State of Indiana Implements the Indiana Homeowner Assistance Fund to Assist Homeowners in Mortgage Default by David Cliffe, Esq.

The State of Indiana recently established the Indiana Homeowner Assistance Fund (IHAF) to financially assist homeowners impacted by Covid 19 in the Hoosier State in order to avoid foreclosure and displacement. The funding for IHAF originated from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Indiana homeowners may qualify for assistance if: 1) they own and live in either a single-family home, condominium, 2-4 family dwelling or a permanently-affixed manufactured home; 2) the homeowner or a household member suffered a Covid 19 – related reduction in income or increase in living expenses; and 3) the homeowner meets the IHAF income limits. The acceptable causes for the reduction in income or increase in living expenses include: a job loss, reduced work hours, additional child care costs, an illness or an inability to work due to a need to provide care for a family member since January 2020. As to the IHAF income limits, eligibility exists for those homeowners who meet or are below 150% of the Area Median Income (AMI). IHAF assistance for a qualifying household is capped at $35,000.

Those homeowners who apply and meet IHAF eligibility will receive financial assistance with overdue mortgage payments of up to six months and may also receive financial assistance with property taxes, insurance and association fees with the payments being made directly to the mortgage loan servicer. The assistance comes as a forgivable loan with a portion of the loan being forgiven every 12 months. Homeowners are not required to pay back the assistance provided that the homeowner meets all requirements of the loan over a five year period. Moreover, the assistance is not considered as taxable income by the IRS. Subject to approval by the court and/or trustee, even homeowners currently engaged in a bankruptcy matter are eligible to apply for assistance.

Interested homeowners may being to apply immediately with application reviews anticipated to begin in late February 2022. Applications will be accepted through the 877-GET-HOPE (877gethope.org) website.

Servicers interested in participating in the IHAF program will need to complete the Servicer Agreement accompanying this article. Any servicer participating in the IHAF program must halt any foreclosure proceedings once the servicer receives notice that the borrower applied for IHAF Funds.

If your company has any needs for service related to foreclosures in Indiana generally or for information regarding the specifics of the IHAF program, please feel free to reach out to Reisenfeld & Associates, your partners in recovery. Complete Mortgage Servicer Onboarding Package

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