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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Indiana’s Hardest-Hit Fund?

The U.S. Department of the Treasury established the Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund for the Hardest-Hit Markets (“Hardest Hit Fund”, “HHF”) to provide financial assistance to families in the states most impacted by the downturn of the housing market. Indiana was awarded over $221 Million to help unemployed homeowners pay a portion of their mortgage. Under the Hardest Hit Fund Unemployment Bridge Loan Program, IHCDA targets low-to-moderate-income homeowners whose primary residence is in any county in Indiana.

IHCDA has worked with Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN) partners to develop a comprehensive, statewide strategy. The plan aims to assist more than 10,000 homeowners who are experiencing financial hardship and are at-risk of mortgage loan default or foreclosure. Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) program options will assist homeowners with financial hardships who have been unable to qualify for existing loan modification and foreclosure prevention programs.

How will Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) help Indiana homeowners?

Indiana’s HHF will provide an Unemployment Bridge Program (UBP) to assist homeowners throughout the state to avoid foreclosure resulting from loss of income due to layoff, reduction in force, or other job loss through no fault or neglect of their own. Within the UBP, there are three (3) options to address the needs of homeowners:

One-Time Reinstatement offers a reinstatement for:

  1. Re-employed homeowners who were unemployed within the past twelve (12) months (from the date of HHF application) and became delinquent due to that unemployment. In order to be eligible for the one-time reinstatement, the homeowner: (a) must be prepared to verify the dates in which they received unemployment insurance, (b) must have a 31% or below debt-to-income ratio (mortgage payment ÷ gross monthly income), (c) is eligible for $2,000 for each month during which they received at least one unemployment insurance payment, and (d) meet all other eligibility requirements.
  2. Unemployed homeowners who have accumulated a delinquency during a recent (and continuing) period of unemployment. In order to be eligible for the one-time reinstatement, the homeowner must have a 31% or below debt-to-income ratio (excluding unemployment insurance benefits) and meet all other eligibility requirements.

Homeowners who are eligible for the One-Time Reinstatement may receive up to $30,000.

Monthly Payment Assistance offers monthly payment assistance to eligible unemployed homeowners who have suffered job loss through no fault or neglect of their own. Eligible homeowners may receive assistance up to $30,000, for 24 months, or until 3 months after re-employment, whichever comes first.

Reinstatement with Monthly Payment Assistance offers a combination of reinstatement and monthly payment assistance for eligible unemployed homeowners. Eligibility criteria are the same for those receiving the Monthly Payment Assistance. Eligible homeowners may receive assistance up to $30,000, for 24 months, or until 3 months after re-employment, whichever comes first.

Who is eligible?

The Unemployment Bridge Program (UBP) eligibility requirements target homeowners who meet the following criteria:

  • With respect to all homeowners:
    1. Own only one home and reside in the home as primary residence;
    2. Individual(s) applying for assistance MUST be on the mortgage;
    3. Applicant(s) must not have liquid assets sufficient to make six or more monthly mortgage payments, excluding retirement accounts, and must meet the appropriate income limits;
    4. Applicant(s) must submit a hardship affidavit explaining their inability to pay mortgage (a form will be provided);
    5. Priority of service will be extended to veterans and military personnel (active or reserve).
  • Monthly Assistance and Reinstatement with Monthly Assistance:
    1. Applicant(s) must be unemployed and receiving (or be eligible for) unemployment insurance at the time of application;
    2. Applicant’s household income must be below 140% of Area Median Income (AMI) limits, adjusted for borrower household size (AMI limits located here);
    3. Monthly first mortgage payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) must be greater than 25% of the homeowner’s gross monthly household income, excluding unemployment insurance benefits; and
    4. Approved applicants will be required to participate in a job training program, educational courses or 20 hours of supervised volunteer activities per month (volunteer opportunities will be provided).
  • One-time reinstatement for re-employed homeowners:
    1. Must demonstrate they can afford the monthly mortgage payment with the post-unemployment income (must have a 31% or below debt-to-income ratio (mortgage payment ÷ gross monthly income));
    2. Must have an annual gross household income equal to or less than $150,000;
    3. Must qualify in all other respects for assistance; and
    4. Must not have the means for, or otherwise qualify for, another program providing mortgage reinstatement.
  • One-time reinstatement for unemployed homeowners:
    1. Applicant(s) must be unemployed and receiving (or be eligible for) unemployment insurance at the time of application; and
    2. Fail to qualify for limited monthly assistance because their monthly first mortgage payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) is NOT greater than 25% of the homeowner’s gross monthly household income, excluding unemployment insurance benefits;
    3. Must have a 31% or below debt-to-income ratio (mortgage payment ÷ gross monthly income);
    4. Have an annual gross household income equal to or less than $150,000; and
    5. Must not have the means for, or otherwise qualify for, another program providing mortgage reinstatement.

What does “gross household income” mean?

Gross household income means the gross (before taxes) income of the applicant as well as the gross income of any other person living in the residence age eighteen (18) or older, (excluding full-time students).

How is gross household income calculated?

Gross household income is based on gross pay from employment, including any part-time, seasonal or sporadic income, shift differentials, overtime pay and bonuses.

Gross household income also includes:

Alimony and separate maintenance payments;

Periodic payments for trust, annuities, inheritances, insurance policies, pensions, retirement funds and lotteries;

All public assistance payments (excluding Medicaid and food stamps) including any
amount by which educational grants, scholarships, and/or Veteran Administration educational benefits exceed expenses for tuition, fees, books and equipment, and reasonable rent and utility costs for a student living away from home;

Interest and dividends;

Payments in lieu of earnings, including social security, unemployment benefits, worker’s compensation, severance pay, disability or death benefits;

Income from partnerships;

Rental income for property owned;

Recurring monetary contributions or gifts regularly received from a person not living in the residence; and

All regular pay, special pay and allowances of a member of the Armed Forces, not including hazardous duty pay.

How much assistance is available to help each homeowner?

Eligible homeowners may receive assistance up to $30,000, for 24 months, or until 3 months after re-employment, whichever comes first.

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

All assistance is structured as a forgivable, non-recourse, non-amortizing loan, secured by a junior lien on the property. The loan has a term of 10 years and is forgiven at a rate of 20% per year in years 6 through 10 of the loan term. If the borrower sells the property before the forgiveness period expires, all net sale proceeds up to the full principal balance outstanding will be due and payable to IHCDA.

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.

How will homeowners apply for the Unemployment Bridge Program?

To begin the application process, homeowners may register online at www.877GetHope.org or call the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN) toll-free hotline 1-877-GET-HOPE (1-877-438-4673) to be referred to one of the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or state-approved housing specialist agencies selected by IHCDA. An HHF-trained housing specialist will work with each homeowner to screen eligibility and develop an individualized action plan to address the homeowner’s particular needs. IHCDA will review and approve eligibility applications and will authorize payments to the approved homeowner’s mortgage servicer.

Is the assistance limited to people who are delinquent on their mortgage?

No, Indiana’s HHF is also available to homeowners who are current on their mortgage, but who are experiencing financial hardship due to unemployment.