Leon County distributed a news release a few days ago that could provide for some relief for people in parts of Leon County who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments. It's part of a $1.5M grant from the State of Florida's Impact Fee Proviso Program, which was awarded to Leon County Health and Human Services by the Florida Housing Trust Fund.
I want to thank reader "Ken" who sent me both the news release as well as the the link to the program information. He sent this in when it was "fresh," allowing the readers of the Tallahassee Real Estate Blog who qualify for the program to get to the front of the line for both down payment assistance as well as the foreclosure-prevention assistance money. Thank you Ken!
This award was geared to assist certain residents of Leon County in two key areas:
- Foreclosure Prevention Assistance (www.myLeonHome.org)
- Down-Payment Assistance for first-time home buyers (www.LeonHousing.org)
Both of the opportunities are for people living in Leon county, but outside of the city limits (unincorporated areas of Leon County). Eligibility for the programs is determined by various criteria, including income levels and home valuations. Based upon what I read in their news release and web site, it breaks down like this:
First Come, First Serve For Foreclosure Relief Assistance In Leon County
The most important point that I picked up on in the news release was that the amount of money is limited, thus it will be awarded to the first people who apply and qualify. If you find yourself in this situation, and you live in an unincorporated area of Leon County, you better get up and get moving!
The County will provide up to $7,500 in foreclosure prevention assistance to qualified Leon County residents to bring current the existing first mortgage for their primary residence. Assistance will be approved for the amount required to bring the mortgage current after other relief measures have been exhausted, credit counseling, and refinancing costs, where applicable. Applicants will be considered on a first come, first qualified basis.
Eligibility For Leon County Foreclosure Relief Assistance
- Applicant must be delinquent at least 60 days, and have received notification in writing from their lender that the foreclosure proceedings have been initiated.
- Applicants must be the property owner(s) and the property for which assistance is being requested must be their primary residence.
- Property types include: single family homes, condos and town homes. Mobile homes are ineligible.
- The market value of the home for which foreclosure prevention assistance is being requested cannot exceed $204,000.
- Applicant(s) being qualified as extremely low, very low, low, or moderate income at the time foreclosure assistance is requested.
- Applicant must provide proof of residency in the unincorporated area of Leon County.
Additional Eligibility Criteria For Leon County Foreclosure Relief Assistance
- Applicants are eligible to receive foreclosure prevention assistance once.
- Applicant(s) must have received in writing, from their lender, a denial of default resolution, forbearance, or payment arrangement.
- Applicant(s) must be credit worthy or must be enrolled in budgeting, credit repair, credit counseling, and foreclosure prevention courses, and must have sufficient income required to maintain their mortgage after foreclosure assistance is received.
- The applicant will be required to demonstrate the steps they are taking to resolve their situation.
- If approved to receive assistance, the applicant(s) must demonstrate:a. Their ability to keep the mortgage payments current.b. The enrollment in a credit counseling / credit repair / budgeting / foreclosure prevention course(s) offered by an approved local provider and obtain a “certificate of completion” in each.
- Applicant(s) must demonstrate proof of Extraordinary Hardship. Assistance will be provided where an extraordinary hardship exists and has been demonstrated through adequate documentation, resulting in the delinquency on the first mortgage. If the applicant(s) has a variable rate mortgage, they must agree to modify or refinance to a fixed rate mortgage.
- Extraordinary Hardship is defined as situations such as:
- Loss of employment, through no fault of the applicant; however, the applicant has regained employment or can demonstrate program approved income.
- Substantial decrease in the household income, through no fault of the applicant(s).
- Temporary or permanent disability that reduces income.
- Changes in the household composition that reduces income.
- Demonstrated medical hardship.
- Weather events such as fire, hurricane, or other natural disaster, resulting in unforeseen home repair bills not covered by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
- Substantial increase to the mortgage payment due to participation in an adjustable rate mortgage.
- Substantial increase to payments due to escrow shortages.
- Extraordinary Hardship is defined as situations such as:
So, what do you do if you think you qualify for foreclosure relief assistance in Leon County? First of all, move quickly! First come, first serve means that when the money runs out, the program is over! Start by calling the Leon County Housing Department at (850) 606-1900 and ask them how you "get in line" for this assistance.
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Joe Manausa is a real estate blogger, a real estate investor and the Broker and Co-Owner of Joe Manausa Real Estate. He can be reached via e-mail through the Tallahassee Real Estate Website or catch his latest writings on the Tallahassee Florida Real Estate Blog , or by calling (850) 386-2001.
Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.