Legal League 100’s Special Initiatives Working Group (SIWG) has authored a White Paper, The Homeowner Assistance Fund: The Current Status of the HAF Program in Select Jurisdictions, detailing how the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) provided relief for homeowners in U.S. states, U.S. territories, and Tribal governments during the pandemic.
Legal League 100 is a professional association of financial services law firms within the United States uniquely positioned to drive progress in the mortgage servicing industry. Legal League 100 is a leading force for industry standards, market research, and policy change which stands committed to supporting the mortgage servicing industry through education, communication, relationship development, and advisory services.
The White Paper found that as of September 30, 2022 (the most recent available data), HAF programs have assisted in excess of 162,000 homeowners across the country.
On March 11, 2021, in response to the COVID pandemic and in an effort to combat the negative economic impacts of the virus, President Joe Biden signed The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law. The Act established HAF, a measure drafted to provide up to $9.961 billion in financial relief for homeowners nationwide.
HAF’s purpose is “to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020, and all funds available under HAF to a state, territory, or Tribal government must be expended within five years of program launch, or the funds expire and can no longer be awarded.
Studies have shown that HAF assistance has reached a broader range of economically vulnerable and traditionally underserved homeowners than prior federal mortgage assistance and foreclosure prevention programs. According to LL 100’s White Paper, it is estimated that:
- 57% of HAF assistance was delivered to very low-income homeowners (those earning 50% of area medium income and below)
- 35% of HAF homeowners self-identified as Black
- 20% of HAF homeowners self-identified as Latino
- 64% of all HAF beneficiaries self-identified as female
Also found within the White Paper are specifics on the breakdown in funds disbursed to the following 10 states: California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.
Members of the LL 100’s SIWG responsible for the White Paper include: SIWG Chairman Brooke E. Sanchez, Esq. of McPhail Sanchez, LLC; SIWG Vice Chairman David Demers, Esq. of Cooke Demers, LLC; and SIWG Members Ryan Bourgeois, Esq. of Barrett, Daffin, Frappier, Treder & Weiss, LLP; David Friedman, Esq. of Van Ness Law Firm, PLC; Michelle Garcia Gilbert, Esq. of Gilbert Garcia Group, P.A.; Seth J. Greenhill, Esq. of Padgett Law Group; Stephen M. Hladik, Esq. of Hladik, Onorato & Federman, LLP (LL100 Chairman); and J. Anthony Van Ness, Esq. of Van Ness Law Firm, PLC (LL100 Vice Chair).
Click here to access the White Paper, The Homeowner Assistance Fund: The Current Status of the HAF Program in Select Jurisdictions.