Biden Signs $10 Billion in Mortgage Stimulus Programs – Here’s How You Take Advantage

The latest COVID mortgage stimulus relief package signed into law by President Joe Biden sets aside billions for homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments and other bills related to owning a home.

Over 10 million Americans are currently behind on their mortgages and feeling “housing insecurity,” according to census data. If you’re in that group and have been piling up debt, how do you claim some of the money?

It’s likely to take many months for the funds to get into the hands of those who need it largely because of the way it’s being disbursed, experts warn.

How to qualify for the relief

The recent $1.9 trillion pandemic rescue package that’s now paying out stimulus checks of up to $1,400 includes nearly $10 billion of direct financial assistance to help homeowners pay not only their mortgages but also taxes, utilities, insurance and homeowners association dues.

The money, formally called the Homeowners Assistance Fund, will be distributed to states based on a formula that takes into account unemployed residents as well as late mortgage payments and foreclosures, says the National Council of State Housing Agencies.

You’re eligible for relief if you own your home and have a loan with a principal balance at or below the conforming loan limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage giants that buy or guarantee most U.S. home loans. The 2021 loan limit in most parts of the U.S. is $548,250.

The money will be funneled to cash-strapped borrowers through state housing agencies. At least 60% of the state grants must go to homeowners with incomes that don’t exceed either the local median income or the national median income, whichever is higher.