Federal Aid for Homeowners: How Much Is It Actually Helping?
Legal League 100’s dedicated Special Initiatives Working Group (SIWG) has recently published a comprehensive White Paper that takes an in-depth look at the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). Titled “The Homeowner Assistance Fund: The Current Status of the HAF Program in Select Jurisdictions,” the document provides crucial insights into how the HAF has been a lifeline for homeowners in U.S. states, territories, and Tribal governments during the challenging times brought on by the pandemic.
For those unfamiliar, Legal League 100 serves as a premier association of financial services law firms across the United States. With its unique positioning, it aims to spearhead advancements in mortgage servicing by setting industry standards, conducting market research, influencing policy changes, and offering an array of services like education and relationship development.
The latest data, accurate up to September 30, 2022, reveals that HAF programs have come to the aid of over 162,000 homeowners nationwide. This significant impact stems from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021. This legislation created the HAF, allotting an impressive $9.961 billion to assist homeowners financially, combatting the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The core mission of HAF is focused on averting mortgage delinquencies, foreclosures, loss of essential home services, and evictions due to the financial strain experienced post-January 21, 2020. Importantly, the HAF’s allocated funds must be utilized within a five-year timeframe following the program’s initiation, or they will be forfeited.
Legal League 100’s White Paper also sheds light on the demographics of those benefiting from HAF assistance. Notably, the aid has been more inclusive, reaching a wider spectrum of economically vulnerable and traditionally marginalized homeowners compared to previous federal programs. Some noteworthy statistics include:
- 57% of HAF support went to very low-income homeowners.
- 35% of beneficiaries identified as Black.
- 20% self-identified as Latino.
- A striking 64% were female.
The report additionally provides a detailed breakdown of funds allocated to ten key states: California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.
The SIWG team responsible for this comprehensive report comprises esteemed legal professionals, including Chairman Brooke E. Sanchez, Vice Chairman David Demers, and various SIWG members from renowned law firms.
To delve deeper into these findings, the White Paper can be accessed here.
By offering these valuable insights, Legal League 100 continues its commitment to fostering education and facilitating change in the mortgage servicing industry.