Massachusetts Homeowner Assistance Fund: Info for mortgage servicers. MORE

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Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF)

Information for Mortgage Servicers

The Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) is a federally-funded housing assistance program for Massachusetts homeowners impacted by COVID-19. It was created to provide funds to eligible homeowners for housing-related costs such as mortgages and property expenses.

The Homeowner Assistance Fund will be available in Massachusetts in December 2021. The Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) is administering the HAF program and is working with third-party vendors to set up on-line administration systems for mortgage servicers.

This web page has been set up to provide basic information to mortgage servicers about the Massachusetts Homeowner Assistance Fund, including training opportunities and the Massachusetts HAF Collaboration Agreement mortgage servicers must fill out and email to MHP to participate in the program.

If you are a homeowner looking for mortgage help, please apply for assistance by visiting www.massmortgagehelp.org (the official Massachusetts web site for the Homeowner Assistance Fund).

First steps for Mortgage Servicers

Mortgage servicers interested in participating in the Massachusetts HAF Program should take the following first steps:

Read the FAQ: The FAQ for mortgage servicers provides an overview of the Homeowner Assistance Fund program, what mortgage servicers have to do to participate and basic information that mortgage servicers should know when speaking with homeowners applying for the program. Mortgage servicers should also review the HAF outreach letter to borrowers. The HAF one-pager and other resources to communicate with borrowers will be available shortly.

Complete & return HAF Collaboration Agreement: The Massachsetts HAF Collaboration Agreement is now available. Mortgage servicers should complete the agreement and email it to masshaf@mhp.net.

Mass HAF Webinar/Trainings: The mortgage servicers introductory trainings provide information about the program's design and goals, homeowner eligibility and eligible uses of funds. It also discusses the role of the mortgage servicer, including registering for the program, using the online portal, required documentation, data exchange, communication and the service level collaboration agreement.

Role of Mortgage Servicers

Mortgage servicers will play a critical role in the success of the Massachusetts HAF Program. Working with third-party vendors, MHP will establish an online self-service portal for mortgage servicers to participate in the HAF Program. This portal - known as the Financial Aid Management System (FAMS) - will allow mortgage servicers to exchange loan-level information with MHP and its vendor. Read the Mass HAF FAQ for more information about FAMS.

Providers will be able to submit their onboarding information, service agreements, and payment information, as well as set up a secure File Transfer Protocol (FTP) channel to send/receive Common Data Files (CDF).

Homeowner Eligibility

To qualify for HAF assistance, homeowners will need to complete an application and demonstrate that they:

  • Have experienced a COVID-related impact to their finances on or after Jan. 21, 2020 that caused them to miss regular mortgage payments. The hardship could include job loss, reduction in income, reduction in hours worked, increased costs due to healthcare, increased costs due to the need to care for family members, or other issues which have impacted the household’s income.
  • Are owner-occupants of a single-family home, condominium or 2- 3- or 4-family home located in Massachusetts. (Funds may not be used for owner-occupied properties of five or more units, investor-owned properties, or vacation homes.)
  • Are using the home as their primary residence
  • Have an income equal to or less than 150 percent of Area Median Income (this differs by region and household size).
  • Have a conforming loan and not a jumbo loan (loan limits vary by region)

Additionally, the initial phase of the program will require homeowners to be behind or have missed three months of mortgage payments.

Eligible Uses of Funds

HAF assistance may be used in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, the following:

  • To bring a homeowner’s loan current (pay outstanding monthly mortgage payments)
  • To pay for outstanding escrow items (taxes, insurance, condominium fees, municipal charges like water, sewer, natural gas, or electric that might be subject to a lien on one’s property, etc.), and to fund a shortage that may exist in a homeowner’s escrow account

More Information

HAF was created by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and is being administered by the US Treasury. The Massachusetts HAF Program is being administered by MHP and the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (MassHousing) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance (A&F), Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and the Massachusetts Division of Banks (the Division).

For more information, email MassHAF@mhp.net.