Frequently Asked Questions: HomeSafe Georgia's Mortgage Assistance Program
is HomeSafe Georgia?
HomeSafe Georgia is a government
mortgage assistance program funded by the federal government and administered
by the state of Georgia.
type of government mortgage assistance is available through HomeSafe Georgia?
HomeSafe Georgia offers three
mortgage assistance programs, in the form of a no-interest forgivable loan:
Payment Assistance is
available for eligible homeowners who became unemployed or underemployed in the
last 36 months through no fault of their own. Homeowners can receive up to 24
months of monthly assistance plus lender fees while they search for employment
or complete training. For those who became delinquent, up to 12 of the 24
months can be used to bring the loan current. Quarterly recertification of
eligibility is required for this government mortgage assistance program.
Successful applicants may have to make partial payment contributions toward
Reinstatement Assistance is available for eligible homeowners who
became delinquent on their mortgage due to unemployment, military, medical or
death hardships that occurred within the last 36 months. Up to 12 months of
mortgage assistance plus lender fees are available as a onetime payment to the
lender to help bring the mortgage current. The delinquency must be tied to the
hardship and the homeowner must have sufficient income to make their payments
after the assistance is administered.
Payment Reduction is
available for eligible homeowners who had a permanent reduction of income
within the last 36 months due to disability, death of spouse/homeowner, or
unemployment (drawing Social Security benefits after unemployment benefits were
exhausted). Up to $45,000 will be provided directly to the lender to enable an
affordable payment. Contact your lender to determine if your loan can qualify
you provide loan modifications?
We provide mortgage assistance under the Mortgage Payment Reduction program detailed above, and our other
programs offer financial assistance to help bring delinquent mortgages current.
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is eligible for assistance?
The applicant in need of mortgage
assistance must live in Georgia, be the homeowner (the person listed on the
security deed) or the spouse of the homeowner, and meet a set of eligibility
requirements unique to a HomeSafe Georgia mortgage program.
Additionally, the spouse (if applicable) and all homeowners and borrowers
legally bound to the property must cooperate in the application process.
all mortgage loans qualify for assistance?
No. The type of loan, the total lien balance, the amount of default, the
investor and lender participation and approval are determining factors. No
assistance is provided for charged-off mortgages, open-ended second mortgage
Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC), third mortgages or manufactured home
installment loans not included in a security deed for the land.
if I am not eligible for any HomeSafe Georgia mortgage assistance program,
but need help?
Contact your lender’s Loss
Mitigation department to discuss your options. For additional resources, click here .
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do I complete an application and where do I send my application package?
find out if you meet the basic requirements to apply for any of our three
mortgage assistance programs. Your answers to the quiz will indicate if you
could be eligible for assistance and direct you to the applicable HomeSafe
Georgia mortgage assistance program so you can review eligibility
requirements and begin your application.
Once the online application is
completed, you must download and print the documents, complete and sign where
indicated, collect the supporting documentation on the checklist, and fax, mail
or deliver the application package to HomeSafe Georgia.
You can fax your application
package to us to 404-679-0605 or 1-888-946-6723 (toll free) or mail or deliver
your application package to:
Georgia Department of Community
60 Executive Park South, NE
Atlanta, GA 30329-2231
Remember, no supporting materials
will be returned so please copy all original documents and make an extra copy
of your entire application package for yourself.
Applicants requiring special
assistance with the application or who do not have access to a computer should contact Customer Service or work directly with a HUD
counselor. Please note: Most counselors will
require you to complete their application before they review your situation. If
it appears you may be eligible for HomeSafe Georgia mortgage assistance, the
counselor should help you complete our online application and submit your
application package to us. If you are not eligible, the counselor can review
your situation for other options.
completed my application. What happens next?
An acknowledgement of receipt of
the application package is sent via email usually within 10 days. Applicants
requesting phone or mail-only contact will not receive an acknowledgement. Note
that the online application itself is not reviewed or acknowledged; it is just
one part of the process and an application package must be submitted to
HomeSafe Georgia to be considered for assistance. To see the application
does HomeSafe Georgia determine the amount of its no-interest forgivable loans?
The amount of mortgage assistance
is determined by both the applicant’s need and the maximum amount allowed under
the program. The reserved amount (listed
in the Note ) does not guarantee that all
reserved funds will be used. While HomeSafe Georgia will attempt to bring the
first mortgage loan current, there may be situations in which we are unable to
do so. Second mortgages may receive less or no assistance.
HomeSafe Georgia is not responsible
for delinquencies outside of the allowable amount under program eligibility;
failure of the lender to identify all delinquencies or fees; or the lender’s
refusal or return of government mortgage assistance payments. Your HomeSafe
Georgia loan balance will be adjusted to reflect only the monetary amount used.
The loan is forgivable at 20% of the principal balance per year after
Additional online applications
aren’t allowed by the system; however, the original application is good for the
life of the program. Contact customer service for more information.
If your application was deemed
ineligible, review the reason. If you do not understand the cited
ineligibility, contact the processor or counselor. If you disagree with the
statement of ineligibility or denial, do not request the application be
reopened; instead, dispute the finding within 30 days by providing the
documentation to prove your case. HomeSafe Georgia’s dispute procedures ensure
that your response is reviewed. However, if the ineligibility reason is
correct, you must overcome the ineligibility or have a new qualifying hardship
to reopen the application for the particular government mortgage assistance program you applied for.
Applications can be reopened in the
event of new hardships if they qualify you for another HomeSafe Georgia
mortgage assistance program. The request date will be used as a new application
date. Eligibility requirements apply to the new date.
If your application is withdrawn
either through your request or due to a failure to provide required
documentation, you can request that it be reopened. However, all required
documentation must be provided with the request. The reconsideration date will be
used as a new application date. Eligibility requirements apply to the new date.
HomeSafe Georgia mortgage assistance is offered once per homeowner, household and address.
If you, your spouse or an additional homeowner closed on a HomeSafe Georgia
loan for the property you live in, you cannot receive additional assistance
under the same or different program, regardless of the amount of mortgage
does applying for a HomeSafe Georgia loan affect my mortgage or foreclosure?
Your current mortgage payment
arrangements are between you and your lender and you should contact your
lender’s loss mitigation department if you are struggling or cannot make your
to HomeSafe Georgia does not guarantee government mortgage assistance nor stop
foreclosure; we do not contact the lender until eligibility is confirmed.
We will expedite the review for
applicants who have received a foreclosure sale date and notify us (letter will
have a date that reflects a first Tuesday of a month), but the lender must be
willing to stop the foreclosure, and HomeSafe Georgia must have time to process
and underwrite the application and meet the lender’s guidelines for
notification. HomeSafe Georgia cannot provide any mortgage assistance on homes
lost to foreclosure. Click
do I receive mortgage assistance from HomeSafe Georgia?
First, you must be approved. The
counselor or processor will determine eligibility, which must be confirmed by
an underwriter. A clear title and the lender’s acceptance are required.
Approval may be conditional and all conditions must be cleared before closing.
Our closing attorneys will contact you to schedule the closing and you must do
so within 30 days of approval or risk objection of assistance by the lender.
You must bring proper identification and you will be required to sign several
documents, similar to when you purchased the home. A lien will be placed
against your property and will remain until paid or forgiven (complete
forgiveness is at five years and 30 days after assistance ends). Applicants
under the Mortgage Payment Assistance program will set up ACH drafting
authority at closing for partial mortgage payments. All program assistance
transactions are made directly to the borrower’s lender – no funds are ever
provided to the homeowner. To view the application
process, click here .
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approved, do I have to accept the HomeSafe Georgia loan?
You may choose not to accept the
government mortgage assistance by withdrawing for any reason. In some cases
you must choose between what your lender has to offer and HomeSafe Georgia
assistance. We request that you notify us as soon as you make the decision, but
you must withdraw prior to closing to prevent loss of eligibility for any other
HomeSafe Georgia mortgage assistance program.
any payments required?
No monthly payments are required on
the HomeSafe Georgia loan; however, if you are receiving Mortgage Payment
Assistance, you may be required to make partial payments toward your current
mortgage loan during your participation in the program.
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does the HomeSafe Georgia loan affect my credit score?
The homeowner must determine if the
benefits of assistance outweigh any risks; HomeSafe Georgia cannot make any
guarantees that your credit score will not be affected. HomeSafe Georgia has no
reporting authority or control for your mortgage loan or how your lender will
treat assistance payments from HomeSafe Georgia. Please contact your lender if
you have any concerns.
Other factors to consider:
A credit report is pulled as part
of the application process
Mortgage delinquency will occur or
increase if the homeowner is unable to make the payments during processing
Servicing transfers can disrupt
The homeowner is responsible for
understanding assistance coverage and making payments after assistance ends
does receiving government mortgage assistance through HomeSafe Georgia
affect my taxes?
You will receive a 1098MA form for
each year of your participation, indicating how much HomeSafe Georgia paid to
your lender on your behalf and how much you contributed (partial payments). The
IRS has provided safe harbor instructions on what can be used as a deductible.
your tax preparer or tax attorney for more information.
happens if I need to move or refinance after receiving mortgage assistance?
The HomeSafe Georgia loan is
forgiven at 20% of the principal balance per year, starting one year and 30
days after the last assistance payment was made. If you sell your home or take
equity out of the home prior to the full forgiveness period, the unforgiven
portion of the balance will be due. HomeSafe Georgia will subordinate to no
cash out refinance and consider a short sale under acceptable conditions.
happens if I file for bankruptcy?
Applications submitted while the
applicant is in an active bankruptcy will receive a Statement of Ineligibility.
However, if the bankruptcy can be dismissed or discharged quickly and the
participant meets all other requirements of the mortgage assistance program
applied for, we can continue with the review and provide a conditional
approval. Filing bankruptcy after closing on a HomeSafe Georgia loan can cause
loss of assistance per lender requirements. Please discuss this with your