$248M Available to Maryland Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

You might qualify for a loan of up to $30,000 or a grant up to $10,000 to cover housing-related costs from Maryland’s new COVID mortgage-relief program.

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 Maryland who've experienced a financial hardship because of the pandemic can get a piece of the $248 million allocated to the state from the Homeowner Assistance Fund Loan program or Homeowner Assistance Fund Grant program. These programs help homeowners pay overdue and future mortgage payments and cover other housing-related costs with either a loan or a grant. You might qualify for a loan of up to $30,000 or a grant up to $10,000.

Getting a Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund Loan

This program provides a one-time payment to reinstate a delinquent mortgage and, in some cases, additional funds to pay for a principal curtailment (a reduction in the loan's principal) or rate reduction to lower your mortgage payments to an affordable level. Generally, servicers will use various methods, like reducing the interest rate, to lower payments by 20%. Also, under program rules, your monthly mortgage payments (principal and interest) must end up being less than 40% of your household gross income.

If you're exiting a forbearance or in default, your servicer will work with you in the process.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for a Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund Loan, you must meet the following criteria.

  • You must have an eligible financial hardship after January 21, 2020. (A "financial hardship" is a material reduction in income or a material increase in your living expenses because of the coronavirus pandemic that has created or increased your risk of mortgage delinquency, mortgage default, foreclosure, or displacement. Examples of COVID-19 related hardship include having to perform essential work during the pandemic, child care/educational costs, illness, death in the family, costs of caring for an elderly, disabled, or sick family member, etc.)
  • Your income must be less than 150% of the area median income (AMI).
  • You must own and occupy a one- to four-unit property in Maryland as your primary residence. (Acceptable property types include detached, single-family, duplex, triplex, fourplex, condominium, co-op, and manufactured housing/mobile homes.)
  • You must own the property, as evidenced by the deed of trust.
  • At origination, the delinquent mortgage had an unpaid principal balance that's not more than the conforming loan limit. (Conforming loans are eligible for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to purchase from lenders.)

How a Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund Loan Works

Assistance is structured as a loan, up to $30,000, with a lien recorded on your home. Payments on the loan are deferred for the life of the first mortgage. You have to repay the loan when the first mortgage ends through a repayment, refinance, transfer, or sale. At that time, based on your situation, you'll have to repay the loan:

  • in full
  • through a repayment plan, or
  • you'll receive full or partial loan forgiveness.

A Homeowner Assistance Fund Loan may be combined with a Homeowner Assistance Fund Grant.

Getting a Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund Grant

Grants are given to homeowners who want to avoid imminent displacement (within 90-days) because of, among other things, a tax delinquency, chattel loan or land lease delinquency, homeowners' association fee or condominium association fee delinquency, or mortgage delinquency.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for a Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund Grant, you must meet the following criteria.

  • You must have an eligible financial hardship after January 21, 2020.
  • Your income must be less than 100% of the AMI.
  • You must own and occupy a one- to four-unit property in Maryland as your primary residence.
  • You must own the property, as evidenced by the deed of trust.
  • You must be delinquent or in forbearance on your mortgage for more than three months.
  • At origination, the delinquent mortgage had an unpaid principal balance that's not more than the conforming loan limit.

How a Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund Loan Works

Assistance is structured as a grant that you don't need to repay. No lien is recorded on the property. The maximum amount you can get is $10,000.

How to Apply for a Loan or Grant From Maryland's Homeowner Assistance Fund

To apply for a loan or grant (or both), go to the Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund registration page. Or start by answering the prequalification questions. You'll need to provide some documentation with your application, like a current mortgage statement, income information, and identification. For a complete list of the documents you need, go here.

How Long Will the Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund Programs Last?

The Maryland Homeowners Assistance Fund programs 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.

Avoid Homeowner Assistance Fund Scams

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 Maryland Homeowners Assistance Fund programs are free. If anyone asks you to pay a fee to get housing counseling or assistance with housing-related costs from these programs, it's a scam.

Getting Help

To learn more about the Maryland Homeowners Assistance Fund programs and eligibility criteria, review the Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund Factsheet, Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund Loan Factsheet, and Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund Grant Factsheet​. If you need help with the application process, call the Maryland Homeowner Assistance Hotline at 877-462-7555. You can also get free help from a HUD-approved housing counselor. 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 Maryland or want to learn about potential defenses to a foreclosure, consider talking to a foreclosure lawyer.

Effective date: January 6, 2022