Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program

The Illinois Housing Development Authority has announced the development of the Emergency Mortgage Assistance (EMA) Program to assist Illinois homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

If approved under the new grant program, homeowners could receive up to 15,000 to cover missed mortgage payments beginning as early as March 2020 and prepay mortgage payments through December 2020 as long as funds are available.

Under the program, approximately 10,000 homeowners are expected to receive funding, with funds being paid directly to the mortgage servicer on the homeowner’s behalf.

EMA eligibility requirements include:

Applicant’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from 2019 Tax Return must be less than the maximum allowed for their area;
Applicant, or an adult member of household, has had a loss of income due to COVID-19 on or after March 1, 2020;  
Applicant’s mortgage was current as of February 29, 2020;
Applicant should have a past due balance or a forbearance balance that began sometime on or after March 1, 2020;
Applicant’s mortgage balance is $425,000 or less;
Applicant’s mortgage is in 1st lien/mortgage position;
Applicant’s property is their primary residence;  
The property is 1 or 2 units;
Applicant’s lender must be willing to accept payments; AND
Loan cannot be a reverse mortgage

Applications for EMA will be accepted August 24th through September 4th. Applications will be selected by third party randomized service. However, IHDA warns applicant’s that the window for assistance may close early.

For help applying, IHDA has partnered with 62 Community and Outreach Assistance organizations. Applicants can visit ema.ihda.org to see the complete list of assistance organizations participating. Applicants can also utilize the IHDA’s call center at (312) 883-2720, or toll-free at (888) 252-1119. For those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired, please contact Navicore Solutions for free assistance at (877) 274-4309 (TTY).

Dale Fowler

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