Unforeseen events, like the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, could affect how homeowners afford their mortgages. Financial hardships can lead to mortgage delinquency that can cause imminent foreclosure and risk a household losing its home.
In 2019, the state of Georgia had an estimated population of 10,617,423 people. The homeownership rate was 65.9%, and the average mortgage debt was $164,898.
For someone who's lost a job or closed a business, mortgage debt can be tough to carry. Fortunately, Mortgage Assistance Georgia helps homeowners who suddenly have a financial hardship and cannot afford their mortgage payments.
Understanding Mortgage Assistance Georgia
To help homeowners mitigate financial hardships due to the effects of the coronavirus, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 created the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). Georgia was allocated $354 million in funding, which will be disbursed in a program called Georgia Mortgage Assistance.
This program will help homeowners who face:
- Mortgage delinquencies
- Utility disconnection
Assistance is available to all residents of Georgia who experienced financial hardships after January 21, 2020, due to the recent pandemic. With this assistance, homeowners can get up to $50,000 in grants to help them cope with the challenges mentioned above.
The program is managed by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
To be eligible for the program, borrowers must meet certain income and credit requirements.
Borrowers must also be able to demonstrate that they can afford the monthly mortgage payments.
- Either the homeowner, the borrower, or their spouse who's living in the same house must have suffered hardship from the pandemic resulting in a significant income loss and increase in expenses
- Applicants must meet Georgia legal residency requirements
- The home in question must also be the primary residence of the applicant
- The mortgage loan must conform to the limits at the time of the loan
- The total household income of the socially disadvantaged applicant must be 150% of the area median income (AMI) or less. While for others, it must be 100% AMI or less
The state of Georgia can also conduct additional underwriting as necessary.
How To Apply
Applying for the program is done online.
- Visit the website and click "Begin Screening." This will open the application form.
- Answer all the preliminary questions.
- Create a profile using an active email.
- Include the details of everyone in the household. This includes their Social Security numbers and income.
- Enter the information on the most current mortgage statements.
- Select the type of assistance requested.
- Describe the hardships experienced and the details of what happened due to the financial hardship.
- Upload all the required documents to prove your answers in previous sections.
- Review the application and make sure it's accurate and complete.
- Download to sign or e-sign the application.
- Check the status of the application and your email for updates.
If your house is already in foreclosure and there's a foreclosure date, contact Customer Service so they can expedite reviewing your request.
Once your application is approved, you can expect to receive the lump sum payment within two weeks. Make sure to notify your lessor or payee that you have pending assistance, and they will have to expect the payment to be made directly to them.
If your application has been declined, you can always contact Customer Service to discuss the denial. Applications are denied if they don't meet the eligibility criteria.
Types Of Programs Available
There’s a lot of assistance available. These are:
- Mortgage Reinstatement
- A one-time payment to help the applicant catch up with the delinquent mortgage payments. To be eligible, there must be at least 3 delinquent payments.
- Principal Curtailment
- A one-time payment to help the applicant reduce the mortgage balance. To be eligible, the homeowner must have a permanent loss of income, such as disability or death due to Covid-19.
- Housing Related Expenses
- Assistance with various delinquent expenses like non-escrowed property taxes and property insurance, Condo or HOA fees, and utility bills (water, gas, and electricity). Statements must be in the name of the homeowner to be eligible.
All assistance will be made directly to the payee (the lender, lessor, or utility company).
Avail Of Mortgage Assistance Georgia
The pandemic was an unprecedented event that brought hardships to many people. If you've suffered from the effects of a financial setback due to the pandemic, you can get mortgage assistance in Georgia.
Simply visit Georgia Community Affairs to get started with your application.
You may also want to check our post about government housing assistance for seniors to help you know about the available housing grants for the elderly.