The Real Deal Miami

Florida’s foreclosure prevention program shifts tactics

$1B Hardest Hit Fund would give cash for home down payments
April 06, 2015 11:15AM


A foreclosed home up for sale

Florida’s $1 billion foreclosure prevention program, which has historically helped homeowners fight off bank repossessions with mortgage assistance, might start pitching in for first-time homebuyers’ down payments.

The proposal would earmark $50 million for down payments from the federal Hardest Hit Fund, which was created with taxpayer money, a publication reported.

The program has until 2017 to use up all of its funds. Florida Housing Finance Corp., which oversees the program, has already committed $573.5 million of the $1 billion, and hopes that the Treasury will be more open to the proposal this time around.

A similar plan was rejected by the U.S. Department of Treasury when the program was first created in 2010, the Palm Beach Post reported.

If approved, Florida would reportedly be the first state to use the program’s funds to help purchase homes, instead of just help keep them.

To qualify, the buyer must be purchasing the home as their primary residence and meet minimum credit scores. First-time homebuyers are defined by the program as people who have not owned a home and lived in it as their primary residence for the last three years, the newspaper reported.

Those who qualify would receive a $15,000 no-interest loan forgivable over five years. [Palm Beach Post]Sean Stewart-Muniz