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 Oklahoma who've experienced a financial hardship because of the pandemic can get a piece of the $74 million allocated to the state—up to $20,000 per household—from the Oklahoma Homeowner Assistance Fund program. This program uses federal money to help homeowners in Oklahoma make mortgage payments and pay other housing-related expenses so they can avoid foreclosure.
Qualified homeowners in Oklahoma can get money to pay the following home-related expenses:
Funds may be used to eliminate or reduce overdue mortgage payments, including escrow items and payments under a forbearance plan, and provide up to three months of upcoming mortgage payments. They can also pay for non-escrowed property taxes, homeowners' insurance, and HOA and condominium fees.
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 must also meet the following eligibility criteria:
Also, you can't get the same assistance from another program and you must provide proof of a court-ordered discharge or dismissal if you filed bankruptcy within the last three years.
Assistance, up to $20,000, is structured as a grant that you don't have to repay. The money is sent directly to your mortgage servicer, taxing authority, or approved service provider, as applicable.
To apply for help from this program, go to the Oklahoma Homeowner Assistance Fund program website and click on "Apply for Assistance." You'll have to register and use Neighborly software (an online program) to apply. You'll also need to provide some documentation with your application, like a photo ID, Social Security card, tax returns, statements showing delinquent housing costs, and income verification documents.
It will probably take around 45 minutes to complete an application. You can save your progress and finish the process later. Just be sure to remember your password.
The 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 Oklahoma Homeowner Assistance Fund 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.
To learn more, see the program's Frequently Asked Questions section. You can get information in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese on the program's main website.
If you need help with the application process, contact the Oklahoma Homeowner Assistance Fund program at 833-208-2535 or 405-419-8202, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the online contact form. 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.
Effective date: January 12, 2022