March 7, 2022 Industry Letter
March 7, 2022
INDUSTRY LETTER REGARDING MORTGAGE SERVICERS PARTICIPATION WITH THE HOMEOWNER ASSISTANCE FUND (HAF)
To All Interested Parties:
The Massachusetts Division of Banks (the Division) is issuing this FOLLOW-UP Industry Letter to provide guidance to mortgage servicers (Servicers) as consumers exit pandemic-related forbearances. The Division strongly encourages mortgage servicers to participate in the state-administered “Homeowner Assistance Fund” (HAF), a federal assistance program established under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF)
The Massachusetts HAF Program is now fully funded by the United States Treasury with $178,543,357 and fully operational through the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) and MassHousing. Statewide public service announcements - a widespread, multi-platform media campaign are now underway across the Commonwealth as a means to inform all qualifying and impacted households.
The Division wishes for all licensees, banks, and credit unions to be aware that the Massachusetts HAF Program is fully operational. HAF was established to mitigate financial hardships associated with the coronavirus pandemic by providing funds to eligible borrowers for the purpose of preventing mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures and displacements of eligible homeowners. The Division reiterates its expectation that all entities under the Division’s supervision will participate in the HAF program where applicable for eligible consumers. Over 80 financial institutions and servicers are now participating in the program, including very large national servicers and smaller financial institutions. The program has received close to 2,000 completed applications and is making payments to servicers onboarded to the program.
The Role of Mortgage Servicers
Mortgage servicers will play a critical role in the success of the Massachusetts HAF Program. MHP has established an online self-service portal (FAMS – Financial Aid Management System) for mortgage servicers to participate in the HAF Program including any exchange of loan level information, submit onboarding information and access to service and payment agreements. For more information, please visit www.MHP.net/masshaf or email the MHP Homeownership team at MassHAF@mhp.net.
Please refer to the following links to the HAF Informational Outline and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to learn more about the program:
Should you have any questions with regard to this Industry Letter, please contact Deputy Commissioner of Mortgage Supervision Kevin Cuff at (617) 956-1539 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Deputy Commissioner for Consumer Protection and Outreach Mayté Rivera, Depository Institution Supervision, at (617) 956-1557 or email@example.com.
Mary L. Gallagher
Commissioner of Banks