Get Foreclosure Relief From State Hardest Hit Fund Programs

Check out the chart below to find out if you live in a state that has an open Hardest Hit Fund program.

Updated November 14, 2019

In February 2010, the U.S. Department of the Treasury created the Hardest Hit Fund to provide millions of dollars to 18 states and the District of Columbia to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. These states (and D.C.) each developed their own programs, which are administered by that state’s housing finance agency, to distribute the funds and assist distressed homeowners. The programs provide various foreclosure avoidance options to homeowners, like mortgage payment assistance, reinstatement assistance, and second mortgage payoffs.

While the states have until the end of 2020 to utilize their Hardest Hit funds, some states have ended their programs early because their allocated money ran out. In the chart below, you can learn which programs are still open, what kinds of assistance are available, and how to learn more.

If you think you might be eligible for a particular program that’s still available, it's a good idea to apply for assistance soon as possible before the money runs out.

States That Received Hardest Hit Funds

The states that received funds and set up Hardest Hit Fund programs are: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C.

Are Hardest Hit Fund Programs Still Open?

Individual Hardest Hit Fund programs are likely to end as soon as their funds run out. Many have already shuttered. So, if you think you could qualify for a particular type of assistance through a specific program, you should submit an application immediately.

Do Hardest Hit Fund Programs Ever Reopen?

A few states that previously closed their Hardest Hit Fund programs when their funding ran out reopened when more money became available. If your state’s program has closed, it’s a good idea to keep tabs on the program website in the unlikely event that it receives additional cash.

Types of Available Assistance

With the provided funds, each state and the District of Columbia developed programs to help homeowners facing foreclosure. Generally, the programs involve:

  • mortgage payment assistance for unemployed or underemployed homeowners
  • principal reductions to help homeowners get more affordable mortgages
  • reinstatement assistance (money to bring a delinquent mortgage current with a one-time payment), and
  • providing money to eliminate homeowners' second lien loans.

Programs often change, so check your state’s official website to find out what's available.

    How Assistance Generally Works

    The homeowner typically receives assistance in the form of a 0% interest loan that is paid directly to the servicer. The loan is typically forgivable over a specified time period—meaning the homeowner won’t have to repay it, so long as certain conditions are met—usually at a rate of 20% over five years.

    Get Help From a Housing Counselor

    Housing counseling is sometimes available through state programs at no cost, although homeowners in all states are eligible to get free help from a HUD-approved housing counselor.

    Who Qualifies for Hardest Hit Fund Foreclosure Assistance?

    Eligibility requirements vary widely from state to state and among different state-specific programs. But the requirements often include the following:

    • The property must be owner-occupied.
    • The homeowner must be unemployed/underemployed or experienced a hardship, like a divorce, death of a spouse, or medical hardship.
    • The homeowner’s total annual income must be less than a certain amount.
    • The homeowner has limited financial resources.
    • The unpaid principal balance on the homeowner’s mortgage can’t exceed a certain amount.

    Hardest Hit Fund Programs By State

    State Are programs Open? Type of Available Assistance Basic Eligibility Requirements Maximum Amount of Assistance State's Official Hardest Hit Fund Website
    Alabama No n/a n/a n/a
    Arizona Yes

    • Mortgage principal reductions.

    • Mortgage payment and reinstatement assistance for unemployed and underemployed homeowners.

    • Second mortgage payoffs.

    Among other requirements:

    • you must have a mortgage balance of $500,000 or less, and

    • the property must be an owner-occupied single-family residence, one- to four-unit dwelling, condo, or townhome located in Arizona.

    See the state's official Hardest Hit Fund website for complete eligibility requirements.

    Varies depending on the program.
    California No n/a n/a n/a
    Florida No n/a n/a n/a
    Georgia Yes

    • Reinstatement assistance.

    • Principal reduction for underwater homeowners.

    Varies, depending on the program.


    • the mortgage balance can't exceed $453,100

    • you must be current on IRS tax filings

    • you can't have more than $10,000 in tax liens total against you personally or attached to the property, and

    • you can't be in active bankruptcy.

    Additional eligibility criteria applies. See the state's official Hardest Hit Fund website for complete eligibility requirements.

    Illinois No n/a n/a n/a
    Indiana Yes

    • Reinstatement assistance.

    • Free foreclosure prevention counseling.

    To receive assistance, among other things, you must:

    • own only one home, and currently reside in that home

    • be behind in mortgage payments because of an involuntary employment-related financial hardship, like a previous job layoff or underemployment, or have experienced a divorce, death of a spouse, or medical condition

    • be able to make current mortgage payments, but unable to pay the past-due balance, and

    • meet additional eligibility requirements based on income.

    See the state's official Hardest Hit Fund website for complete eligibility requirements.

    Kentucky No, but free financial counseling is available and some Kentuckians are eligible for free legal advice. n/a n/a n/a
    Michigan Yes, but closing to new applications on December 1, 2019.

    Monetary assistance is available for eligible homeowners who're behind on:

    • mortgage payments

    • condominium association fees, and/or

    • property taxes.

    To qualify, among other things, you must:

    • have an eligible hardship (such as job loss or underemployment, a medical event, death, divorce, or a one-time critical expense, like housing repairs) that caused you to fall behind

    • limited cash reserves no greater than $10,000, and

    • you must have enough income to make future payments.

    See the state's official Hardest Hit Fund website for complete eligibility requirements.

    Mississippi Yes, but closing (no new applications taken) after December 31, 2019.

    • Mortgage payment assistance program. This program pays 100% of the monthly mortgage for up to 24 months or perhaps more depending on the circumstances, while the homeowner looks for work. The program will also make a one-time payment to bring the loan current.

    • Reinstatement only program. The reinstatement only program provides money for homeowners who previously fell behind on their mortgage payments due to unemployment or underemployment, but who are now re-employed, to reinstate a defaulted mortgage.

    Generally, the program is open to homeowners who've lost their job or experienced a reduction in income through no fault of their own. But eligibility requirements are extensive.

    See the state's official Hardest Hit Fund website for details.

    Nevada Yes

    • Principal reduction program. Qualifying homeowners can receive up to $100,000 for a first mortgage principal balance reduction.

    • Mortgage assistance for the unemployed or underemployed. If you’ve suffered an income loss, you could qualify for up to $3,000 per month or 100% of the PITIA (principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and association fees) through no later than April 30, 2020. The assistance may also be used to bring the mortgage current.

    • Reinstatement assistance. If you're behind in mortgage payments, you may be able to get up to $54,000 to cure first mortgage loan arrearages.

    • Second mortgage reduction plan. Qualifying homeowners can get up to $50,000 to pay down or pay off a second mortgage.

    Eligibility requirements are extensive, though, generally:

    • the amount you owe on your first mortgage loan must be less than or equal to $484,350

    • your household income must be less than or equal to $98,500

    • you must own and occupy the home

    • you must have experienced a financial hardship (such as loss of income, significant medical expenses, divorce, severe negative equity, etc.) that's making it difficult for you to keep your home, and

    • you can't be in active bankruptcy.

    See the state's official Hardest Hit Fund website for details

    Varies depending on the program.
    New Jersey No, but free housing counseling and mediation assistance are available. n/a n/a n/a
    North Carolina No, but free housing counseling is available and you might qualify for legal assistance if your income is low. n/a n/a n/a
    Ohio No n/a n/a n/a
    Oregon Yes

    • Fixed income support. If you're on a fixed income and struggling to afford your mortgage payments, this program provides funds to pay down your mortgage and lower your monthly payments. You might also be eligible for assistance to bring your account current if you're behind on payments.

    • Reverse mortgage help. If you have a reverse mortgage and have received a default notice, you might qualify for help to get out of default. The program might also pay up to 24 months of future property tax and homeowners' insurance payments.

    • Reinstatement assistance to catch up on overdue payments.

    • Help catching up on property tax payments.

    • Eligible homeowners receiving unemployment benefits and struggling to make mortgage payments can qualify for a program that makes their mortgage payments for up to 12 months or $20,000, whichever comes first. Additionally, money is available to bring the account current. This program is scheduled to close on December 24, 2019.

    Eligibility requirements vary from program to program and are extensive.

    See the state's official Hardest Hit Fund website for details.

    Varies depending on the program.
    Rhode Island No n/a n/a n/a
    South Carolina No n/a n/a n/a
    Tennessee Yes, but not accepting new applications effective December 6, 2019. Any incomplete applications will not be considered after December 31, 2019. Reinstatement program.

    Among other things, program requirements include:

    • you must have fallen behind on mortgage payments and be in imminent danger of losing their home to foreclosure due to a qualified hardship (like divorce, death of a spouse, or underemployment)

    • your maximum unpaid principal balance can't exceed $275,000

    • your maximum household income can't exceed $95,900, and

    • you can't have more than six months of principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI) in savings or reserves.

    See the state's official Hardest Hit Fund website for complete eligibility requirements.

    Washington, D.C. No n/a n/a n/a

    Getting More Information

    Hardest Hit Fund programs change frequently, and determining whether you’re eligible for a particular program can be a complicated process. Check your state’s official website for updates and details about the application process. Additionally, you should be aware that not all lenders participate in every program.

    If you have additional questions about the Hardest Hit Fund, make an appointment to talk with a HUD-approved housing counselor or call the phone number provided on the state's official Hardest Hit Fund website. If you need information about how foreclosure works in your state or possible defenses to a foreclosure in your situation, check out our sections on alternatives to foreclosure and fighting foreclosure in court, or consider talking to a foreclosure attorney.

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