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Homeowner stimulus checks: How to get money from this $10B fund

Updated June 3, 2021 - 4:29 am

Although the future of a fourth stimulus check is uncertain, there is still a huge chunk of money homeowners can tap into to get relief if they are struggling with housing expenses. While lesser-known, the Homeowners Assistance Fund provides billions of dollars to homeowners to prevent them from losing their homes.

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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.

You must also prove the nature of the financial hardship, like a job loss or reduction in income, health care costs, etc. In order to qualify homeowners must also hold a mortgage balance of less than $548,250 as of 2021.

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In February, President Joe Biden directed federal housing regulators to extend forbearance for an additional six months and prolong other foreclosure relief programs past their December 31 deadline. Recently, some of the nation’s largest banks revealed their plans, each with a varying degree of commitment to the directive. More than 3 million households are behind on their mortgage payments and nearly 1.7 million will exit their forbearance period in September, Fox News reports.

Money from HAF funds could help this population, but unlike stimulus payments, are not automatic. In order to apply for funds, you must visit your state’s housing agency website.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Homeowner stimulus checks are coming – how to get your money from this $10B fund

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