Home Experts: Local News
$1 billion in new help to flailing homeowners
Story Updated: Jun 23, 2011
Beware of fraudsters, who are bound to crop up like toadstools after a rain. ConsumerAffairs.com says that legitimate agencies won't phone you. You'll have to call them.
The rules require that you personally apply for the loan. In other words, if someone calls you, asks for advance payment and promises to apply on your behalf, you've hooked a con artist and you'd be a dope to participate.
On the other hand, ConsumerAffairs says, the actual, legitimate government program itself can sound a little fishy:
It may sound like a classic foreclosure rescue scam: a limited-time offer for a free government loan to save your home. But this time the offer is legitimate.
The rest of the states
You may be wondering: Why only some states?
The answer: Homeowners in the other states already are getting billions of dollars in help from the Hardest Hit Fund
Starting on Feb. 19, 2010, with $1.5 billion, that fund helps distressed homeowners in states with unusually high unemployment rates or home-price drops of more than 20%. Several more infusions of cash have plumped up the fund, for a total by last November of $7.6 billion.
These "hardest-hit" states 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.
The Hardest Hit program has been useful for some homeowners -- here's the story of one Tennessee woman for whom it was a lifeline. Others find they're too far behind on their mortgage payments to qualify for help. (Hardest-Hit program rules and available money vary by state. Here's where to find the details for your state.)