Rental and Mortgage Assistance Resources
If you are having trouble paying your rent, mortgage or utilities, you are not alone. Assistance may be available through a number of avenues. The first step is to communicate your financial hardship to your property manager or mortgage lender. Only by communicating can you more swiftly reach a solution. You also may reach out to your utility providers to ask if help is available or call 211 to inquire about emergency financial assistance. Here is a list of resources to help you remain in your home during this economic and public health crisis.
Mortgage Assistance Fund Now Open
The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority has reopened a mortgage assistance program as of April 6, 2020 and is accepting new applications for assistance. Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund (HHF), a federally funded program managed by the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network, is able to provide up to $30,000 to eligible Indiana homeowners who have fallen behind or are unable to make future payments on their mortgage due to an involuntary loss of employment or reduction in employment income.
Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network’s housing counselors are also available throughout the state to provide free foreclosure prevention counseling by working directly with homeowners and their lenders to find a solution to their specific financial situation.
Submit an application for Indiana’s Hardest Hit Fund online at www.877gethope.com. You may also call: 1-877-GET-HOPE (1-877-438-4673).
Coronavirus Eviction and Foreclosure Resource Guide
The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority has developed a new resource guide to provide guidance to Hoosiers who are having difficulty paying their rent or mortgage. The first and most important step to take is to communicate your situation to your property manager or mortgage lender. Review this guide for answers to frequently asked questions.
The guide states: “The state of Indiana has halted court proceedings, including eviction and foreclosure proceedings.” However, you are still obligated to continue paying your rent or mortgage as you are able to keep your credit in good standing. If you fail to pay your rent or mortgage and do not make other arrangements, eviction/foreclosure proceedings will resume after the governor’s declared pause on evictions and foreclosures has ended.
The guide also notes: “Several but not all Indiana utility providers have suspended disconnects and are waiving late fees during the COVID-19 crisis.” Check directly with each of your utility providers to see if they are offering help at this time.
Hoosiers who are unlawfully subjected to eviction and foreclosure proceedings during the ongoing public health emergency should file a complaint with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.
FHA Loan “Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium”
A letter from HUD dated March 18, 2020 addressed to people with FHA-insured Single Family mortgages states that a Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium is in effect for a period of 60 days.
Any questions regarding this Mortgagee Letter may be directed to the FHA Resource Center at 1-800-Call-FHA. For additional information, please visit www.hud.gov/answers.
Indiana Legal Services, Inc.
Indiana Legal Services’ website, under the “News” tab, provides a wealth of accurate and up-to-date information on the evolving COVID-19 public health emergency in regard to the governor’s state of emergency executive order, state benefits, and renters’ rights.
Indiana Legal Services reminds renters: “Landlords may not forcibly remove tenants from their rental property, nor can they lock out tenants or discontinue utility services. If a landlord does so, tenants should call local law enforcement.”
Indiana Legal Services is a nonprofit law firm that provides free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income residents throughout the state of Indiana. They are continuing to do intake and accept new cases. Call 1-844-243-8570 Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. or apply online at indianalegalservices.org/applyonline.
IN Free Legal Answers
IN Free Legal Answers is a website operated by the American Bar Association that allows you to post a question about your non-criminal legal issue and have it answered for free by an attorney. In order to qualify, you must be unable to afford to hire an attorney. To see if you are eligible and to ask a question now, visit IN Free Legal Answers. This service only answers questions about civil legal questions. The attorney who answers your question will not represent you in the full case or go to court for you.
If you are looking for help to meet immediate needs, call 211. You can also contact 211 online:
211 is Indiana’s resource referral line that guides people to important community resources every day, but now 211 call specialists are ready to provide direct aid to individuals and families in need. United Way’s COVID 19 Response Fund for St. Joseph County, IN has been established to provide critical information and assistance with food, shelter, utilities, health care resources, and more.