An informational and open-to-the-public meeting on the foreclosure-prevention program Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) will be held on Wednesday (Oct. 17), at Coventry Town Hall Council Chambers, 1675 Flat River Road. The presentation will start at 6 p.m.
Representatives Scott J. Guthrie and Lisa Tomasso are urging homeowners to attend the meeting as the HHFRI program has become easier for Rhode Islanders having difficulty making mortgage payments to get assistance.
Among the criteria, homeowners who are unemployed, and believe they may qualify can contact the HHFRI Center, 401-277-1500, directly to get an appointment to begin the HHFRI application process. Homeowners with financial hardships other than unemployment will continue to seek out assistance from a HUD approved and HHFRI certified counseling agency such as the Rhode Island Housing HelpCenter, 401-457-1130. Homeowners do not have to be unemployed to qualify for assistance.
Homeowners who own more than one property can qualify for this assistance. The amount families can have in savings and still qualify for assistance has been increased to $15,000. (You can have any amount in a retirement account such as a 401(k) or an IRA.)
“With these adjustments HHFRI will be able to bring relief to more Rhode Islanders and keep them in their homes," said Richard Godfrey, Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing. “The purpose of this program is to prevent foreclosures and stabilize the housing market by helping homeowners make mortgage payments."
Struggling homeowners may qualify for this program if they have a documented financial hardship such as a sudden loss of a job, underemployment, unforeseen medical expenses, and disability of a family’s key wage-earner or have received FEMA or other natural disaster assistance and still have extensive property damage. Also, deployed members of the U.S. Armed Forces or those discharged within the last 12 months who have experienced a drop in income are qualified for extra assistance. (This applies to all personnel in regular and reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.)
The U.S. Treasury has made available to Rhode Islanders $79 million to help those at risk of losing their homes. Rhode Island Housing has been designated by the Treasury to oversee the funds. The agency will be processing, approving and administering the submissions from lenders, servicers and specially trained HHFRI certified counselors.