Information on the Oregon Hardest Hit Fund

The federal government is providing the state of Oregon almost $100 million to fund the Hardest Hit Fund. The Oregon Housing and Community Services agency will be administering the program, and the agency hopes to help thousands of people across the state pay their mortgage and avoid a foreclosure filing. The Hardest Hit Fund will have five main components, and they include the following :

  • Unemployment and Loan Preservation Assistance  - Funds from the program will help the unemployed and others who are facing a short term hardship. Money provided under the hardest hit fund will assist homeowners with paying their mortgage and any associated fees that may be incurred during a period of financial distress or unemployment. People need to apply for aid, and eligibility will be determined by the employees of the Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative. After being selected, recipients of the funds will be able to receive up to $20,000 to help them stay current on their housing payments.
  • Mortgage Loan Modification Assistance – This component of the program will provide borrowers with a one-time contribution of funds and financial assistance, up to a total of $10,000. The money will flow to borrowers who are in the process of obtaining a loan modification as part of the hardest hit fund. The cash grants provided may be used to reduce outstanding principal balance on a borrowers loan, and the funds can help them pay delinquent escrow, or even help the Oregon homeowner ensure a positive net present value test result under federal government HAMP or other modification programs, such as those offered by national banks.
  • Loan Refinancing Assistance – Another resource offered by the Oregon hardest hit fund is a pilot project that targets just two counties in the state, which are Jackson County as well as Deschutes County. These two counties have been hit hard, and home values have dropped by almost 25% in these counties.  According to the Oregon Housing and Community Services outline of the program, the Loan Refinancing Assistance program will make resources available to those in need, on a competitive basis, to mission-driven and other non-profit organizations that will buy the homes or mortgages from various banks and lenders at the current market value and then renegotiate those loans and refinance with the homeowners. the end result is keeping the family in their home.





  • Mortgage Payment Assistance – This is another option for the unemployed. This component is targeted towards underemployed or unemployed borrowers, or money will help those borrowers who have experienced a loss of income. The component of this program would provide up to six months of housing and mortgage payment assistance. However, the twist with this is that the lender must also participate. They are required to provide a 1-to-1 match for a total anticipated benefit of 12 months. In total, the Mortgage Payment Assistance program would pay up to $1,400 per month to the homeowner, for a total capped benefit of $8,400.
  • Transitional Assistance – The last part of the Oregon Hardest Hit Fund. This program would work in conjunction with mortgage servicers' assistance programs, such as short-sales and DIL programs. If qualified, the Oregon Hardest Hit Fund Transitional Assistance Program will provide up to $3,000 per borrower on a one-time basis.

Ask your lender about the Oregon Hardest Hit Fund, or call the Oregon Housing and Community Services agency at (503) 986-2000.




By Jon McNamara

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