Homeowners Assistance Program Deadline is September 30th

Posted by Debi Teter

VA mortgageIf you were planning on taking advantage of the temporarily extended Homeowners Assistance Program, or HAP, it’s time to get a move on. The deadline to apply is September 30th.

HAP provides financial assistance to homeowners who are upside down in their homes because of base closures or realignments. The term ‘upside-down’ means the homeowners owe more on their homes than their homes are worth.

The Homeowners Assistance Program actually consists of two distinct parts: The first part, Conventional HAP, dates back to 1966, and was specifically designed to help federal and military workers sell their homes where housing prices were depressed because of base closures. The Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 expanded the program to include disabled members of the military and spouses of deceased servicemembers.

The September 30th deadline applies specifically to those going for benefits under conventional HAP.

To qualify for these benefits, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have been the home’s owner and occupant on 13 May 2005,
  • You must have taken a hit of 10 percent or more on your home because of a base realignment or closing.
  • You had to relocate more than 50 miles to your new post, or you were forced to retire because your job or post no longer exists.
  • You must sell your home between 1 July 2006 and 30 September 2012.

PCS Criteria

  • To claim HAP PCS benefits, you must meet the following criteria:
  • Your PCS orders must be dated between 1 February 2006 and 30 September 2010.
  • You must have been required to move at least 50 miles.
  • You must have closed or committed to close on the property prior to 1 July 2006.
  • The property must be the primary residence of the owner.
  • You must not have received benefits under Expanded HAP Benefit Payments previously.

Benefits

The HAP may compensate you with the appraised value when you actually sell it. The government reimburses closing costs for private sales.

Those applying under PCS or BRAC 2005 auspices (those whose positions were eliminated or they were forced to move because of a base closure) must sell their houses by September 30th to receive assistance, though a 1 month extension was recently granted for Fort Monmouth, New Jersey and NAS Brunswick, Maine. So things are down to the wire for that group.

Extended HAP Benefits

Extended HAP benefits go to wounded or disabled servicemembers with a VA disability rating of 30 percent or higher, or those whose military doctors certify are likely to receive a 30 percent or higher disability rating. However, there must be a specific reason why the servicemember must relocate (and sell the home). Examples of valid reasons include to obtain better access to treatment, be closer to caregivers or to find work that you can do with the disability.

Disqualifications

The following groups do not qualify for HAP benefits:

  • Those who retire prior to the federal mandatory retirement dates.
  • Those who are entering active duty (these people may fall under the Soldiers and Sailors Act to ward off foreclosure and bankruptcy proceedings, though).
  • Service members who leave or are discharged voluntarily.
  • Servicemembers who request voluntary release from active duty (REFRAD).
  • Servicemembers released for substandard performance or misconduct.

Application

To apply for the HAP program, you’ll need the following documents:

  • DD Form 1607, Application for Homeowners Assistance
  • The deed to your dwelling with recording information such as book, page number, date of recording of deed; or bar code.
  • Transfer orders, or amendment orders; DoD civilians provide a copy of a SF50.
  • Retirement orders or separation letter. This will provide further evidence of your relocation.
  • A statement from utility company indicating occupancy dates.
  • DD Form 1300 Report of Casualty, if applicable.

A full brochure is here. If you are working with a real estate agent, and you think you may fall under one the HAP criteria, give this document to your agent.

 

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