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Indiana foreclosure prevention program expanding

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About 10,000 more Indiana homeowners could get help in making their mortgage payments under an expansion of a federally funded foreclosure prevention program, state officials announced Wednesday.

Changes to the Indiana's Hardest Hit Fund program include broader eligibility and nearly doubling the amount of mortgage aid each household could receive. The program first started in 2011 with $221 million in federal funding.

"Our goal is to ensure that every Indiana homeowner who qualifies for assistance has that opportunity to get help," Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann said.

Some 1,500 Indiana households have received up to $18,000 in assistance since the program was started, said Mark Neyland of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, which oversees the fund.

Only those who were unemployed have been eligible for the program — and officials are looking for a big jump in applications by broadening eligibility. Those newly eligible include those who can't afford their house payments for reasons such being forced into a lower-paying job, the loss of income from a family member's death, large medical expenses and being called to military service.

Household can receive up to $30,000 in assistance over a two-year period, with those in the program having to complete a financial literacy course.

State Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, said that more education on handling money was an important part of the program to make sure that those who've gotten help to stay in their homes don't fall back into the same situation.

Northwestern Indiana's Lake County, which includes Gary, has long been troubled by a double-digit unemployment rate, and Rogers said expanded mortgage aid will give residents "a ray of hope in what is very often a dim surrounding."

Indiana is among 18 states and the District of Columbia sharing about $3 billion in federal grants announced in 2010 to help homeowners facing foreclosure in the country's toughest job markets.

Indiana had nearly 4,000 new foreclosure filings in March, about the same as a year earlier, according to the foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc.

Details on the program are available here.

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  1. PJ - Mall operators like Simon, and most developers/ land owners, establish individual legal entities for each property to avoid having a problem location sink the ship, or simply structure the note to exclude anything but the property acting as collateral. Usually both. The big banks that lend are big boys that know the risks and aren't mad at Simon for forking over the deed and walking away.

  2. Do any of the East side residence think that Macy, JC Penny's and the other national tenants would have letft the mall if they were making money?? I have read several post about how Simon neglected the property but it sounds like the Eastsiders stopped shopping at the mall even when it was full with all of the national retailers that you want to come back to the mall. I used to work at the Dick's at Washington Square and I know for a fact it's the worst performing Dick's in the Indianapolis market. You better start shopping there before it closes also.

  3. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  4. If you only knew....

  5. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

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