SHARECOMMENTMORE

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida's program offering up to $50,000 in free cash to homeowners with underwater mortgages was met with huge demand.

The application process for the Hardest Hit Fund is now closed after reaching its limit of 25,000 applications.

Now, applications are being evaluated to determine who is eligible for financial help.

Florida is distributing $350 million in federal cash to help homeowners whose homes are worth significantly less than what they owe on their mortgages.

Cecka Green of the Florida Housing Finance Corp. said it's crucial for applicants to get their paperwork together quickly.

"We are not holding spots for homeowners to get their documents in so it's important to get that information in so we can deem you eligible or ineligible and then go on move toward contacting your lender."

Green said the free cash for eligible homeowners will be disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The cash will be applied to homeowners' loan principal. That will allow them to rework mortgages to get a lower monthly payment.