In early 2021, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. This law created the Homeowner Assistance Fund, a federal program, to give around $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 Delaware who've experienced a financial hardship because of the pandemic can get a portion of the approximately $50 million allocated to the state—up to $40,000 per household—by applying to the Delaware Mortgage Relief Program. This program uses federal money to help homeowners pay delinquent mortgage payments and other housing costs, like property taxes and homeowners' insurance.
What Kind of Mortgage Relief and Housing Assistance Is Available?
Homeowners can apply to the Delaware Mortgage Relief Program to get:
Eligibility Requirements for the Delaware Mortgage Relief Program
To qualify for relief from this program, you must have suffered a financial hardship (a material reduction in income or an increase in living expenses) after January 21, 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic. You also have to meet these guidelines:
The property must be owner-occupied and located in Delaware.
You must be at least 30 days delinquent. Payments missed during a forbearance qualify.
In addition, your income can't exceed certain limits. Your household income must be at or below 150% of the area median income (AMI) or 100% of the median income for the United States, whichever is greater. To qualify in New Castle County, for example, a four-person household can have an income of up to $158,100.
The following types of properties are eligible for assistance:
single-family (attached or detached) homes
one- to four-unit properties where the homeowner lives in a unit as their primary residence
manufactured homes permanently affixed to real property and taxed as real estate, and
mobile homes not permanently affixed to real property.
How the Delaware Mortgage Relief Program Works
Assistance is structured as a grant that you don't have to repay. Payments from the program go directly to the loan servicer or other approved entity, not to homeowners.
How to Apply to the Delaware Mortgage Relief Program
To apply, go to the official Delaware Mortgage Relief Program website and use the application portal. You'll have to provide specific documents with your application, like your mortgage statement, pay stubs, and tax returns.
If your application is denied and you believe that decision was an error, you may submit an appeal within 30 days by logging into the portal.
Avoid Homeowner Assistance Fund Scams
Be wary if you get an unsolicited offer by phone, mail, email, or text message offering mortgage relief or foreclosure rescue services. Scammers are increasingly targeting homeowners who've been affected by COVID-19.
Homeowner Assistance Fund programs are free. If anyone asks you to pay a fee to get housing counseling or to receive foreclosure prevention services from this program, it's a scam.
Learn More About the Delaware Mortgage Relief Program
If you have questions about the Delaware Mortgage Relief Program, call 888-303-4324 or visit demortgagehelp.com.