Maine HAF Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Maine Homeowner Assistance Fund (the Maine HAF)?
- What types of assistance are available?
- How do I apply?
- What documents will I need to apply?
- How long will the Maine HAF be accepting applications?
- Who is eligible to apply?
- How much financial assistance may be available to homeowners who qualify?
- I have a mortgage and I am still in forbearance. Can I apply for assistance?
- What do I do if I just need help with utility or municipal property tax payments?
- I am in bankruptcy right now. Am I still eligible for assistance?
- Can I apply if I am currently in a legal proceeding for missed housing payments?
- Am I still eligible to receive assistance if I’m back at work?
- Can I apply for funding to cover upcoming expenses?
- If I am approved for the program, will the money be paid to me directly?
- How do I determine who is a member of my household when I am entering my household size?
- Will I need to repay this assistance?
- How do I find out whether my application has been approved?
- I applied for the program but haven't heard anything back yet. When will I know if my application has been approved?
The Maine HAF is a federally-funded homeowner relief program designed to help Maine homeowners struggling to pay their housing obligations. The American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in March of 2021 provided Maine with funds to help homeowners at risk of default, foreclosure, and displacement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maine HAF is administered by the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection. It is free to participate in the program, and the program is completely voluntary.
The Maine HAF will provide homeowners affected by COVID-19 with several types of support, including financial support to address delinquent housing payments, such as mortgage payments, property taxes, heating oil, sewage or water bills, condo and co-op fees, and manufactured home loan payments that result in an affordable outcome. Funds are also available to pay for professional housing counselors and legal service providers who are experts. The funding can be used to:
- Pay off past-due mortgage payments.
- Provide financial assistance to reinstate a mortgage or to pay other housing-related costs related to a period of forbearance, delinquency, or default.
- Pay off past due homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance, and mortgage insurance
- Pay off property taxes to prevent tax foreclosures
- Pay off utilities, including electric, gas, sewage, heating oil and water bills that are past due
- Pay off past due amounts for internet services, including broadband internet access service
- Pay off past due homeowner association or condominium association fees
- Pay off past due manufactured home loan debt
If you are applying for mortgage assistance, you will need to provide proof of completed loss mitigation. Loss Mitigation is the process where a borrower and their loan servicer work together to help avoid the foreclosure process. To qualify for help with your mortgage, you must first make a good-faith effort at loss mitigation. We understand there are circumstances where this loss-mitigation-first policy could put a homeowner at of displacement. The Maine HAF Program provides exceptions for those:
- Whose servicer has not been responsive to the homeowner’s loss-mitigation efforts;
- Who have demonstrated imminent threat of losing their home making it unlikely loss mitigation can be completed in time; or
- Who are unable to complete loss mitigation due to other good causes that are outside the homeowner's control.
Please note: A homeowner’s preference to use financial support from the Maine HAF Program rather than completing loss mitigation is not considered “good cause” for an exception.
Click Here to visit the program's self-service application portal. To begin the application process, you will need to answer a brief set of pre-screening questions before creating an account and starting the application. After submitting your application and supporting documentation, you will be able to revisit the portal for status updates.
Click Here to visit the Required Documents page on the program's self-service application portal.
The Maine HAF expects to receive more applications than can be funded by the program. If the number of applicants exceeds the program’s funding, applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Application submission does not guarantee you will receive financial assistance.
Homeowner applicants must meet all the following criteria to be eligible for assistance:
- Your household must be below certain income limits. These limits vary by household size. Click here to view program household income limits.
- You must own and occupy a 1 to 4-unit dwelling in Maine.
- You must have experienced a COVID-19 related financial hardship after January 21, 2020 (a financial hardship is a material reduction of income or material increase in expenses).
Eligible applicants may apply for the amount they are behind on payments up to a maximum of $25,000. If your delinquency amount is greater than the program cap, your mortgage servicer will need to agree to a loan modification or loss mitigation plan; for example, moving the other outstanding portion of the unpaid balance to the back end of the mortgage. Specific modification options will need to be coordinated with your respective servicer.
Yes. You may apply for the Maine HAF while you are still in forbearance.
When your fill out your application on our self-service application portal here, the application will ask you for information on your loans. If you do not need help with your mortgage, select "I Don't Have A Loan."
Bankruptcy does not make you ineligible for assistance. However, your Lender/Servicer will require approval from the bankruptcy court for you to participate in the Maine HAF and receive assistance. Speak to your bankruptcy attorney about requesting permission from the court.
Yes, if you are currently in foreclosure, or in another type of legal proceeding, you may still apply for assistance from the Maine HAF.
Yes. If you are back at work but still have outstanding housing-related expenses, you may be eligible for assistance. You may also be eligible if you have returned to work but are earning less than you used to.
This program is not designed to help homeowners cover future housing or utility payments.
No – funds will be provided on your behalf to your creditor, such as your loan servicer for mortgages, your utility company for utilities, and/or your municipality for property taxes.
The Maine HAF asks for your household size so we can determine if you meet our income requirements, which vary based on household size. When entering your household size, include all individuals who live with you at the primary residence, including students who are members of the household but are temporarily away at school. Do not include tenants in your household size.
No, repayment will not be required except in cases of fraud or wrongful misrepresentation.
You will receive an email notifying you of the program's decision. Be sure to check your account at the application portal here regularly for updates on your application's status.
The amount of time it takes from application to approval depends on several factors, including the complexity of your case and how responsive your creditor is to requests for information. Be sure to check your account at the application portal here regularly for updates on your application's status.