State officials announced a new program for Florida homeowners who owe more on mortgages than their homes are worth.  The Florida Hardest Hit Principal Reduction Program will provide a break of up to $50,000 for qualifying applications.  According to Florida Housing’s executive director Steve Auger, “For those who qualify, this new program can help to reduce their principal balance, which can result in a lower monthly payment and put more money in their pockets.” 

You will have to act fast, as the program is initially restricted to 25,000 applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.  The online application begins tomorrow (9/25/13) at 9 am at www.principalreductionflhhf.org.  Some of the rules to qualify are: 

  • The unpaid balance of the mortgage cannot exceed $350,000;
  • Homeowners must be Florida residents and legal U.S. citizens;
  • The house must be occupied as a primary residence;
  • Total household income cannot exceed 140% of the area’s median income;
  • Mortgage payments must be current with no payments later than 60 days in the past 24 months; and
  • The mortgage had to originate prior to Jan 1, 2010. 

Hopefully the ‘Hardest Hit’ program will help to preserve home ownership and prevent more homes entering the market as distressed properties. 

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