1-877-GET-HOPE

IHAF FAQ

Please note that all information contained below is subject to change and provided only as guidance for interested homeowners. The information below is not the IHCDA HAF policy nor should it be interpreted as an official statement of policy on behalf of IHCDA. Anything related to HAF remains subject to change and may be modified based on U.S. Treasury guidance or IHCDA policy prerogatives.

Is this the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) program?

  • Applications are no longer being accepted for HHF. HHF and IHAF are completely different programs and have no overlap at all. The website for HHF was 877gethope.COM not to get confused with the HAF website of 877gethope.ORG.

How do I apply?

  • Applications will be accepted online through the 877-GET-HOPE (877gethope.org) website. Accommodations can also be made for homeowners who would prefer non-electronic applications or who would prefer assistance in completing their online application.

Can I reapply for assistance?

Households may only receive IHAF assistance once, regardless of the dollar amount of assistance received. If a household receives any IHAF assistance, no one from that household may reapply for IHAF.

If an applicant withdrew or was denied, either initially or following an appeal, they may reapply for IHAF assistance one time only. There is no deadline by which an applicant must reapply, nor is there a specific period of time they must wait before applying, however, an applicant may only reapply once. An applicant will not be able to reapply after the IHAF program ends or if program funds are exhausted or fully committed. IHCDA reserves the right to stop accepting reapplications at any time.

An applicant may only reapply once. If an applicant reapplies and is denied or withdraws, they will not be able to submit a second reapplication.

For this reason, IHCDA strongly encourages applicants to think carefully before reapplying. If the circumstances that led to your withdrawal or denial have not changed, you should not reapply as you will likely be denied again and will no longer be eligible to reapply.

To reapply, applicants should log in to the application portal and click the “New Application” button on the right side of the page.

What areas of Indiana are eligible?

  • Residents of all 92 Indiana counties are eligible for assistance if they meet all other eligibility requirements.

Is the FAMS portal secure?

  • The Financial Assistance Management System (FAMS) solution is a highly secure and standards- based solution built using cutting edge native cloud technologies. It is hosted on a FedRAMP certified Google cloud platform. FAMS solution has multilayered security controls on each layer and components of the solution such as Infrastructure, Databases, Services, Applications and Content. The solution is built using industry best practices such as CIS and NIST for security controls, storage, and processing ofdata. Data is encrypted at rest and transit on layers of the solution.

Am I eligible to Receive Assistance?

You may be eligible for assistance if:

  • You were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and experienced a financial hardship on or after January 21, 2020.
  • You own only one mortgaged home and it is your primary residence.
  • The property to be assisted is your primary residence.
  • Have an income equal to or less than 150% of the Area Median Income adjusted for household size, or 100% of the National Median Income, whichever is greater.
  • You live in Indiana.

Additional underwriting criteria may apply based on the type of assistance you qualify for, including the following:

  • For reinstatement-only assistance, your debt-to-income ratio cannot exceed 38%.
  • For monthly mortgage payment assistance or monthly mortgage payment assistance combined with mortgage reinstatement assistance,  your monthly mortgage payment must exceed 25% of your gross monthly household income.

What if I’m currently in bankruptcy?

  • You can still apply for IHAF. You will be automatically assigned to a housing counselor to walk you through the process. You may be required to seek approval from the court and/or trustee so that payments can be made on your behalf directly to your lender.

What if my residence is currently scheduled for a tax sale or has currently been sold through a tax sale?

  • IHAF will work with your county treasurer’s office to provide funds to prevent your home from being sold in a tax sale or to cover the necessary costs to redeem your home during your specific redemption period.

What kind of assistance will be provided?

  • Monthly Assistance:
    • For qualifying homeowners whose monthly mortgage payments are unaffordable based on their current household income, IHAF may provide temporary monthly assistance to cover the homeowner’s first mortgage payment and related expenses.
  • Monthly Assistance with Reinstatement:
    • For qualifying homeowners whose financial hardship caused, or contributed to, an accumulated mortgage delinquency (including lender forbearance) that they cannot pay, and whose mortgage payments or related expenses are unaffordable based on their current household income, IHAF may provide assistance to bring the homeowner’s mortgage current, followed by temporary monthly assistance to cover the homeowner’s first mortgage payment or related expenses.
  • Reinstatement Only Assistance:
    • For qualifying homeowners whose financial hardship caused, or contributed to, an accumulated mortgage delinquency (including lender forbearance) that they cannot pay, but whose monthly mortgage payment is otherwise affordable based on the homeowner’s current monthly household income (excluding unemployment insurance benefits), IHAF may provide assistance to bring the homeowner’s mortgage or related expenses current.

How long can I receive monthly payment assistance?

  • IHAF will make no more than six (6) months of monthly mortgage payments directly to the lender under the monthly assistance program.

Can IHAF be used to cover Homeowner Association (HOA), Property Owners Association (POA), Condo Owners Association (COA), County Tax, and Homeowners Insurance (HOI) fees?

  • Yes, if these are escrowed, payment will be made directly to the lender or servicer. If non- escrowed payment will be made either by electronic payment or in the form of a check made out to the non-escrowed entity. IHAF will also pay all attorney fees, late fees, and property redemption fees associated with the bills to be paid.

Do all loan types qualify for IHAF assistance?

No. The following loan types are excluded from IHAF:

  • Jumbo loans that are higher than the conforming loan limit as defined by Fannie Mae
  • Open “line of credit” loans
  • Vacant, abandoned, or condemned properties
  • Properties for which the occupant is not the deeded owner (except properties held in non-incorporated living trusts)
  • Properties owned by Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, or other incorporated entities
  • Properties located outside the State of Indiana

What types of expenses can be covered with IHAF funds?

Homeowners can apply for assistance with the following home-related expenses:

  • Mortgage loan principal
  • Mortgage loan interest
  • Property taxes
  • Insurance
  • Homeowner’s association fees or liens, and/or condominium association fees or liens
  • Late fees, attorney fees, and most fees associated with foreclosure

What are the accepted types of financial hardship?

  • Homeowners must have experienced a loss in income or increase in living expenses as of a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This can include but is not limited to job loss, reduction in work hours, increased costs due to childcare, illness, or the need to care for a family member since January 21, 2020.
  • Inflation, difficulty in finding employment, and divorce or separation, absent another specific COVID-19 related hardship, are insufficient to establish a material increase in living expenses or material reduction in income as required by IHAF program guidelines.

Will homeowners receive the money directly?

  • No, borrowers will not receive payment directly. Assistance will be applied directly to their mortgage loan, by the loan servicer, and to municipalities, insurance companies, and homeowner’s associations, for any eligible tax, insurance, and condominium fees reimbursed by this program. If, after review of a homeowner’s IHAF application, the homeowner is eligible to receive assistance, they will receive details on the amount of their award and how the funds will be applied to their various accounts.

Will homeowners need to pay the money back?

  • No, all assistance is structured as a forgivable loan if the homeowner stays in the home for five (5) years (20% of the loan will be forgiven every 12 months). However, if the borrower sells the property before the five (5) years, then all net sale proceeds, up to the full outstanding principal balance at the time of the sale, will be due and payable to IHCDA.

Is the loan forgivable by reason of death of the homeowner?

  • No, the IHAF loan is not forgivable by reason of death by the borrower. However, because it is a non-recourse loan, the borrower’s estate has no personal liability for the debt, and IHCDA is limited to collecting from the available proceeds after the sale of the property.

Will the benefits a homeowner receives through IHAF be considered taxable income by the IRS?

  • No, any assistance received through the IHAF program for assistance with eligible home-related expenses is not considered taxable income for federal tax purposes. Eligible applicants will not be required to pay taxes on qualified assistance received through IHAF.

What forms of documentation are needed for the application process?

The following type of documents may be asked for in the application, depending on the specific expenses’ homeowners are applying for assistance with:

  • Income documents:
    • Acceptable income documents may include paystubs or other wage statements, depository institution (or bank) statements demonstrating regular income, or a statement of income from an employer
    • IRS Form 1099s and tax filings (for self-employed applicants only)
    • Social security, child support, unemployment, and other income statements as applicable
    • Waivers from these documentation requirements may be available if we determine that your explanation is reasonable enough to justify it
  • Mortgage statements or other mortgage documents
  • Property tax statements from your city or town

Additional documentation may be requested to verify a homeowner’s eligibility. TIP: Convert all documents to JPG, JPEG, or PDF.

Is there a dollar limit paid out per claim?

  • Yes, the “maximum per household IHAF assistance” amount is capped at $35,000 per household. Additionally, assistance is limited to one time per household.

How do applicants confirm that they have a COVID-19 related issue?

  • Applicants will complete a self-attestation question in the application and provide a self-certified COVID-19 related hardship statement (including job loss, lost wages, increase in expenses, etc.).

What properties are eligible?

  • Single-family (attached or detached) properties
  • Condominium units
  • 1 to 4-unit properties where the homeowner is living in one of the units as their primary residence
  • Manufactured homes permanently affixed to real property and taxed as real estate

In addition to the IHAF program, IHCDA has additional resources for Hoosiers in need of assistance:

  • Rental Assistance – The Indiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides up to 18 months of rental and utility assistance to those who self-attest to having been impacted by COVID-19.
  • Utility Assistance – The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Low- Income Home Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) helps Hoosier homeowners and renters pay their heat, electric and water bills: eap.ihcda.in.gov.