North Dakota launches overdue mortgage payment assistance program – InForum

BISMARCK — New funding is available to help North Dakota homeowners whose homes may be at risk because they have been unable to pay their mortgages, utilities or other housing-related costs.

The North Dakota Department of Social Services announced the new ND Help for Homeowners program on Tuesday, July 5.

“Our goal is to support housing stability and maintain homeownership for North Dakotans who have experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic,” Executive Policy Director Jessica Thomasson said in a statement. Press release.

Congress has approved $50 million from the Federal Homeowners Relief Fund for North Dakota.

The program is available until August 2025 or until program funds are exhausted.

As of August 2021, approximately 2,500 North Dakota households were estimated to be delinquent or forborne with mortgage payments due to the pandemic, based on state and national data.

David Flohr, executive director of the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, said residents took advantage of unemployment checks, emptied savings accounts, maxed out credit cards and sold belongings to make mortgage payments.

As part of ND Help for Homeowners, a reinstatement program can help homeowners with delinquent mortgage payments that were paid by the loan servicer.

“It’s just giving the owner back the equity they would have had if they had made the payments themselves,” Flohr said.

At a minimum, he said, the estimated 2,500 homeowners who are in arrears or forbearance with their mortgages could be helped.

Another 27,000 North Dakota households who fell behind on utility payments in April and May 2021 could also receive assistance, Flohr said.

Funds may also be available for delinquent property taxes, home insurance, condo and housing association fees, and other eligible housing costs.

“North Dakotans have withstood many national and global economic disasters, and while the state’s overall foreclosure and delinquency count has been below the national average during the pandemic, the hardships many households have endured cannot be minimized,” Flohr said.

The program can help homeowners who have lost income due to underlying health conditions, complications from COVID-19, unemployment, reduced work hours and other financial hardships.

Owners/occupiers of single-family homes, duplexes, condominiums or manufactured homes that meet Treasury Department and state program criteria may be eligible, according to the release.

Payments are not made to individual homeowners, but directly to the financial institution that holds their mortgage and other entities that must pay.

Homeowners can apply online now at www.applyforhelp.nd.gov.

A related targeted home repair program is also in development and will be available in August 2022, according to the release.

In Minnesota, the deadline to apply for a similar program has been extended.

Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho said the application period for HomeHelpMN has been extended until August 17 at 5 p.m.

HomeHelpMN is providing $109 million in federal assistance to homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage or other related expenses due to the pandemic.

The Minnesota program opened applications May 17 and has already received applications from nearly 2,800 households, with requests for funds equaling about one-third of available funding.

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