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 around $10 billion to the states to help households that are behind on their mortgages and other housing expenses due to COVID-19.
Once Utah's Homeowner Assistance Fund program gets rolling, homeowners who've experienced a financial hardship because of the pandemic will be able to get a portion of the approximately $53 million allocated to the state, up to $25,000 per household, by submitting an application. This program will use federal money to help eligible homeowners make mortgage payments and pay other home-related costs, like property taxes, homeowners' insurance, and utilities.
Homeowners can potentially use money from the Utah Homeowner Assistance Fund program to pay:
Also, you might also be able to get funds to pay future payments.
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 20, 2021, because of the coronavirus pandemic. You also have to meet these guidelines:
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.
As of June 9, 2022, Utah's Homeowner Assistance Fund program is still under development and not yet taking applications. Check the Department of Workforce Services' Homeowner Assistance Fund website to get updates about availability.
In the meantime, you can take steps to get ready to apply once the program begins. You'll have to provide documentation along with your application. Start organizing the documents you'll need, such as your mortgage statement, pay stubs, and previous year's tax returns, and put them in a digital format (like a pdf).
Also, find out what type of mortgage you have, like an FHA-insured, VA-guaranteed, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac mortgage. You might qualify for a special loss mitigation option, depending on what entity owns or backs your loan. Call your loan servicer to learn about what alternatives are available.
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.
If you need help with the application process or have questions about the Utah Homeowner Assistance Fund program, a HUD-approved housing counselor can assist you (for free). To find a counselor near you, go to HUD's website or call 800-569-4287.
Effective date: June 9, 2022