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 Mississippi who've experienced a financial hardship because of the pandemic can get a piece of the $72 million allocated to the state—up to $50,000 per household—from the Home Saver Plus program. This program uses federal Homeowner Assistance Fund money to help Mississippi homeowners get caught up on overdue housing payments so they can avoid foreclosure.
This program is for homeowners who are overdue on their mortgage payments or in (or exiting) a COVID-19 mortgage forbearance.
The Home Saver Plus program provides a reinstatement option to homeowners, which is a one-time payment to bring a delinquent mortgage loan current and includes up to three months of mortgage payment assistance. The program can also help with a second mortgage lien. And you might qualify for financial help to eliminate or reduce past-due payments associated with your mortgage, like delinquent property taxes.
Assistance is structured as a nonrecourse grant that you don't have to repay. Each household is limited to a maximum of $50,000. And even if you've already received mortgage assistance from the Mississippi Home Saver Hardest Hit Fund, you can still apply.
To qualify for mortgage relief from this program, you must have suffered a material reduction in income or an increase in living expenses after January 21, 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic. You must also meet the following eligibility criteria.
To apply to this program, go to the prescreening section of the program's website. You'll have to provide some documentation with your application, like mortgage statements, income documentation (such as pay stubs or tax returns), and a government-issued ID (like a driver's license). For a complete list of the items you'll need, go here.
If you don't qualify for assistance from the Mississippi Home Saver Plus program, or you need other types of assistance, like paying for utilities, another state, local, or private sector program might be able to help you.
The Mississippi Home Saver Plus 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 Mississippi Home Saver Plus 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 fraud associated with this program, be sure to report it.
If you need help with the application process, contact the Mississippi Home Saver Plus program at 601-718-4647. You may also get help from a HUD-approved housing counselor 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 Mississippi or want to learn about potential defenses to a foreclosure, consider talking to a foreclosure lawyer.
Effective date: January 17, 2022