News How Pennsylvania homeowners can get help with mortgages, utilities

This story originally appeared on Spotlight PA.

Pennsylvania received $350 million from the federal government to help homeowners who defaulted on their mortgages during the pandemic.

However, the withdrawal of the money has been slow. As Spotlight PA reported, the aid program has left tens of thousands of people stranded as demand overwhelms them and makes it difficult to get critical information from mortgage companies.

If you’re a Pennsylvania homeowner needing help with your mortgage payment or other housing expenses, here’s a basic guide to what you need to know when applying for help.

What is available?

The Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund can help with past due mortgage payments, utility and property taxes, and other costs such as homeowners insurance or homeowners association fees. Some applicants are also eligible for help with upcoming mortgage payments.

The maximum amount of assistance anyone can receive is $50,000. Among them, there are caps on the amount of utility assistance ($10,000), property tax assistance ($14,000), insurance premiums ($3,000), and homeowner or condo fees ($5,000) you can get.

From 1 February 2022, you’ll only be able to get each type of aid once – so if, for example, you get money for a mortgage and then fall behind again, you won’t be eligible for another round of this type of aid.

Payments from this program go directly to your mortgage or utility company.

You can find more details on the program’s website.

Who is eligible?

Beginning January 21, 2020, you need to be a Pennsylvania homeowner experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To qualify for debt help, your bills must be at least one month in arrears.

To get help with ongoing mortgage payments, your mortgage must be timely and your payments must be at least 30% of your monthly income.

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