Indiana Expanding Fund To Reduce Foreclosures
The Indiana Lieutenant Governor announced Wednesday the state would be expanding a fund aimed at helping Hoosiers avoid foreclosure. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Gretchen Frazee reports on how that expansion could impact counties with the highest foreclosure rates.
The state is expanding the Hardest Hit Fund–a fund the U.S. Department of Treasury established to help unemployed Hoosiers pay their mortgage.
Homeowners now can quality for up to $30,000 instead of $18,000. They can also receive help for a full two years instead of 18 months and more people can qualify based on the hardships they’ve faced.
In Lawrence County nearly one in every 540 homes in foreclosure. That puts the county among the highest in the state.
Bedford RE/MAX Real Estate Center Owner Barbara Wright says many people have been negatively affected by layoffs over the past five years.
“As you see this house behind me is one that is on the short sale list and this home and this neighborhood, which is $350,000 average in this neighborhood, people have just been unfortunate in losing jobs.”
But IU Centre for Real Estate Studies Director Doug McCoy says programs such as the Hardest Hit Fund often sound great, but they don’t produce the desired results.
“What we hear in a broad sense is that we are doing something to help those that are in need, but when we get down to the practical matter, it can be a very narrow group that we’ve made aware and that actually meet the criteria.”
Back in Lawrence County, Wright says she didn’t know about the program, and if she doesn’t know about it, she doubts homeowners do either.