In February 2010, the U.S. Department of the Treasury created the Hardest Hit Fund to provide targeted aid to homeowners facing a foreclosure in certain states, including Mississippi. While Mississippi closed its Hardest Hit Fund program—known as Home Saver—in late May 2017, the program has now reopened.
(Because the program was closed at the time of writing, information about Mississippi's Home Saver program was intentionally omitted from Nolo's book The Foreclosure Survival Guide by Amy Loftsgordon.)
As part of the federal Hardest Hit Fund, the government allocated billions in aid money to certain states, like Mississippi, that experienced the most extreme home price declines, high rates of foreclosures, and high unemployment rates during the Great Recession.
Hardest Hit Fund states. Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia all received Hardest Hit Fund money.
How Hardest Hit Fund programs work. Each state (and D.C.) that received Hardest Hit Fund money developed their own programs, which are administered by that state’s housing finance agency, to distribute the funds and assist distressed homeowners in avoiding foreclosure. The assistance programs vary from state to state, but may include:
When Hardest Hit Fund programs will end. The states have until the end of 2020 to make use of the funds allocated under the Hardest Hit Fund. Some states ended their programs early after running out of money, but have reopened when additional funds became available.
The Mississippi Hardest Hit Fund program, which is called Home Saver, stopped accepting applications after May 31, 2017. However, the program has since reopened and is now accepting new applications.
The Home Saver program offers payment and reinstatement assistance to Mississippi homeowners who are struggling to stay current on their mortgage loan.
Mortgage payment assistance. Eligible borrowers that are unemployed or substantially underemployed, or that have experienced a death or divorce of a spouse that resulted in at least a 15% reduction in income, can get help with making mortgage payments. The program pays for 100% of the monthly mortgage payment for up to 24 months (limited to $50,000). Borrowers in distressed counties may qualify for up to six additional months of assistance. (The program also offers mortgage payment assistance to unemployed borrowers who return to school.)
Reinstatement assistance. Eligible homeowners who fell behind on mortgage payments and need help to catch up can get up to $50,000. The money may be put towards getting caught up on delinquent first mortgage payments, delinquent property taxes, and any accrued escrow shortages. You must have returned to work and be able to make the payments going forward.
To learn more about the different types of available assistance and get details about eligibility requirements for the Home Saver program, go to www.mshomesaver.com or call 601-718-4647.
Effective date: January 31, 2018