During the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals lost their jobs, and this includes homeowners across the country. Homeowners were offered the option of putting their mortgages into forbearance early in the pandemic. Borrowers might utilize forbearance to put their monthly payments on hold without being considered overdue.
However, for individuals who chose forbearance early in the pandemic, that protection has long since expired, as it was only good for 18 months. Homeowners who are still having financial difficulties may now be at risk of losing their houses. This includes homeowners with a significant amount of equity.
How to claim housing assistance?
Because house prices are rising across the country, homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments may be able to sell their homes for enough money to pay off their debts and walk away debt-free. However, this still necessitates the eviction of those individuals from their houses.
This problem appears to be exacerbated in selected areas throughout the country, particularly those that have witnessed significant increases in property taxes. One such state has been New Jersey, which has had the dubious reputation of having the highest property tax in the country. However, homeowners in places where they have been unable to pay their mortgages may be eligible for a much-needed stimulus check, as per Digital Market News.
Eligible homeowners who have lost their capacity to keep up with their housing bills due to COVID-related income loss will be eligible for up to $35,000 in help under the Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance program (ERMA). Residents of New Jersey must prove that their wages fell during the pandemic and that they currently earn no more than 150 percent of the region’s median income to be eligible.
This financial assistance is forgivable!
There are also some other criteria. In New Jersey, homeowners can only apply for help with housing costs for their primary house, which must be a one- to four-unit property. Someone who owns an apartment complex and lives in one of its numerous apartments, for example, will not be eligible.
Second houses and investment properties are also ineligible for assistance. Additionally, the assistance is only available to people who were not late on their mortgages prior to January 21, 2020.
Those who qualify for ERMA assistance might get funds to help with past-due mortgage payments, property taxes, and utility bills, among other things. Homeowners who meet certain criteria may also be eligible for cash to cover up to four future mortgage payments.
Those who are approved may be eligible for up to $35,000 in housing assistance, which will be paid back over three years as a forgivable loan. There is, however, a catch: each loan will be registered as a lien on the property with which it is related. Homeowners who sell their homes or do not keep them as their primary residences within that time frame will be responsible for repaying their loans, according to The Motley Fool.