Alabama Housing Finance Authority launches mortgage relief program

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – Alabama homeowners struggling with delinquency can now get help through the new Mortgage Assistance Alabama program.

Governor Kay Ivey has selected the Alabama Housing Finance Authority to administer the state’s new COVID-19 mortgage relief program. Mortgage Assistance Alabama (MAA) is funded by the Homeownership Assistance Fund established by the U.S. Treasury Department as part of the 2021 U.S. Bailout Plan.

Applications are now being accepted from landlords who experienced temporary financial hardship related to COVID-19 after January 21, 2020. Landlords are urged to visit www.mortgageassistanceal.com for more information and to apply. Applicants may also call the MAA Customer Service Center at 888-460-9977.

“It’s going to be really important to prevent lockdown and displacement during a pandemic. And that was the whole point of the plan,” said AHFA’s Carrie Hamaker.

Below are the support options, eligibility requirements, and exclusions outlined by AHFA.

Support available

Overdue mortgage expenses + 12 monthly mortgage payments

A one-time payment to a homeowner’s Participating Servicing Agent to recast the loan or fill a financial void to establish eligibility for a loan modification or extinguish the lien

· The total assistance per eligible owner cannot exceed $50,000.

Eligibility criteria

Financial hardship must be related to COVID-19

The total annual household income cannot exceed 150% of the median income of the region

Applicants must currently occupy the property as their primary residence

Residency must be in the state of Alabama

Eligible structures include: single family homes (attached or detached), manufactured homes

The original principal mortgage amount on all mortgages on the property cannot total more than the conforming loan limit

Exclusions

Homeowners who receive federal mortgage payment assistance from another agency are not eligible

Second homes, seasonal/vacation homes or vacant properties are not eligible

The AHFA says applications are accepted Monday through Friday. They expect a high demand for assistance. In order to shorten the waiting time and ensure prompt processing of applications, they may periodically close the application portal for a brief period to allow for processing. Once these requests have been processed, a date for the reopening of the portal will be posted on the home page.

A recent study by the American Community Survey showed that 26,000 homeowners in our state had lost their mortgage. Montgomery County is the only county with delinquency rates above 2%, and delinquency rates were highest in the following counties: Montgomery, Autauga, Elmore, Tuscaloosa, Shelby, St. Clair, Blount, Morgan, Madison and Limestone.

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