The Hardest Hit Fund - Rhode Island (HHFRI) program provides assistance to homeowners in Rhode Island who have a documented financial hardship and have exhausted all other options to keep up with their mortgage payments and avoid foreclosure. Read on to learn more about the HHFRI program.
Hardest Hit Fund
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, $7.6 billion in aid was allocated to the 18 states, along with Washington, D.C., that experienced the most extreme home price declines and high unemployment rates as a result of the economic crisis. More funding was approved in 2016.
(To learn more about the Hardest Hit Fund and the various state programs funded by it, visit our Hardest Hit Fund topic page.)
Rhode Island was initially awarded over $79 million in funds through the Hardest Hit Fund to help eligible homeowners avoid foreclosure. (Learn more about the Rhode Island foreclosure process.) To do this, Rhode Island set up the HHFRI program.
The HHFRI Program
Assistance given to homeowners under the HHFRI program varies, but is concentrated in the following general areas:
- helping unemployed or underemployed homeowners make monthly mortgage payments
- reinstating a defaulted loan
- making an immediate property tax payment to save a home from foreclosure
- offering assistance in obtaining a loan modification, and
- providing relocation assistance to those who have determined it is time to leave the home.
HHFRI offers four forms of assistance. Each program has its own eligibility requirements.
- Temporary & Immediate Housing Assistance. This program provides financial assistance to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. The funds can be used to catch up on overdue amounts, property taxes, insurance, HOA dues, or other property-related expenses.
- Loan Modification Assistance. Under this program, funds are used to assist in getting the homeowner a loan modification, which will result in a more affordable monthly payment.
- Mortgage Payment Assistance. In this program, funds are put towards paying the homeowner's monthly mortgage payment. The homeowner must pay part of the payment as well.
- Moving Forward Assistance. This program is available to homeowners who have gone through a severe financial crisis and can't afford to keep the home. Funds are used to facilitate a short-sale or deed-in-lieu, as well as provide relocation assistance.
General Eligibility Criteria
In order to get assistance from HHFRI, you must meet the following general eligibility requirements:
- You must have a documented qualifying financial hardship and have exhausted all options to maintain mortgage payments and avoid foreclosure.
- You must own a 1-to-4 family home or condominium.
- You occupy the home as your primary residence.
- Your gross annual income is less than $89,280 (for one or two people in the home) or less than $104,160 (three or more people live in your home).
- Your monthly mortgage payments, including taxes and insurance, are more than 31% of your gross monthly income.
- You have $15,000 or less in savings (excluding retirement savings).
- You have a documented financial hardship such as unemployment or underemployment, death or disability of a key earner in the household, or unexpected medical expenses.
- Deployed members of the U.S. Armed Forces (or those who have been discharged within the last year) who have experienced a reduction in income are eligible.
How to Learn More
To get more information or submit an application, go to www.hhfri.org.