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 Saver 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.
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.
Home Saver has a couple of programs that provide money to homeowners who’ve lost their job or experienced a reduction in income through no fault of their own.
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 24 months or more, depending on the circumstances, as well as a provide a one-time payment to reinstate (catch up on) a delinquent loan if needed.
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.
To get details about eligibility criteria and program exclusions, go to the Home Saver website.
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 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.
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.
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.)
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.