The state of Vermont has allocated $5 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds to help low-income homeowners who’ve been economically impacted by the COVID-19 national emergency. With its CARES Act funding, the state set up a new program that offers eligible homeowners a grant of up to three months’ worth of mortgage payments to help bring a defaulted loan current.
Starting on July 13, 2020, the state will begin accepting applications from those who have missed at least two monthly mortgage payments since March. The application period is scheduled to remain open until August 31, 2020.
The “Vermont COVID Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program” provides grants that will cover up to three months of delinquent mortgage payments for low- and moderate-income homeowners. The money goes toward bringing you current on loan payments, including principal, interest, and escrow payments, such as property taxes, homeowners’ insurance, and private mortgage insurance (PMI). The VHFA will pay the funds as a grant directly to your loan servicer, and you don’t have to repay the grant.
The Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) administers the program and will distribute funds. If the grant money isn’t sufficient to bring your loan up to date, you’re responsible for paying the remaining amount.
This program is for homeowners who live in Vermont and have missed more than two mortgage payments on their principal residences. Government (USDA, VA, FHA) loans, VHFA loans, and conventional loans are eligible. To qualify:
VHFA intends to prioritize applicants with lower incomes for assistance. So, the program is currently limited to Vermont households with incomes in the last 90 days of up to $15,000. For homes in Chittenden County, this limit is $18,000.
If you missed more than two regular payments before applying for this program, you're eligible for assistance, even if your mortgage is in forbearance or in deferred payment status.
To begin the application process, go here. You can complete the application by computer or smartphone. You’ll have to provide some basic demographic information about your household and divulge all income you received in the last 90 days. You’ll also need to provide a copy of your most recent monthly mortgage statement and information about your forbearance if you’re in this kind of plan.
The VHFA will accept applications between July 13, 2020, and 11:59 p.m. on August 31, 2020. However, the VHFA may shorten this time frame if the program receives a high volume of applications. VHFA will review and verify applications between September 1 and September 30, and award funds by October 2. If money is still available after the first batch of eligible applications are funded, VHFA will start another round of funding.
If you have general questions about the Vermont COVID Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program or need help with your application, contact the Vermont Legal Aid/Legal Services hotline at 800-889-2047. For technical support, call 888-714-2260 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For help submitting your application, contact one of following local nonprofit organizations:
You can reach the VHFA by phone at 802-652-3421 and 888-714-2260 or by email at email@example.com. Also, a Mortgage Assistance Program information hotline is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 800-889-2047.
Effective date: July 13, 2020