Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Hardest Hit Alabama program?

It is a federally funded loan program designed to help eligible homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments.

Is this assistance coming out of the State of Alabama's budget?

No. These funds have been provided to states hit hardest by unemployment by the United States Department of Treasury to assist homeowners to avoid foreclosure.

Do I have to be a homeowner in order to be eligible for assistance?

Yes. HHA program is a foreclosure prevention program designed to assist homeowners with eligible hardships.

I received HHA assistance in the past. Can I apply again?

Homeowners may not receive assistance in the same program more than once. If you are unsure about which program you received assistance from, please contact the HHA Call Center.

How much assistance can I receive?

Homeowners may be eligible for up to $30,000.

What does it mean to be underemployed?

For the purposes of Hardest Hit Alabama assistance, it means a homeowners ability to have a verifiable 10% reduction in income.

Can I be in an active bankruptcy and qualify for assistance?

Homeowners in an active bankruptcy are not eligible for participation. Bankruptcy will end HHAs ability to provide assistance due to legal requirements placed on most servicers about accepting payments on behalf of the household bankruptcy.

My mortgage servicer is not on the list on participating servicers, am I still eligible?

Mortgage servicers are required to sign an Agreement with HHA before any disbursements can be made on a homeowner’s behalf.  

How do I apply for assistance?

Eligible homeowners may apply by clicking the Apply Now button located in the upper right corner of the screen to begin your application. Once you begin the application process, you will have 15 calendar days to provide the required documentation. If you previously started an application, but did not receive assistance, you will have to contact the HHA call center and provide required documentation to reactivate your application.

Do I have to repay the assistance?

You may have to repay all or a portion of the assistance if:
  1. You no longer occupy the property as your primary residence before the end of the recapture period.
  2. You sell the property and there is sufficient equity to pay all or a part of the unforgiven balance.
  3. If fraud is found, the total assistance amount must be repaid.

Will the program negatively affect my credit?

Your existing lender/servicer must continue to report factual information to the credit bureaus regarding the standing of your mortgage. If you are approved for a Hardest Hit Alabama program, HHA does not report any information to the credit bureaus.

What income is included in the household income calculation?

All income of occupants 18 years and older. This includes taxable and non-taxable forms of income.

How long before a decision is made on my application?

The application process could take up to 30-45 days. During the application process, homeowners are encouraged to continue making their mortgage payments. Please note, applying does not guarantee funding, and there may be insufficient funds to support all applications.

Should I call the HHA call center for questions concerning my application?

Due to the number of phone calls anticipated, we recommend you email your counselor directly with any questions you may have concerning the process.

Should I continue to pay my mortgage during the application process?

Yes. HHA will notify you in writing if you are approved for assistance and when to stop paying your mortgage.

What happens if a homeowner decides to sell the property while in the disbursement phase of the program?

At the time of sale, disbursements will stop and a recapture provision may apply.

What happens if a homeowner decides to sell the property while in the monitoring phase of the program?

The recapture provision may apply.

Can I still refinance my primary mortgage if I am approved for this program?

Yes. HHA will consider subordinating our mortgage lien if you have been approved by a lender/servicer for a new mortgage. The lender/servicer that is offering the new mortgage should contact HHA with their subordination request.

How is Hardest Hit fund assistance reported to the IRS?

You will receive a 1098-MA form for the current tax year to provide you and the IRS with the dollar amount of financial assistance your loan servicer received on your behalf from the Hardest Hit Alabama program in the current tax year. The amount of assistance you receive impacts the amount of mortgage interest you may deduct on your income taxes. HHA cannot offer tax advice, so please consult an attorney, tax preparer, or the IRS if you have any questions.