Mississippi's Hardest Hit Fund: Home Saver

The Mississippi Home Saver program provides monetary assistance to struggling homeowners who are unemployed, underemployed, or in a community or four-year college.

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In 2010, the U.S. Department of the Treasury created the Hardest Hit Fund to provide targeted aid to homeowners in those states most affected by the housing market crash. As part of this program, Mississippi received over $101 million to provide assistance to unemployed and underemployed homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments.

Read on to learn about the different types of help available through Mississippi’s Hardest Hit Fund program, called Home Saver, and find out if you may be eligible for assistance. (To learn more about the Hardest Hit Fund and the various state programs funded by it, visit our Hardest Hit Fund topic page.)

Mississippi’s Hardest Hit Fund Program: Home Saver

Home Saver has three programs to assist homeowners who lost their job or experienced a reduction in income through no fault of their own. The programs are:

  • The Mortgage Payment Assistance program, which provides mortgage payment assistance to unemployed and underemployed homeowners, as well as helps reinstate a delinquent loan.
  • The Mortgage Payment Assistance with Education program, which provides mortgage payment assistance to homeowners who enroll in a community college or four-year institution at their own expense to improve job skills.
  • The Reinstatement Only program, which helps re-employed homeowners who previously fell behind on their mortgage payments due to unemployment or underemployment catch up.

How Home Saver Works

Assistance is provided in the form of a non-recourse, 0% interest, non-amortizing forgivable loan secured by a junior lien that is recorded against the property. No payments are required from the homeowner and the loan is forgiven at 20% per year. After five years, the lien will be released.

You only need to repay the loan if you have sufficient equity and you sell the property or refinance during the five-year loan term.

Eligibility

Among other things, to be eligible for Home Saver assistance, you must meet the below criteria.

  • You are a Mississippi resident and a legal U.S. citizen.
  • The property is located in Mississippi.
  • You have a hardship, which occurred after you bought your home.
  • The property is a single-family home, condominium, or a one-to-five unit dwelling (if you occupy one unit as your primary residence).
  • The unpaid principal balance is not more than $271,000.

Mobile or manufactured homes are eligible if on a foundation that is permanently affixed to real estate owned by the applicant and taxed as real property. Learn more about what happens if you are struggling to pay your mobile home loan.

Go to www.mshomesaver.com to learn more about eligibility requirements for the Home Saver program.

Program Exclusions

You are not eligible for the Home Saver program if one of the below conditions applies to you.

  • You filed bankruptcy and the bankruptcy is active. (If you previously filed bankruptcy and it was dismissed or discharged, then you are also eligible to apply for the program.)
  • You have a self-inflicted financial hardship and/or poor debt management, have stripped the equity from the home for a non-essential purpose, or have mismanaged your personal budget.
  • A foreclosure sale date has been issued by the courts.
  • You've already received Home Saver assistance.

There are also some other exclusions. Go to www.mshomesaver.com to learn more.

Servicer Participation

Servicer participation in the program is voluntary. (A mortgage servicer is the company that collects monthly mortgage payments from borrowers on behalf of the owner of the loan, as well as tracks account balances, manages the escrow account, handles loss mitigation applications, and pursues foreclosure in the case of defaulted loans.) All assistance funds are sent directly to the servicer on behalf of the homeowner so your servicer must agree to accept the funds.

Program Details: Mortgage Payment Assistance

This program provides 100% of the monthly mortgage payment for unemployed or underemployed homeowners for a minimum of six months and up to 24 months while the homeowner seeks work.

If you are delinquent on your mortgage, the program will make a one-time payment of all past-due amounts (including fees and penalties accumulated during a period of unemployment or underemployment) to bring the mortgage current and reinstate the loan.

Additional criteria. If unemployed, you must be currently receiving unemployment benefits, eligible to receive unemployment benefits, or have exhausted your unemployment benefits. If underemployed, you must show a reduction in income by 15% or more since the hardship event.

The maximum amount of assistance is $50,000.

Program Details: Mortgage Payment Assistance With Education

If the homeowner attends a community college or four-year institution at his/her own expense, this program provides 100% of the monthly mortgage payment for:

  • a minimum of six months and up to 24 months while the homeowner is in school
  • 12 additional months if the homeowner’s education plan takes longer than 24 months, and
  • six additional months if the home is located in a distressed county after completing the education. (To find out if you live in one of the 65 counties designated as “distressed,” go to www.mshomesaver.com and click on "About Home Saver" to find a link to a pdf listing the counties.)

Also, if you are delinquent on your mortgage, the program will make a one-time payment of all past-due amounts (including fees and penalties accumulated during a period of unemployment or underemployment) to bring the mortgage current and reinstate the loan.

The maximum amount of assistance is $50,000.

Program Details: Reinstatement Only

This program is designed to help homeowners who fell behind on mortgage payments while they were unemployed or underemployed, but are now re-employed. The program will pay the past-due amounts that accumulated and bring the loan current.

Additional criteria. You must have returned to work and be able to sustain the mortgage from now on with a mortgage debt-to-income ratio of 35% or below.

The maximum amount of assistance is $50,000.

How to Apply

Go to www.mshomesaver.com and click on “Apply Online Now” to create a profile. (For a complete list of documents you’ll need to complete the application, take a look at the right-hand side of www.mshomesaver.com.)

For More Information

If you would like more information about Home Saver, call the toll-free 211 service or 601-718-4647.

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