Our Miami foreclosure lawyers know that Florida was one of the states hit hardest by the subprime mortgage crisis and resulting foreclosures. Because of the tremendous damage done to the housing market in the state of Florida, the Sunshine State was provided with funds from the federal government to help boost the market.
Unfortunately, new evidence indicates that Florida used only a very small amount of the money allocated to help struggling homeowners. Florida is not the only state that has had trouble spending the money effectively either, as it has proved difficult for many of those awarded funds to spend money that the federal government provided at the beginning of 2010.
Florida Fails to Spend Money from “Hardest Hit Funds.”
The “Hardest Hit” funds set up by the federal government provided around $8 billion to states with the greatest foreclosure problems occurring. Florida was one of the states that received a large sum of money. Just over $1 billion was provided to Florida, meaning that Florida’s allocation greatly exceeded money given to other states such as New Jersey, which received $300 million.
With this money, Florida was supposed to take steps to boost the market and give some assistance to struggling homeowners. States provided with money as through the “Hardest Hit” fund instituted a number of different programs including those intended to provide including mortgage payment assistance for the unemployed; reinstatement assistance programs that offered funds to help delinquent homeowners bring their loans current; and transition assistance programs for those who were way behind on paying their home loans and who needed to give up the house.
In Florida, however, much of the money that was provided by the fund was not spent. In fact, a new audit has indicated that Florida is one of 19 states throughout the United States that spent less than 22 percent of the funds on assistance for homeowners.
The failure of Florida and the other states to spend the money likely occurred, at least in part, as a result of central planning errors. The Treasury Department failed to set meaningful goals for states provided with the money, and also failed to identify metrics to measure the success of programs put in place to help homeowners. There has been a lack of accountability among the states offered funding, and Treasury has provided minimal oversight to the states.
While Florida is still be considering ways to use the money, the fact that the funds were not spent for nearly four years means that many homeowners who could have been provided with assistance instead lost their homes to foreclosure.
Homeowners in the state need to be aware of funding available through the government and of programs that are in place to try to help them keep their homes. There have been many foreclosure relief efforts on the state and federal level that have had varying degrees of success, but one of the problems has repeatedly been that homeowners do not know how to take advantage of programs or that qualifying for assistance is too complicated.
Florida should use the money available through the Hardest Hit fund to provide simple solutions to people who continue to struggle with foreclosure, while homeowners should be proactive in finding a legal professional who can guide them to relief programs and otherwise help to stop or delay a foreclosure action.
If you’re battling foreclosure in Miami or the surrounding areas contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991. Also, don’t miss Miami Foreclosure Attorney Bruce Jacobs on 880AM/the Biz, every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on “Mortgage Wars,” discussing foreclosure topics that matter to YOU.
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