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Iowa Homeowner Assistance Fund

The Iowa Homeowner Assistance Fund program provides eligible homeowners assistance with mortgage payments and related property expenses.

The program is expected to launch summer 2022.

ELIGIBILITY PRECHECK

IMPORTANT: The full online application will be available soon. This precheck can be taken to determine if homeowners meet the initial eligibility criteria of the program, it is not an application for assistance.

If a household meets all of the eligibility criteria below, they will be invited to sign-up to be notified when the application period opens.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant must own the property*

  • Applicant must be behind on payments for mortgage, contract sale, manufactured home or property taxes.

  • Applicant household income does not exceed the greater of 150% of the area median income or 100%  of the U.S. median income

  • Property is in Iowa and is the applicant’s primary residence

  • Applicant experienced and/or can demonstrate a COVID-related financial hardship

*Applicants who do not own property but are buying under a legally recorded contract or manufactured lot rent payments are eligible to apply.

Eligible Past Due Expenses: 

Mortgage Payments

Property Taxes

Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner Association Fees

Manufactured Home/Lot Rent Payments

Land Contract Payments*

*Applicants who do not own property but are buying under a legally recorded contract.

Eligible Property Types

  • Single-family properties

  • Condominium units

  • 2- 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

  • Mobile homes not permanently affixed to real property

Eligible Assistance

  • Eligible homeowners may receive one time assistance of up to $25,000, subsequent applications will not be accepted.

Have questions about the Homeowner Assistance Fund program or your application? Contact the Housing Recovery Support Team.

Email

Loan servicers will play a critical role in providing assistance through the Iowa Homeowner Assistance Fund to Iowa homeowners at-risk of foreclosure.

Learn More Here

General FAQs

When will the Iowa Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) program be open?

The application is expected to open this summer. Homeowners are encouraged to take the program’s eligibility precheck to determine preliminary eligibility. If preliminarily eligible, homeowners should begin compiling the required documentation to be prepared to submit full and complete information once the program opens for applications. Incomplete applications cannot be reviewed and will delay the processing time. Applicants that pass the precheck and submit their email address will be notified as soon as the application is available.

I have received a notice of foreclosure. What should I do?
  1. Homeowners at imminent risk of foreclosure should contact Iowa Mortgage Help (IMH) at: 877-622-4866. IMH offers free, confidential homeowner counseling services and access to legal assistance.
  2. Homeowners are strongly encouraged to take the eligibility precheck and if preliminarily eligible, sign-up to receive notification when the program opens for applications.
  3. Begin compiling required documentation to be prepared to submit full and complete information once the program opens for applications. Incomplete applications cannot be reviewed and will delay the processing time.
  4. Once available, homeowners should apply to the Iowa Homeowner Assistance Fund as soon as possible. Homeowners with a foreclosure pending are prioritized for assistance under the program. Servicers are encouraged to halt foreclosure proceedings once notified of a pending Homeowner Assistance Fund application.
Am I eligible for assistance through the Iowa HAF?

Iowa homeowners may be eligible for assistance under Iowa HAF if they meet the following:

  • Have fallen behind on one or more payments: mortgage, contract sale (purchasing a home on contract), manufactured home loan or property taxes.
  • Are Income eligible (household must earn less than the greater of 150% of the area median income or 100% of the U.S median income)
  • Own and occupy their home in Iowa as their primary residence.*
  • Household experienced a qualified financial hardship after January 21, 2020, or that began before January 21, 2020, but continued after that date, such as lost income or increased expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

*Applicants who do not own property but are buying under a legally recorded contract or manufactured lot rent payments are eligible to apply.

What expenses are eligible for assistance through the Iowa HAF?

Applicants must have missed at least one or more payments since January 21, 2020. These missed payments must be outstanding at the time of application. You will be asked to submit appropriate documentation showing delinquency as part of your application (e.g., mortgage statement, property tax statement, etc.) Eligible expenses for this program include:

  • Mortgage Payments
  • Manufactured/mobile home purchase loans
  • Lot rent payments
  • Land contract payments (buying a home under a legally recorded contract)
  • Property Taxes
  • Eligible homeowner’s insurance – (Homeowner’s hazard, flood, and/or mortgage insurance)
  • Homeowner Association Fees
What types of properties are eligible for assistance?
  • Single-family (attached or detached) properties
  • Condominium units
  • 2- to 4-unit property where homeowner is living in one of the units as their primary residence
  • Manufactured homes permanently affixed to real property and taxed as real estate
  • Mobile homes not permanently affixed to real property

For any of the above property types, the original principal balance of the mortgage must not be more than the conforming loan limit.

What is the maximum amount of assistance available?

Iowa HAF may provide eligible homeowners with up to $25,000 in assistance for eligible past due expenses. Each eligible assistance type must be in arrears at least one full installment payment.

What qualifies as a COVID hardship?

You must have experienced a direct or indirect financial hardship such as a decrease in income or increase in living expenses as of a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This can include but is not limited to job loss, reduction in work hours, an increase costs due to childcare, illness, or the need to care for a family member since January 21, 2020. This can include financial hardships that began before January 21, 2020 and continued after that date, but only costs accrued after January 21, 2020 are eligible for HAF assistance.

Is assistance available for past due utility payments (water, sewer, electric, gas, etc.)?

No. The Iowa HAF program only provides assistance for mortgage and mortgage-related expenses.

Can Iowa HAF help if I have already moved out of the property?

No. In order to be eligible for assistance, the homeowner must currently occupy the home as their primary residence.

Can Iowa HAF help with my manufactured home payments?

Yes, Iowa HAF can help with mobile home loan payments for delinquencies related to lot rent and loan payments.

Can I apply for assistance on a second home or a vacation home?

No, the assisted property must be the applicant’s primary residence.

Can Iowa HAF assist with any delinquencies from prior to January 21, 2020?

No, Iowa HAF will only cover any arrearage for eligible borrowers after January 21, 2020. However, if you have mortgage delinquencies both prior to and after January 21, 2020, and meet the eligibility criteria, then your post-January 21, 2020 portion of mortgage delinquency may be eligible for assistance.

Can I receive assistance for future payments?

No. Assistance for future mortgage payments is not available.

Can I be reimbursed for a payment(s) I have already made but could not afford?

No. Program assistance is only available to help homeowners catch up on late payments.

My mortgage is in forbearance or enrolled in a loss mitigation plan. Can I apply?

Yes

Can I apply to Iowa HAF if I have declared Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Yes, so long as you are otherwise eligible for the program.

Can late fees be included?

Yes, assistance through the program can include a combination of documented late fees and payment assistance, so long as the total assistance per household does not exceed $25,000.

What about escrow advances paid by loan servicers for property charges?

Frequently, a mortgage servicer will collect property tax and insurance payments from the homeowner and maintain them in an “impound” or “escrow” account. An “escrow advance” happens when the mortgage servicer pays additional funds on behalf of the homeowner when there are insufficient funds in the escrow account to satisfy the payment. If eligible for program assistance, escrow advances would be paid to the servicer under the Mortgage Reinstatement Program, not the Property Charge Default Program.

If I receive foreclosure prevention assistance through this program, can I still be foreclosed on?

Before a mortgage servicer can receive a payment, they must certify that they will not foreclose on the household for nonpayment for at least 45 days after assistance is received from the Iowa HAF.

I applied for assistance through the Iowa Finance Authority’s Iowa Homeowner Assistance Fund. Why am I being contacted by another agency?

IFA has contracted with a partner organization to review HAF applications. The application review team will contact applicants to request follow-up information. You may also be contacted by a housing counselor of legal aid representative if your application was referred to counseling prior to being considered for financial assistance through the Iowa HAF.

Am I guaranteed assistance once I apply?

No, an application is not a guarantee of assistance. Complete applications are reviewed on a first come, first ready to proceed basis. Only fully completed applications that provide all required documentation will be reviewed for eligibility.

Applicants who receive a notice of incomplete application with instructions to provide missing information must successfully provide all necessary information to move their application forward within three attempts of contact by the case review team. If no response is received after three contact attempts, the application will be denied.

Mortgage servicers must also complete the required certification and agree to the terms of assistance. Failure by a mortgage servicer to complete the required certification and agree to the terms of assistance will result in the denial of the application.

How long will it take for me to receive assistance after I apply?

After you submit your application, it will be carefully reviewed to see if it meets program eligibility requirements. Application review times can vary based on a number of factors including, incomplete information and servicer response times. If any documents or information is missing from your application, you will be contacted and asked to provide it. Once your application review is completed, you will be notified whether you qualify for program assistance. You may log into the portal at any time to check the status of your application.

Mortgage details must be confirmed with your mortgage servicer; in the event that they are unresponsive, your application cannot be reviewed and considered for assistance.

How will I be notified of receiving the HAF award?

You will be notified of the ultimate HAF award and a breakdown of how those funds are spent via email or by logging into the application portal. You will not receive money directly. The award will go directly to your mortgage loan servicer who will then apply it to the mortgage loan account on your behalf.

Can I reapply if I have been awarded assistance through the program and I need additional assistance in the future?

No. Homeowners who have already received HAF assistance cannot reapply for assistance.

I was told I was ineligible to receive assistance. Is there a process to appeal if I am denied assistance?

If you believe that your application was denied in error, you may submit an appeal within 30 days of denial by logging into the portal. An appeal must be accompanied by a clearly stated appeal reason, with additional facts or evidence to justify why the homeowner believes there was an error with the denial.

When an appeal is received, the case review team will re-review the application with a focus on the stated appeal reason. The reviewer will determine whether the appeal will be granted or denied. There is no opportunity for a second or subsequent appeal.

Application FAQs

What documentation is needed with my application?

The list of documents that may be required of applicants is available here. The types of required documentation will be dependent on the type(s) of assistance requested.

Payment FAQs

How are payments made?

Once a homeowner’s application is approved, payment is sent directly to the mortgage servicer, property tax authority, insurance company or HOA/condominium association to be applied to the homeowner’s account(s).

Do I need to pay back any assistance I receive?

No, any assistance received through Iowa HAF will be a grant that the homeowner will not need to repay. Assistance payments will be made directly to the mortgage servicer or applicable property charge payee to bring the homeowner current on their payments.

Will the benefits I receive be considered taxable income?

No, any assistance received through the Iowa HAF Program for assistance with eligible expenses is not considered taxable. Eligible applicants will not be required to pay taxes on qualified assistance received through Iowa HAF.

A program flyer that may be emailed or printed and shared with homeowners in need of assistance is available below.

Flyer – English

The State of Iowa offers a variety of resources to assist Iowans with re-entering the workforce. These services include resume writing assistance, training programs and real-time job listings.

Please review the job listings and resources below and contact an IowaWORKS Center in your area if you would like assistance with your job search.

Explore Job Postings

Legal FAQs for Homeowners and Renters

Training & Education

Funds for this program come from the U.S. Department of Treasury, established under section 3206 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.