Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Government Stimulus Program For Homeowners

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What Help Is Available For My Home Energy Bill

Fake ad claims U.S. giving homeowners about $3,700 in stimulus relief

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program may be able to help with:

  • Assistance to pay your heating or cooling bills
  • Emergency services in cases of energy crisis, such as utility shutoffs
  • Low-cost home improvements, known as weatherization, that make your home more energy efficient and lower your utility bills.

LIHEAP funds may not be used to pay water and sewer bills.

Q: Didn’t These Programs Expire How Is This Different

Q: What can the funds be used for?

Q: How long does it take to check?

A: Previous programs did, however, they have been brought back and qualification guidelines may be different from when you last checked

A: Anything! While many homeowners use the funds for home improvements and home remodels you can definitely put them towards other uses such as planning ahead for retirement, education, bills or other expenses

A: About 60 seconds, you’ll just answer a few basic questions and you’ll be able to determine your eligibility online

Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

The next program that will remain available in 2022 is the emergency support under SNAP.

It is also more widely known as food stamps.

At the start of the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided an additional $1billion per month in food assistance.

These funds have helped an estimated 25million people in low-income households put food on the table during this time.

The emergency SNAP benefits were originally due to expire at the end of September 2021, but a selected number of states are continuing to extend it.

Below is the list of states that are extending the emergency SNAP benefit, worth at least $95 extra, through January:

  • Alabama

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What Else Do I Need To Know Before Starting A Home Repair

Tips for Hiring a Contractor

Finding a good contractor to do repairs and improvements to your home is important. Before hiring a contractor, get tips from the Federal Trade Commission on avoiding home improvement scams. Also, find out how you can report a problem, if you encounter any issues with work you’ve had done on your home.

Watch Out for Utility Lines Before You Dig – Call 811

Before digging on your property, . Utilities will come out to mark the area to help you avoid damaging or being injured by underground utility lines. The timing for processing your request differs from state to state. Some states allow for an online digging request.

What Are The Income Limits For The Current Homeowner Relief Programs

What

If you’ve had a temporary job loss or reduction in come, it is incredibly difficult to keep up with a mortgage rate that you had when you were fully employed. Therefore, while the COVID-19 protocol is no longer in place, there are mortgage relief programs still in place for 2022.

You may also find that you can qualify for a lower mortgage rate entirely, with conforming loan refinance being offered to people who have a debt-to-income ratio of 65 percent or less and a credit score of at least 620.

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Maintain Your Credit Score

Lenders generally should not report forbearance to credit bureaus, which keeps your credit score intact. However, it would help if you did not wait until you are delinquent on your mortgage to contact your lender about relief options, as this can negatively impact your credit report.

The Mortgage Stimulus Program that has been released to contain the financial impact of COVID-19 on homeowners will give you relief from various bills and ensure that you dont have to foreclose on your home in dire times. And, in closing, here is some interesting mortgage industry news worth reading: Andrea Orcel picked as new CEO of Unicredit.

Q: Does The Exclusion For Qualified Principal Residence Indebtedness Apply To Amounts Discharged Under A Pra Principal Reduction

A4: The exclusion for qualified principal residence indebtedness may apply to a discharge of indebtedness under a PRA principal reduction if the amount discharged meets the criteria for qualified principal residence indebtedness. Under current law, this exclusion does not apply to discharges that occur after Dec. 31, 2013. For further discussion of the qualified principal residence exclusion, see the questions and answers on The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation page.

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Am I Eligible For Liheap

This chart from Benefits.gov shows the average LIHEAP eligibility requirements. Actual requirements may vary by state, city, or region. Each local LIHEAP office sets its own eligibility requirements.

  • A person or family participating in certain other benefit programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , Supplemental Security Income , Temporary Assistance for Needy Families , or certain needs-tested veterans benefits may be automatically eligible.
  • Being qualified for LIHEAP does not guarantee that you will receive help. Whether or not you receive help depends on how much LIHEAP funding is available for the year.
  • On average, about 20% of households that are qualified for LIHEAP receive benefits. When LIHEAP funds run out for the year, no more benefits can be given until Congress makes more funds available.

Homeowners Assistance Fund: Who Is Eligible And How To Apply

Government to unveil residential housing stimulus

Only those who have experienced financial hardship since January 21, 2020, will be eligible for this money. Thus, those applying for this benefit need to provide evidence for the same, such as a job loss, drop in income, more spending on healthcare, etc.

Another eligibility criterion is that the household income of the claimant must not be more than 150% of the median income in the area. Also, the mortgage balance of the homeowner must not be more than $548,250 as of 2021.

It is estimated that about 14 million homeowners have mortgages that could qualify for this benefit. However, not all may be able to get support. The HAF makes it clear that priority will be given to homeowners who have “experienced the greatest hardships.”

Unlike the stimulus checks that were sent automatically, homeowners who believe that they meet the eligibility requirements will have to apply for it. To apply, the homeowners need to contact their states housing agency. They can do this through the National Council of State Housing Agencies online help page.

After you contact your states housing agency, it will detail the application process, as well as any specific eligibility requirement it may have.

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Fmerr Eligibility: Qualify For Mortgage Relief And A Lower Interest Rate

You may be eligible for FMERR if:

  • Your current mortgage is owned by Freddie Mac*
  • Your loan was originated on or after November 1, 2018
  • Your LTV is at least 97.01% for a one-unit, owner-occupied resident
  • You have made all your payments on time in the last 6 months
  • Your mortgage balance is 97.1% or higher as a percentage of your homes market value, for a one-unit, owner-occupied dwelling

*You may not even know that your mortgage is owned by Freddie Mac. If youre unsure, use this lookup tool on the Freddie Mac website.

If you meet these conditions you are very likely to have access to lower rates but you need to act now before rates go up. Speak with your mortgage lender about relief options.

Fha Va And Usda Loans: Take Advantage Of Low Interest Rates For Govvernment

If you have a government-backed loan an FHA, VA or USDA loan you wont be able to take advantage of the HIRO or FMERR programs.

Still, theres another great refinance option available, to enable homeowners to reduce their mortgage interest rate even if their homes market value is low compared to their mortgage balance.

If your mortgage is backed by the Federal Housing Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Department of Agriculture, you have refinancing options, even if your mortgage is underwater.

FHA, VA and USDA loan programs all offer Streamline Refinance options, which are quick and affordable refinance loans with reduced eligibility requirements. These Streamline Refinance programs require little paperwork and take less time and money than a conventional refinance.

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Financial Help For Homeowners And Landlords

Forbearance is not the same as forgiveness. Forbearance only puts off the inevitable day when paused payments must be made up. Programs funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provide financial assistance to homeowners and landlords under two programs: the Homeowner Assistance Fund and the Emergency Rental Assistance program.

State And Federal Unemployment Assistance

Government Stimulus Package Home Renovations

Laid-off workers may be eligible for unemployment income. The amount of unemployment income youre eligible to receive varies by state.

Visit your state governments website to see what unemployment assistance is available where you are. You can find contact information for your state government and agencies here.

In addition, the recently-passed American Rescue Plan renews federal unemployment assistance .

Those who collect state unemployment assistance may also be eligible for an additional $300 per week in federal unemployment income, thanks to the new stimulus bill. This will be available until September 6, 2021.

Stimulus checks

The American Rescue Plan also includes direct payments of up to $1,400 for individuals with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less and couples with an AGI of $150,000 or less.

Families will receive an additional stimulus check of up to $1,400 for each qualified dependent.

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There Are Still Mortgage Relief Programs For Struggling Homeowners

Although the deadline for mortgage forbearance programs ended Sept. 30, 2021, mortgage stimulus relief programs are still available for financially strapped homeowners.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, which left many Americans unemployed and strapped for cash, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act helped struggling homeowners with assistance by protecting government-backed mortgages through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration , Veterans Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture .

Under the mortgage relief programs, homeowners could apply to forbear their monthly mortgage payment for up to 18 months. The deadline for forbearance enrollment was Sept. 30, 2021.

Is There Really A $3700 Mortgage Stimulus Program

Those $1,200 pandemic stimulus checks have ended, and are unlikely to return.

So what are all these ads for a new homeowners stimulus, that could provide more than $3,700 to pay your mortgage?

The ads are all over social media right now, many saying a new 2021 mortgage relief program is giving back $3,708 in savings to homeowners.

The headline on another says a new stimulus program is giving relief.

It even includes a picture of a TV anchorwoman reading this as breaking news.

But what TV station does she work for? It looks like CNN, but theres no logo on the screen.

The Better Business Bureau and AARP are warning about all these ads, saying there is no federal mortgage stimulus program.

States have some individual programs to help homeowners in distress, but that is not this.

And from the doesnt that stink file, what happens when you click to apply.

We tried to sign up, and got a series of screens asking for our address, homes value, and how much we owe on it.

In the end, it turned out to be a pitch for a refi program, which might save you $3,000, or not.

Its not a scam, but its not a $3,000 stimulus program, and that stinks.

The Better Business Bureau says there is no Congress-approved relief program for mortgage payments for Americans.

Finally, be careful of any offer for government help that takes you to a website that does not end in dot gov.

That way you dont waste your money.

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How Mortgage Forbearance Works

Forbearance is an agreement with your lender that lets you make a reduced payment or no payment for a set amount of time. Interest accrues, and the skipped amount needs to be paid after the forbearance period ends.

Under normal circumstances, forbearance typically lasts about three months, but longer periods have been available to homeowners dealing with financial issues during this pandemic.

Before you start forbearance, make sure your lender offers repayment terms that seem reasonable. Repayment may be expected as a lump sum at the end of forbearance, sometimes called a “balloon payment.” If a lump-sum payment doesnt sound feasible, try to negotiate for another option.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with the FHA, VA and USDA, have required lenders to offer options other than lump-sum repayment to borrowers using COVID-19 forbearance. The agencies and GSEs have also barred lenders from charging additional fees, penalties or interest during forbearance beyond what would have normally accrued.

Lenders shouldn’t report forbearance to the credit bureaus.

“The lender should report it as ‘paying as agreed,'” says Rocke Andrews, president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. Once the forbearance is repaid, Andrews says, “in theory, it shouldn’t affect your ability to refinance or purchase in the future.”

How To Apply For Assistance From The New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund Program

Federal stimulus money allows homeowners to make home improvements during pandemic

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 , and a government-issued ID . Click here to get a complete list of the documents you’ll need. You can also request a hard copy of the application 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.

Can I Get Assistance If I Live on Tribal Lands?

First, review this list of Tribal Homeowner Assistance Fund Participants and contact your tribal government or tribally designated housing entity for assistance. If you’re not eligible, you might qualify for help from the New Mexico Homeowner Assistance Fund program.

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Who Qualifies For The Third Round Of Stimulus Checks

Similar to the previous two stimulus checks, single taxpayers who make less than $75,000 will receive the full $1,400. The stimulus check now phases out for single taxpayers making more than $80,000 of adjusted gross income, which was previously set at $100,000.

For those who file as head of household, the stimulus check wont be given to those making over $120,000. For joint filers, it would phase out for couples earning more than $160,000.

Unlike the two stimulus payments, this third round will include eligible adult dependents and families with mixed-status citizenship. In order to qualify, one member within the mixed-status family needs to have a Social Security number.

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.

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Homeowner Stimulus Checks Are Coming How To Get Your Money From This $10b Fund

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As part of the American Rescue Plan stimulus relief bill, $10 billion dollars was included in the Homeowners Assistance Fund providing money to homeowners in assistance with mortgage payments in order to prevent delinquencies, foreclosures and late payments on utilities amongst other things.

The law prioritizes funds for homeowners who have been hardest hit by the pandemic. The Treasury Department states that it uses local and national income indicators to maximize the impact of where the money is distributed.

The HAF provides a minimum of $50 million for each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and $498 million for Tribes or Tribally-designated housing entities and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. $30 million is also available for the territories of Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Homeowners are eligible to receive HAF money if they have experienced financial hardship after January 21, 2020 AND have income equal to or less than 150% of the area median income. This means three times the income limit for very low income families, for the relevant household size, as published by HUD, according to the Treasury Department.

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Colorado Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program

Extra Economic Stimulus Package 2020 (PRE 2020) Measures

The Colorado Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program provides financial assistance on behalf of income-eligible homeowners who have experienced a financial hardship associated with the COVID-19 health crisis.

Households are eligible to receive Emergency Mortgage Assistance if they:

  • Attest that they experienced a financial hardship after January 21, 2020 associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,
  • Provide income documentation and have household incomes equal to or less than 100% of the Area Median Income for their county
  • Currently own and occupy a primary residence in Colorado, and
  • Their original loan was not a Jumbo loan at the time of purchase or most recent refinance.
  • For additional questions please email

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    Pros And Cons Of Refinancing

    Like with any loan, there are some pros and cons when it comes to an FHA cash-out refinance. This type of loan may benefit some, but it could be the wrong option for others.

    Pros:

    • Using an FHA cash-out refinance, your home equity can be turned into cash that can be used to put you in a competitive financial position.
    • An FHA cash-out refinance is a great option if you plan to reinvest it into your home by doing renovations or making improvements.
    • It can be a great way to consolidate your high-interest debts, such as credit card debt, student debt, or car loans.
    • Since FHA cash-out refinance requirements are more lenient than those of conventional loans, FHA loans are more accessible, especially to those with low credit. The official minimum credit score to qualify for an FHA cash-out refinance is 500. However, be aware that lenders may look for a higher credit score. These loans also provide a higher maximum LTV than conventional loans.
    • FHA loans are assumable, meaning that they can be transferred from an existing owner to another buyer after evaluation by the lender.

    Cons:

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