In early 2021, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. This law created a Homeowner Assistance Fund, a federal program, to give $10 billion to the states to help households that are behind on their mortgages and other housing expenses due to COVID-19.
Eligible homeowners in Alabama who've experienced a financial hardship because of the pandemic can get a piece of the approximately $125 million allocated to the state—up to $50,000 per household—from the Mortgage Assistance Alabama program. This program uses federal money to help homeowners in Alabama pay overdue mortgage payments and other home-related costs.
The Mortgage Assistance Alabama program offers three kinds of assistance to eligible homeowners:
To qualify for relief from this program, you must have suffered a financial hardship after January 21, 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, you have to meet some other guidelines:
You can qualify even if you previously received assistance from the Hardest Hit Alabama program. But if you're receiving federal mortgage payment assistance from another agency, you're not eligible.
Assistance is structured as a grant that you don't have to repay. Only in cases of fraud or wrongful misrepresentation would an applicant have to repay the funds.
Mortgage Assistance Alabama payments go directly to the loan servicer, not to homeowners.
To apply for help from this program, go to the Mortgage Assistance Alabama website and take the pre-screening quiz. If you're potentially eligible, you can create an account and complete the online application. You may also request a hard copy of the application by contacting the program's call center at 888-460-9977 or you can complete the application over the phone.
You'll have to provide some documentation with your application, like mortgage statements, proof of income (such as pay stubs and tax returns), and a government-issued ID (like a driver's license). Click here for a complete list of documents you'll need to provide. The program accepts applications Monday through Friday.
If you get an unsolicited offer by phone, in the U.S. mail, through email, or by text message offering mortgage relief or foreclosure rescue services, be wary. Scammers are increasingly targeting homeowners who've been affected by COVID-19. The Mortgage Assistance Alabama program is free. If anyone asks you to pay a fee to get housing counseling or foreclosure prevention services from this program, it's a scam. If you experience fraud associated with this program, be sure to report it.
Call 888-460-9977 or go to the Mortgage Assistance Alabama FAQs website if you need more information. If you need help with your application, contact a HUD-approved housing counselor who will assist you at no cost. To find a counselor near you, go to HUD's website or call 800-569-4287.
Go to the program's Resources website to get a list of available resources that can potentially help with food and shelter or legal services.
Effective date: February 7, 2022