The mortgage pandemic assistance program is still under development almost 5 months later :: WRAL.com

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– A federal-funded program to help people struggling to pay off mortgages during the pandemic is still in its early stages, but may start soon.

The US Treasury Department said it opened an online portal on Friday allowing states, which are expected to commit nearly $ 10 billion across the country, to submit plans for the project. Congress approved the funding in March as part of a $ 1.9 trillion US bailout plan, but it took the government time to write more detailed rules on how the money would go to homeowners.

After the final guidelines are published this week and the portal opens, states will be required to submit those plans, the Treasury Department said. The agency will have to approve plans before states can make payments, and a spokeswoman was unable to provide a schedule for Friday other than “urgent.”

According to her, in April 10 percent of the appropriations were allocated to state programs to start work.

A North Carolina spokesman confirmed that the Treasury Department said the portal was open and said the plan would be presented.

The change was still fresh. As of Friday at 17:00 Treasury web page for the Homeowners Assistance Fund program, it was not indicated that the portal was open.

“The Treasury will soon make available a portal through which HAF members can submit their plans,” the website says in bold. “The deadline for states and territories to either submit the HAF plans or notify the Treasury of the date by which their HAF plan will be submitted will be 14 days from the date the portal becomes available.”

A finance ministry spokesman said it would be updated.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency will oversee the program in that state. On Thursday, a spokeswoman told WRAL News that the agency was waiting for the portal and that no opening date had been announced.

“We are using this time to find a supplier to manage the program, build the necessary infrastructure, train potential local partners, and develop a marketing and outreach plan so we can alert homeowners in need across the state as soon as our application portal opens,” said press Secretary Madison. Lewis said in an email.

North Carolina’s share is about $ 273 million, and once it starts coming in, 60 percent will go to people who have a median income or less for their area. The rest will go to people earning up to 150 percent of that median income.

State and local governments have a separate program to help tenantsand the officials say they there were problems with the dissemination of information to find enough applicants, even though defenders fear an eviction crisis once the current federal moratorium on evictions ends.

Lewis said that until the program opens to applications, homeowners in difficulty should contact the State Foreclosure Prevention Project, which offers free advice and can work with caregivers on behalf of homeowners.

The telephone number to find a consultant in your area is 1-888-442-8188.

Some local governments may have small homeowner assistance programs. A spokeswoman for Buncombe County, for example, said the county launched a program on Friday that offers homeowners a one-time subsidy of $ 300 if they reach a threshold.

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