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Florida has the highest foreclosure rate in the country as of October 2013, according to a recent Congressional Research Service report. An initiative called the Hardest Hit Fund was created following the recession. Its purpose is helping to keep families from losing their homes. The fund involves the District of Columbia and 18 states encompassing a total of 66 programs that utilize money from the fund.

To date, only $3 billion has been distributed to homeowners in need by the states involved, although $7.6 billion has been provided for the fund by the government. According to the CRS, Alabama had only disbursed 21 percent of its funds, Florida 26 percent, Michigan 29, Arizona 34, California 36 and Nevada only a little better than half. Rhode Island, which was not very hard hit, had disbursed 84 percent to homeowners. In addition, Washington D.C. and Oregon had disbursed almost 70 percent of the money allocated to them. The problem seems to be that the hardest hit states received the most money but had allegedly distributed the least.

The Treasury has approved a few changes to the Hardest Hit programs in some states, including Arizona, South Carolina and New Jersey. The Treasury has also been criticized by the Office of the Special Inspector General for their failure to pinpoint the number of homeowners that each state should be helping.

When families are dealing with possible foreclosure, anything that could stop foreclosure and keep people in their homes, whether it is a government program or another method, is always a possibility. A bankruptcy lawyer who is experienced in foreclosure could help by examining all of the steps that a lender took to determine if they complied with fair lending law requirements.

Source: Stateline, “High Foreclosure States Fail to Get Aid to Homeowners“, Pamela M. Prah, November 26, 2013