Hardest Hit Fund Outreach Expands

by Houston Agent

Bank of America has provided $2.8 million to the Hardest Hit Fund toward mortgage payments, to 700 borrowers, according to Housing Wire. The fund, introduced in February 2010, supplies $7.6 billion in federal aid to struggling unemployed homeowners in 18 hard-hit states, as well as Washington, D.C.; these areas have been determined as “hard hit” by unemployment rates exceeding 12 percent, and home price declines greater than 20 percent.

The largest recipient of aid is California, with approximately $2 billion, closely followed by Florida with $1 billion. The programs launched in Michigan last July, and the state expects to offer assistance to roughly 49,000 homeowners, otherwise facing potential foreclosure, by July 2013, according to USA Today.

With an ever-growing amount of unemployed, measured at 13.7 million in April, Housing Wire announced that Bank of America has also expanded its unemployment assistance programs to reach the areas designated by the Hardest Hit Fund program. Agreements began with principal reduction pilot programs in California and Arizona, and now, in May, the assistance has spread to all areas.

“The unemployment assistance programs, in particular, extend help to homeowners who otherwise may not be eligible for the government’s modification program and other homeownership retention solutions due to lack of qualifying income,” said Bank of America National Outreach Executive, Rebecca Mairone to Housing Wire.

GMAC Mortgage, a mortgage subsidiary of Ally Financial, has also joined the effort, offering aid to struggling homeowners, according to DS News.

“GMAC Mortgage is committed to helping borrowers in distress,” said CEO of Ally Financial’s mortgage operations, Tom Marano to DS News. “Providing our customers with as many options as possible for affordable and sustainable payment relief remains our top priority.”

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