Unemployed homeowners may qualify for assistance with mortgage payments through participating state housing finance agencies.
Bank of America has completed agreements to leverage the federal government’s Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) through participation in unemployment assistance programs in all 18 eligible states and the District of Columbia, and is now operational with all of them.
In 2010, the government announced the HHF initiative targeting states with sustained unemployment rates at or above the national average and falling property values. Since then, Bank of America has worked closely with the Department of the Treasury and participating state housing finance agencies (HFAs) to design and implement programs that provide assistance to financially distressed homeowners, including interim payment assistance to unemployed borrowers.
Homeowners must contact their state HFA for program guidelines, which vary, and to apply for assistance. Each state HFA manages its own program, including determining a homeowner’s eligibility and making qualifying mortgage payments directly to the bank.
States participating in HHF unemployment assistance programs include Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee, plus the District of Columbia.
Bank of America has completed over 1 million mortgage modifications since January 2008, and we are doing more than ever in our outreach efforts through community events and new customer assistance centers. Nevertheless, modifications require that the homeowner is able to make reasonable monthly payments, so servicers have been unable to offer much help beyond short-term forbearance to those who are unemployed.
The Hardest Hit Fund helps to fill this gap by providing temporary payment assistance to unemployed homeowners. Bank of America is pleased to be participating in the program in every HHF state as part of our commitment to helping homeowners through difficult times.
HHF programs are targeted to low- and moderate-income homeowners, and other eligibility criteria are determined by each state’s HFA.