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.

How do I apply for assistance?

You can begin your application by clicking the "Apply Now" button at the top of this page. If you are attempting to reapply, you must contact 1.877.497.8182 for assistance.

Can I apply by phone or mail?

No. All applications must be competed online. You can begin your application by clicking the "Apply Now" button at the top of this page.

Is there any special equipment I need to complete the application process?

  • Access to the internet (the application could take up to an hour to complete)
  • An email account allows HHA to send notifications electronically
  • A scanner or fax machine to transmit documents required to complete the application process
  • If you do not have access to these devices, you may find assistance at a community facility such as a library or church.

What type of assistance is available?

  • Mortgage Payment Assistance
  • Short Sale Assistance
  • Loan Modification Assistance

How much assistance can I receive?

The maximum assistance per program is $30,000. Homeowners may participate in only one component per program, with a maximum total assistance amount of $60,000.

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.

Do I have to be eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits to be qualified for the program?

To qualify for the Mortgage Payment Assistance program, you must be currently receiving or have previously received unemployment compensation benefits or have experienced a substantial reduction in household income. The loan modification and short sale assistance programs are available to all homeowners.

Can I be in bankruptcy and qualify for the program?


Can I file for bankruptcy once I am approved?

No, if you are in the disbursement stage of the process.

My home is scheduled for foreclosure sale, can I still qualify?

You may. You will have to complete the prequalification and application process before a decision can be determined. It will be up to your mortgage servicer to postpone the foreclosure sale during the HHA review process.

I own a manufactured home. Am I eligible?

You may be eligible if both the manufactured home and the land that it sits upon are mortgaged together as real property. If you own the manufactured home, but not the land, you are NOT eligible.

What happens if I find a job after I am approved for unemployment mortgage payment assistance?

If you find employment after you are approved for assistance or during the time you are receiving assistance, your assistance will continue until you have reached your approved 12 months, not to exceed $30,000.

How can I find out the balance of my mortgage loan?

Please refer to your monthly mortgage statement or contact your servicer directly.

How do I find out the name of my loan servicer?

Your loan servicer is the agency/company you make your mortgage payments to.

How long will this approval process take?

Please allow up to 6 weeks for processing of your application for mortgage payment assistance. Processing time for loan modification and short sale assistance may vary.  Applicants should submit the required documents in a timely manner. Any delays could result in additional processing time.

I worked outside of Alabama, but I live in Alabama. Am I eligible for unemployment mortgage payment assistance?

Maybe. To be eligible, homeowner's unemployment eligibility must be verifiable through the applicable state agency that is responsible for issuing unemployment benefits.

Will the assistance be mailed to me directly?

No. all disbursements will be paid directly to the mortgage servicer.

What if I have a child who is under the age of 18, but works? Do you have to count his/her income?

Only if the income is derived from child support, SSI, SSDI or any other funding source that is not W-2 income in the child's name only.

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 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.

If the homeowners are separated, does the income of the spouse not living in the property have to be counted towards the maximum income limit?

Yes. The income of both parties must be counted.

Do I have to have homeowners/hazard insurance on the property to qualify for this assistance?

Yes. If your loan does not escrow for insurance, homeowners are required to provide a current insurance policy and proof that the property taxes have been paid.
Although you are not required to repay this assistance (unless you meet one of the recapture provisions), the US Department of Treasury requires that a 0% mortgage be recorded.

Will I be required to pay any closing costs?

Homeowners are not required to pay any closing costs for mortgage payment and loan modification assistance. Closing costs for short sale assistance may vary.

Are Hardest Hit Alabama programs limited to homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgage?

No. You do not need to be behind on your mortgage payments to be eligible.

Are mortgage servicers required to sign an agreement to participate?

Yes. Download the Participation Agreement.

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.