If you’re an Indiana homeowner who's facing foreclosure, you might be able to save your home with help from the state's Hardest Hit Fund program, which is administered by the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN). The program provides one-time reinstatement assistance and free foreclosure prevention counseling to homeowners who're struggling to make their mortgage payments.
Indiana previously closed the reinstatement program to new applicants in 2017, but reopened it as of July 1, 2018.
In 2010, the U.S. Department of the Treasury created the Hardest Hit Fund to provide targeted aid to homeowners in the states most affected by the housing market crash. As part of this program, $7.6 billion in aid was allocated to the 18 states—including Indiana—that experienced the most extreme home price declines and high unemployment rates as a result of the economic crisis.
In 2016, the states received another $2 billion so they could continue their foreclosure prevention efforts. (To learn more about the Hardest Hit Fund in general, including which states have Hardest Hit programs, see Save Your Home From Foreclosure: Hardest Hit Fund Programs.)
Indiana initially used its Hardest Hit Fund allocation to fund programs that gave money to homeowners to bring a loan current, make mortgage payments, or pay for relocation expenses after a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
While Indiana's Hardest Hit Fund stopped taking applications for the mortgage payment and relocation programs as of June 30, 2017, you can apply for reinstatement assistance on or after July 1, 2018, and get free foreclosure counseling through the IFPN.
Qualifying homeowners who've gone through an involuntary employment-related financial hardship that caused, or contributed to, their falling behind in mortgage payments can get up to $30,000 to get current on the loan. (Bringing the loan current is called "reinstating" the loan.)
To qualify, you must not be able to catch up on your own, but your monthly mortgage payment is otherwise affordable based on your current monthly household income, excluding unemployment insurance benefits. (To learn about additional eligibility criteria that you must meet to qualify for the program, check out the Hardest Hit Fund Unemployment Bridge Program factsheet.)
In addition to the reinstatement program, the IFPN continues to provide free foreclosure prevention counseling to homeowners.
A counselor might be able to help you get a loan modification. Talking to a counselor might help you avoid a foreclosure in Indiana. Your counselor can assist you in creating a budget so you can better afford your mortgage payments, as well as tell you about your different options and help you apply for a loan modification.
A counselor can prepare you for a settlement conference. In Indiana, homeowners in foreclosure get the right to meet with the lender to try to work out a way to avoid foreclosure. Homeowners have to ask the court for the meeting, which is called a “settlement conference." An IFPN counselor can also help you get ready for the meeting and tell you what to expect during the settlement conference. (To learn more about settlement conferences, see Indiana's Foreclosure Mediation Program.)
Receiving monetary assistance or counseling through the IFPN is free. You shouldn’t pay anyone for any services associated with getting assistance from the program.
Homeowners facing a foreclosure in Indiana should also beware of other scams, like loan modification scams. (To learn more, see Foreclosure Rescue Scams to Avoid.)
To connect with an IFPN housing counselor, call 877-GET-HOPE (877-438-4673). To get more information about counseling, go to the IFPN website. You can also get a list of participating counselors at that website.
If you want representation at a settlement conference and throughout the foreclosure process, consider hiring a local foreclosure attorney.