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-related expenses due to COVID-19.
Eligible homeowners in Louisiana who've experienced a financial hardship because of the pandemic can get a piece of the $146.7 million allocated to the state (up to $25,000 per household) by applying to the Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Fund program. This program helps homeowners affected by COVID-19 who are behind on their mortgages and at risk of foreclosure.
Louisiana's Homeowner Assistance Fund program will provide money to:
Mortgage loans in forbearance, delinquent loans not in forbearance, and loans in foreclosure can qualify for assistance.
To qualify for financial help from Louisiana's Homeowner Assistance Fund program, you must meet all of the following eligibility requirements.
Under U.S. Department of the Treasury rules, priority for assistance will be given to lower-income homeowners and socially disadvantaged homeowners, such as members of a group that have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society.
Assistance is structured as a grant that you don't have to repay. In most cases, funds from the program will be distributed directly to your mortgage servicer. Each household can get up to $25,000.
To apply for help from this program, go to the Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Fund website. You'll need to create an account and answer a few pre-screening questions. Once you've registered, you can fill out and submit an application.
You'll need to provide some documentation with your application, like a government-issued ID (such as a driver's license). You might also have to submit mortgage statements, pay stubs, wage statements such as a W-2 form, IRS Form 1099s, and tax filings. For a full list of the documents you need, go here. Your case manager will contact you via the application portal to get any additional documentation required to complete the process.
You'll be able to log in to the portal at any time to check the status of your application and see whether it has been approved.
The Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Fund program will continue until the earlier of September 30, 2026, or when all of the funds allotted to the program have been exhausted. If you think you might qualify, it's best to apply as soon as possible.
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 Louisiana Homeowner Assistance 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 any fraud related to the program, be sure to report it.
To learn more about the Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Fund program and eligibility criteria, see the program's Frequently Asked Questions section. If you need help with the application process, call 833-88-LAHAF, email Info@LACovidHousing.com, or contact a HUD-approved housing counselor, who will help you at no cost. To find a counselor near you, go to HUD's website or call 800-569-4287.
If you have questions about the foreclosure process in Louisiana or want to learn about potential defenses to a foreclosure, consider talking to a foreclosure lawyer.
Effective date: January 10, 2022