Our cover story in the September/October issue of Reverse Mortgage looks at the federal Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) program that was created as part of the American Rescue Plan Act to help homeowners who fell behind with their mortgages during the pandemic. We outline how states—each got a piece of the pie—have been getting the money and largely allocating the relief to people with forward mortgages, and efforts underway to educate decision-makers about why HECM borrowers also might need relief, such as those who fell behind with either taxes or insurance payments during COVID-19.
Mortgage servicers are on the front lines with customers after a reverse mortgage closes and have been monitoring HAF developments on a state-by-state basis. However, everyone can help, including loan officers who have been originating reverse mortgages before, during and after the pandemic. If they can take the time to learn what their states are doing with HAF, they can be a point of contact for clients, while providing service and stability for reverse mortgage products in the long term. At the least, reverse mortgage professionals will demonstrate how the reverse mortgage industry cares about its customers and the communities where they operate.