Pandemic Relief Dollars Can Help Nebraska Homeowners Avoid Delinquency | Politics


Nebraska may have peaked in COVID cases caused by the omicron variant, but the sharp drop in cases is not yet a relief to hospitals in the state.

LINCOLN — Gov. Pete Ricketts on Tuesday announced the launch of a program to help homeowners get out of pandemic-induced mortgages and other housing costs.

The American Rescue Plan Act has provided each state with money to help homeowners affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Nebraska used its $50 million share to create the Nebraska Homeowner Assistance Fund.

Shannon Harner, executive director of the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority, said the program aims to prevent homeowners from losing their homes to mortgage defaults, defaults and foreclosures caused by COVID disruptions.

Although Nebraska is doing better than most states, the number of households with delinquent mortgages is higher than normal, she said. As of November, about 18,083 home loans were in arrears statewide. The affected loans total $108 billion, with outstanding balances of nearly $96 million.

Through the new program, homeowners can get help with delinquent mortgage payments, future mortgage payments, property taxes, and other costs, such as homeowners insurance premiums and HOA fees. Payments will be made directly to the lender, county treasurer or other vendor.

Harner said most of the new fund is allocated to delinquent mortgages. There is a $30,000 limit per household on assistance, and assistance will be available until funds are exhausted or until September 30, 2025, whichever comes first.


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