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HHF Frequently Asked Questions

What is HHF?

HHF stands for the Hardest Hit Fund.  Indiana is one of 19 states that received money from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to help homeowners avoid losing their homes to foreclosure.  Indiana received more than $221 million for HHF, a program that is run by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA).

The purpose of the HHF program is to prevent avoidable foreclosure and help stabilize the housing market. Indiana’s HHF may provide up to $30,000 in assistance to qualifying homeowners.

There are three programs within Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund: the Unemployment Bridge Program; the Recast/Modification Program; and the Transition Assistance Program. The types and amounts of assistance available to homeowners through these programs vary. Each program is described in detail below, including the criteria that applicants must meet to be eligible for assistance.

What is the IFPN?

The IFPN was developed by a coalition of community organizations, housing-related agencies, government agencies, lenders and banks, to assist Indiana homeowners who are struggling with—or who are at risk of—mortgage delinquency and foreclosure.

We provide free and confidential mortgage payment assistance to qualifying applicants and foreclosure prevention counseling to any Indiana homeowner who needs it. By clicking on the “Apply” button above or calling 1-877-GET-HOPE (1-877-438-4673), you will connect with an IFPN housing counselor who can help you understand your options to avoid foreclosure.

Is HHF for me?

You may be eligible for Hardest Hit Fund program (HHF) mortgage payment assistance, or other foreclosure prevention assistance outlined below.

Funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Hardest Hit Fund may cover the monthly mortgage payment, including principal, interest, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance for eligible Indiana homeowners for up to two years or $30,000.  The program can also help qualified homeowners catch up on their payments if they have fallen behind.  Other forms of assistance may be available to homeowners who do not qualify for Hardest Hit Fund mortgage payment assistance.

Call us at 1-877-GET-HOPE (1-877-438-4673) or click the “Apply” button on 877GetHope.org to start the application process.

Mortgage payment assistance

HHF helps qualified homeowners who cannot make their payments—or fall behind on their mortgage payments—due to an involuntary financial hardship. Hardships that may qualify homeowners for assistance include, but are not limited to:

(a) an involuntary loss of employment or reduction in employment income
(b) a reduction in household income due to death of a household member
(c) expenses related to non-cosmetic medical procedures or emergencies
(d) military service
(e) or divorce.

Transition Assistance

For homeowners who cannot be assisted with mortgage payment assistance, transition assistance may be available. The purpose of this program is to prevent avoidable foreclosure, and help stabilize neighborhoods by helping homeowners leave their home in a marketable condition and to transition to more affordable housing. The following transition assistance may be available:

  • $2,500 to the homeowner to assist with moving and relocation expenses; and
  • Up to $5,000 to lenders/servicers to extinguish and release subordinate liens as part of a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure agreement.

Lender Dispute Resolution

In Indiana, you have the right to meet face to face with your lender to try to resolve the mortgage dispute before the foreclosure may proceed, but homeowners must request this opportunity with the court. The IFPN can assist homeowners through this process. For more information on settlement conferences, call 1-877-GET-HOPE (1-877-438-4673), or visit the Indiana Supreme Court’s website.

What requirements must I meet?

Indiana’s HHF requires that homeowners meet the following criteria:

The applicant must:

  • Be an Indiana homeowner
  • Own only one home, and currently reside in that home
  • Be unable to make their mortgage payment (or catch up on past-due payments) because of an involuntary financial hardship such as a job layoff or extremely high medical bills.
  • Meet additional eligibility requirements based on income.

Income Requirements

Income requirement information is coming soon. If you have questions about meeting income requirements for Indiana's Hardest Hit Fund, please contact us at 1-877-GET-HOPE (1-877-438-4673), so that we may connect you with one of our certified IFPN counselors.

Do I have to be behind on my mortgage to get assistance?

No, Indiana’s HHF is also available to homeowners who are current on their mortgage, but who are experiencing an involuntary financial hardship that might cause them to fall behind on their payments.

When should I apply?

Homeowners should apply as soon as they experience—or anticipate experiencing—an involuntary financial hardship, or know that they will have trouble paying their mortgage. The sooner you apply, the better.

You will need the following items to apply*:

  • Any correspondence from your mortgage company or its attorney
  • Most recent recorded mortgage
  • Most recent mortgage statement
  • Most recent bills and statements for all expenses
  • Copy of unemployment eligibility and explanation of benefit or a print out of unemployment insurance homepage (if applicable)
  • Last 30 days of pay stubs for all employment and income sources
  • Documentation of any other public benefits such as SSI
  • Last two months of all bank statements
  • Previous year’s tax returns and W-2/1099(s)
  • Credit report for homeowner and co-homeowner

*Additional documentation may be required.

How do I apply?

To apply for the Hardest Hit Fund Program (HHF), click the “Apply” button on 877GetHope.org, and complete the four-step online application. The more information you share with us, the faster and more accurately we can assist you.

Online Application Process

  • Step 1: Basic homeowner information
  • Step 2: Property and lender information
  • Step 3: Financial information
  • Step 4: Hardship letter

The online application process allows us to match you with the proper counseling agency. The counselor will review your information, determine your eligibility for the HHF and/or other programs and assist you through the process, all at no cost to you.  You may also get connected with a counseling agency by calling 1-877-GET-HOPE (1-877-438-4673).

If I’m approved for HHF, will I get a check?

You will only receive a check if you are approved for Transition Assistance. All other HHF assistance is paid directly to your mortgage lender on your behalf.

Will I have to pay back the assistance I receive from Indiana’s HHF?

Although HHF is a loan, you do not have to make loan payments or pay interest. After 10 years, the loan is completely forgiven.  You only have to pay money back if you sell your home for a profit before the 10 years passes, and you only have to pay back as much as you can with the profit you make from the sale.  The rest is forgiven.  For example, if you received $10,000 in HHF assistance, and the next year you sell your house and make $10,000 in profit, you would have to pay back the entire $10,000 HHF loan.  But if you only made $2,000 in profit, you would pay back $2,000 and the other $8,000 would be forgiven.  If you broke even or lost money on the sale, all $10,000 would be forgiven.  Also, after 5 years 20% of the loan is automatically forgiven each year.  The longer you keep your home, the less you might have to pay back.

Term (in years from closing date) Amount Due Back to IHCDA
Years 1 through 5 100%
Year 6 80%
Year 7 60%
Year 8 40%
Year 9 20%
Year 10 0%

The HHF loan is not forgivable by reason of death of the borrower. However, because it is a non-recourse loan, the borrower’s estate has no personal liability for the debt, and IHCDA is limited to collecting from the available proceeds after sale of the property.

Can I refinance my home after receiving HHF assistance?

Yes. HHF does not prevent you from refinancing your home.  However, you should be aware of the following HHF policy:

  1. “NO CASH OUT” REFINANCE: If you refinance your home ONLY to get better loan terms than your current mortgage offers (such as a lower interest rate or payment), then IHCDA will sign an agreement with your lender to have the HHF loan put back into second place behind your refinanced loan (this is called a Subordination Agreement).
  2. “CASH OUT” or “LINE OF CREDIT” REFINANCE: If you refinance your home in order to receive money (“cash out” some or all of the value of your home), then you must pay back the the amount of HHF assistance that you received; OR, if you do not wish to pay back HHF, then IHCDA will not sign a Subordination Agreement and the HHF loan will be placed ahead of the refinanced loan (most lenders will not agree to refinance your loan without a Subordination Agreement). 

PLEASE PROVIDE THIS INFORMATION TO YOUR POTENTIAL REFINANCE LENDER BEFORE YOU SIGN ANY NEW LOAN DOCUMENTS.  The new lender should understand what this policy means and what effect it would have on their refinance loan. If you have additional questions, please contact the agency that assisted in getting you the HHF assistance.

Is my servicer/bank participating?

More than 300 lenders participate in Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund. To see if your mortgage lender is part of our program, view the participating lender/servicer list.

Don't see your lender listed? Call us at 1-877-GET-HOPE (1-877-438-4673) to apply for assistance, and contact our servicer liaison at HHF@ihcda.in.gov to request that your lender be added.

What if I don’t qualify?

Other foreclosure prevention assistance may be available for applicants who do not meet these qualifications. Please complete the application and someone will contact you.

Where can I find out more about HHF?

To find out more, call us at 1-877-GET-HOPE (1-877-438-4673).