Foreclosure Prevention Program in Mississippi

If you’re a Mississippi homeowner having trouble making your mortgage payments, you might be eligible to receive financial help from the state’s Home Saver program.

If you’re worried about losing your Mississippi home to a foreclosure, you might be eligible to get financial help from the state’s Home Save program, part of the federal Hardest Hit Fund.

You can use program money to get caught up on overdue amounts, make future payments, and potentially save your home from foreclosure. To get an overview of the program, learn how much assistance is available, and find out if you’re eligible, read on.

Hardest Hit Fund: Help for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

In 2010, at the height of the financial crisis, the U.S. Department of the Treasury established the Hardest Hit Fund. This program provides financial aid to homeowners in the states that were most affected by the crisis. As part of this program, the government allocated $7.6 billion to 18 states, including Mississippi, along with Washington, D.C., that experienced the most extreme home price declines and high unemployment rates during the economic crisis. (Read more about the federal Hardest Hit Fund.)

As part of the program, Mississippi received over $101 million to go towards helping eligible homeowners avoid foreclosure. So, the state set up the Home Saver program. Additional funding came through in 2016.

Mississippi’s Home Saver Program

Home Saver has a couple of programs that provide money—up to $50,000—to homeowners who’ve lost their job or experienced a reduction in income through no fault of their own.

Mortgage Payment Assistance

The mortgage payment assistance program provides funds to unemployed and underemployed homeowners while they look for work. The program will cover 100% of your mortgage payments for at least six months, up to 24 months, as well as a provide a one-time payment to reinstate (catch up on) a delinquent loan if needed.

The program also offers payment assistance to unemployed and underemployed homeowners who’ve enrolled in a community college or four-year institution at their own expense to improve their job skills. If the homeowner’s education plan lasts longer than 24 months, the program will cover up to 12 additional months of mortgage payments. Homeowners in distressed counties might qualify for a further six months of payments.

Reinstatement Only Program

This program provides money to homeowners who previously fell behind on their mortgage payments due to unemployment or underemployment, but who are now re-employed, so they can reinstate their defaulted mortgage.

Eligibility Criteria

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

  • You must be a Mississippi resident and a legal U.S. citizen.
  • You must have a hardship, which occurred after you bought your home.
  • The property must be a single-family home, condominium, or a one-to-five unit dwelling (if you occupy one unit as your primary residence). 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 manufactured home loan.)
  • The unpaid principal balance on your mortgage can’t be more than $271,000.

Go to the Home Saver website to get detailed information about qualifying for assistance.

Program Exclusions

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

  • You filed bankruptcy, and the bankruptcy is active.
  • 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.
  • You have catastrophic medical expenses.
  • You've already received Home Saver assistance.

Other exclusions apply as well. Go to the Home Saver website to learn more.

How Home Saver Assistance Works

Assistance is in the form of a nonrecourse 0% interest, forgivable loan secured by a subordinate lien on your home. The loan is forgiven over a five-year period at a rate of 20% per year. You have to repay the loan only if you have sufficient equity and you sell the home or refinance it before the loan's end date.

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. Learn more about how mortgage servicing works.)

All assistance funds are sent directly to the servicer on behalf of the homeowner so your servicer must agree to accept the funds.

How to Apply for Help

To apply for mortgage payment or reinstatement assistance, go to the Home Saver application page. To get more information about available assistance, go to the main Home Saver webpage or call 601-718-4647.

When the Program Ends

The federal Hardest Hit Fund is scheduled to last through 2020. Programs in various states, including Mississippi, have closed early when funding ran out but reopened when more money became available. (To learn more, see Mississippi Hardest Hit Fund Reopened.)

When to Talk to an Attorney

Once your application for assistance is approved, the Home Saver program will notify your servicer.

Keep in mind that once started, Mississippi foreclosures happen quite quickly with little notice to the homeowner. In most foreclosures, all the foreclosing bank must do is publish information about the foreclosure sale in a newspaper for three consecutive weeks and post a notice on the courthouse door. Once accomplished, the bank can sell the home. (To learn about the foreclosure process in Mississippi, see our Summary of Mississippi’s Foreclosure Laws.)

So, if you’re facing an impending foreclosure in Mississippi and hope to qualify for Home Saver assistance—or another alternative to foreclosure—consider talking to a local attorney to learn about your options for stopping the foreclosure. It’s also recommended that you talk to a HUD-approved housing counselor.

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