$55M in Mortgage Relief Available to Homeowners in New Mexico

You might be eligible for free money from the government through a new COVID mortgage-relief program in New Mexico.

By , Attorney

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.

Eligible homeowners in New Mexico who've experienced a financial hardship because of the pandemic can get a piece of the approximately $55 million allocated to the state—up to $20,000 per household—from the New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund program. This program uses federal money to help homeowners make mortgage payments and pay other home-related costs.

What Housing Costs Does the New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund Program Cover?

Again, the New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund program offers up to $20,000 per household. This money can be used to cover:

  • Mortgage reinstatement. You might be eligible for money to reinstate a delinquent mortgage, including payments in forbearance, as well as for principal reduction or extinguishing a lien, such as a second mortgage.
  • Monthly mortgage payments. If you're currently receiving unemployment benefits, you might qualify for money to pay overdue mortgage payments or upcoming monthly payments.
  • Property taxes and homeowners' insurance. You could qualify for funding to pay up to three years of delinquent property taxes, pay overdue homeowners' insurance, reverse mortgage escrow shortages, and taxes and insurance that are due up to 90 days after you apply.

Eligibility Requirements for the New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund 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.

In addition, you have to meet some other guidelines:

  • The property must be located in New Mexico.
  • Your household income must be at or below 150% of the area median income or 100% of the U.S. median income, whichever is greater.
  • You must own and occupy the property as your primary residence. Second homes, investment properties, and vacant properties don't qualify.
  • The property must be a single-family residential property, condo, townhome, manufactured home that's permanently affixed to real property and taxed as such, or a mobile home that isn't permanently affixed to real property (but land or lot rental payments aren't eligible).
  • Your original loan balance must not have been more than $417,000 or the conforming loan limit in place at the time you bought your home. Eligible loans include, among others, mortgages, deed of trusts, real estate contracts, lease-purchase contracts, mobile/manufactured home loans, chattel loans, and land contracts.

To find out if you're potentially eligible, take this prescreening quiz.

How the New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund Program Works

Assistance is structured as a grant that you don't have to repay. You would only need to repay the money if you commit fraud or wrongful misrepresentation in the application process.

New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund payments go directly to the loan servicer or other approved entity, not to homeowners.

How to Apply for Assistance From the New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund Program

Go to the New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund website to pass the prescreening quiz and create an account to apply. You'll have to provide some documentation with your application, like mortgage statements or statements for your other housing-related costs, proof of income (such as pay stubs and tax returns), and a government-issued ID (like a driver's license). Click here to get a complete list of the documents you'll need. You can also request a hard copy of the application (see below for contact information) if you don't want to apply online.

Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. So, if you think you might qualify, it's best to apply as soon as possible before funds run out.

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 New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund program is 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. Be sure to report any fraudulent activity you encounter.

Learn More About the New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund Program

If you have questions or need help with your application, call 505-308-4206 or 866-488-0498 and review the program's FAQs. You may also get help from 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.

Effective date: February 28, 2022