Florida trails other states in Hardest Hit distributions

Florida is trailing other states when it comes to distributing its share of the federal Hardest Hit foreclosure assistance funds to homeowners in the state.

Six of 18 states given Hardest Hit money in 2010 have handed out their entire stake. But Florida only distributed less than one-third of its $1 billion allocation through the first quarter of 2014. Even foreclosure-addled Nevada managed to spend 48 percent of its Hardest Hit funds.

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“Initially, even before I was even on the board, our underwriting parameters were conservative compared to those other states, so our money has gone out a little more slowly,” Florida Housing Finance Corp. chairman Bernard Smith told the Sun-Sentinel. Florida Housing oversees the state’s Hardest Hit money.

Florida has until December 2017 to spend their share of the Hardest Hit funds. The state has picked up the pace since September 2013, when it launched a principal-reduction initiative giving qualified homeowners up to $50,000 if they owe more on their property than it is presently worth. [Sun-Sentinel]Eric Kalis