Foreclosure Prevention Program in Rhode Island

The Hardest Hit Fund - Rhode Island (HHFRI) program provides financial assistance to homeowners who’ve gone through a hardship and need help avoiding foreclosure.

Rhode Island’s Hardest Hit Fund program, called “Hardest Hit Fund - Rhode Island” or “HHFRI,” provides financial assistance to homeowners who meet eligibility criteria so they can save their home from foreclosure. If you qualify for the program, you can get money to:

  • make your mortgage payments
  • pay a mortgage arrearage and reinstate your delinquent loan
  • pay overdue property taxes
  • help get a loan modification, or
  • pay delinquent reverse mortgage charges, like taxes, insurance, and homeowners’ association dues.

To learn more about each of these types of assistance, read on.

What Is the Hardest Hit Fund?

The U.S. Department of the Treasury organized the federal Hardest Hit Fund in 2010 to provide money to certain states that were severely impacted by the foreclosure crisis occurring at that time. As part of this program, the government allocated $7.6 billion in aid to 18 states, like Rhode Island, as well as Washington D.C., which had suffered significant home price declines and high unemployment rates because of the economic downturn.

To begin with, Rhode Island got over $79 million from the fund to help eligible homeowners avoid foreclosure. More funding came through in 2016.

Help for Homeowners Under the HHFRI Program

HHFRI offers four forms of assistance.

Temporary and Immediate Housing Assistance

This program provides financial assistance so the homeowner can catch up on overdue mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, or other expenses related to the home.

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 go towards paying the homeowner's monthly mortgage payment. The homeowner has to pay part of the payment as well.

Reverse Mortgage Assistance

This program provides financial help to people who have a reverse mortgage and facing foreclosure due to unpaid property taxes, HOA fees, insurance, or other property-related charges.

General Eligibility Criteria

Each assistance program has its own eligibility requirements, which sometimes change. (Go to the HHFRI eligibility webpage to take a quiz and find out if you’re eligible.)

Generally, to get assistance from HHFRI, you must meet the following basic eligibility requirements:

  • You must own a 1-to-4 family home or condominium.
  • You must occupy the home as your primary residence.
  • Your gross annual income must be less than $93,623 (for one or two people in the home) or less than $107,667 (three or more people living in the home). (These figures are current as of May 2018.)
  • Your monthly mortgage payments, including taxes and insurance, must be more than 28% of your gross monthly income.
  • You can't have more than $20,000 in savings, not including retirement savings.
  • You must have a documented financial hardship such as you’re unemployed or underemployed, you’re underwater on your mortgage, or you have 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.

Learn More

To get more information about HHFRI or submit an application, go to the main HHFRI website.

If you need information about the Rhode Island foreclosure process or want to learn about possible defenses to a foreclosure in your situation, consider talking to a foreclosure attorney. If you want to learn more about different alternatives to foreclosure, including loan modifications, short sales, and deeds in lieu of foreclosure, make an appointment to talk with a HUD-approved housing counselor.

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