Nashville New Homes: Mortgage Payment Relief Program in Tennessee

What is the difference between a recession and a depression?

A recession is when a friend or neighbor loses their job.  A depression is when you lose yours.  Job losses have affected many, with positions either eliminated, or full time hours scaled back to part time.  In either situation, through no fault of their own, many families have difficult choices to make.

Tennessee is one of few states that received money, $217,315,593.00 from the US Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund (HHF).   In January of this year, the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) announced a program to help unemployed and under-employed homeowners meet their mortgage obligations in Tennessee’s hardest hit, or “targeted” counties.  Click here for a list of these “targeted” counties:

Now, this 7-year program has now been expanded and is available in ALL Tennessee counties.  Here is a synopsis of the program from the THDA website


Homeowners who qualify for financial assistance may receive up to 18 months of monthly mortgage payments and/or funds to pay past due mortgage payments to bring the mortgage current; these funds are paid directly to the loan servicer/lender.

To qualify for the Keep My Tennessee Home program, a homeowner must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be unemployed or underemployed (a 50% reduction of income) through no fault of their own. The event or incident which results in unemployment or substantial underemployment must have occurred after Jan. 1, 2008.


  •    *** THIS has now ben changed to a 30% reduction. ***


  • Have a mortgage for a single-family home or condominium (attached or detached) in Tennessee that they occupy as their primary residence. This includes manufactured homes on foundations permanently affixed to real estate that they own.
  • Have a history of timely mortgage payments prior to the job loss/reduction of income.
  • The combined amount of your mortgage principal, interest, taxes and insurance must be greater than 31% of your household income after the job loss/reduction of income.
  • Not have more than six months’ reserves of liquid assets, that is, liquid assets equal to six months of their mortgage principal, interest, taxes and insurance.
  • Have a household income less than $74,980.
  • Have a total unpaid principal balance not exceeding $226,100.

Above are the basic eligibility criteria. Meeting these criteria does not guarantee eligibility for the Keep My Tennessee Home program.


In Tennessee’s “targeted” counties, homeowners can receive funds up to 18-months, up to a total of $20,000.  In all other counties, homewoners can receive 12 months of assistance, up to a total of $15,000.  Once eligibility is approved, funds are sent direct from THDA to the servicing lender and can be for delinquent payments, current, and future payments as they become due.

The assistance funds are basically a loan, set up as a “line of credit” to be used as long as the hardship circumstances continue, up to the end of the eligibility period.   The loan is then forgiven over 5 years, 20% each year, as long as the family keeps the home as their primary residence.

Another great feature of this program is that you do not have to be delinquent on your mortgage payment to be eligible.  As long as your financials fit the guidelines, you are eligible for the assistance loan. 

For more information, please visit  For more information on THDA and its many valuable programs, please visit

Even in tough economic times, Tennessee is still the best place in the world to live.  Come join us.

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.