Year 7 60%
Year 8 40%
Year 9 20%
Year 10 0%

The HHF loan is not forgivable by reason of death of the borrower. However, because it is a non-recourse loan, the borrower’s estate has no personal liability for the debt, and IHCDA is limited to collecting from the available proceeds after sale of the property.

How will homeowners apply for the Unemployment Bridge Program?

To begin the application process, homeowners may register online at www.877GetHope.org or call the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention (IFPN) toll-free hotline 1-877-GET-HOPE (1-877-438-4673) to be referred to one of the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or state-approved housing specialist agencies selected by IHCDA. An HHF-trained housing specialist will work with each homeowner to screen eligibility and develop an individualized action plan to address the homeowner’s particular needs. IHCDA will review and approve eligibility applications and will authorize payments to the approved homeowner’s mortgage servicer.

Is the assistance limited to people who are delinquent on their mortgage?

No, Indiana’s HHF is also available to homeowners who are current on their mortgage, but who are experiencing financial hardship due to unemployment.