Updated July 30, 2020
As you know, the spread of the coronavirus has touched every aspect of our daily lives — from our families and schools to our places of work and worship.
We understand the uncertainty during this pandemic and want to let you know about some of the proactive measures Idaho Housing and Finance Association and HomeLoanServ have in place to continue to support and serve our customers, clients and partners.
Please stay safe and healthy during this unprecedented time.
Forbearance information for HomeLoanServ borrowers
We encourage you to review the information on this page. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. If you choose to speak to us in person, please understand that, although our customer support call center is open, we are experiencing higher than normal call volume and longer wait times. We know that it’s frustrating to wait and we apologize for the inconvenience. We encourage you to take advantage of the self-serve options if you need to register, check in or change a forbearance plan.
- Self-serve: Register, check in, or change a forbearance plan.
- Learn more before you apply for forbearance.
- Ready to resume payments? Here’s how to unenroll from a forbearance plan.
- Email: Disasterrelief@HomeLoanServ.com
- Phone: 800-526-7145 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. mountain time, Monday – Friday)
Do you have payment concerns?
If you anticipate that it will be difficult or impossible for you to make your mortgage payment, there are options available.
Please note that all foreclosure sales and evictions have been postponed until Aug. 31. Similarly, we have suspended negative reporting to credit agencies for borrowers who are currently on a forbearance plan.
If the COVID-19 virus pandemic outbreak has caused you financial hardship and affected your ability to pay your mortgage, you are eligible for a special forbearance plan. Click here to register.
The forbearance plan delays the requirement to pay a monthly mortgage payment from an initial 90 days up to 365 days, depending on your situation. During that time, negative credit reporting is suspended, no late fees are assessed, and foreclosures will not be initiated. Forbearance does not erase, nullify or otherwise remove the accumulated payments.
At the end of the forbearance period, you will need to resume making your monthly mortgage payments and catch up on your missed payments. There are several options available and we will work with you to determine the best fit for your new financial situation. It’s important to understand that we can’t determine your specific repayment options until we know exactly how many payments you’ve missed.
While everyone’s situation is unique, repayment options generally include:
- A loan deferral that will add your missed payments to the end of your loan.
- A repayment plan, in which you pay a little extra every month on your regular mortgage payment to gradually catch up on your missed payments.
- A loan modification that aims to maintain or reduce your monthly payment. Please understand that not all loans qualify for a modification. Please consult with one of our loan counselors to see if your loan qualifies.
If you think a special forbearance plan is right for you, please register here.
Consider taking advantage of Borrower Connection
If you haven’t already, now is a great time to sign up for Borrower Connection, our secure online tool that will help you manage your mortgage payments, view account activity and get tax and insurance information. Get started here.
Be wary of scammers
Unfortunately scam attempts increase during situations like this.
Please be cautious of phishing scams, which are fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details. Use extra caution when clicking on links and opening email attachments. If you receive an email that looks suspicious, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Keep in mind that no one from HomeLoanServ will contact you by email or phone to request your personal account or payment information. You should continue to make your payments as you always have or use our secure, online Borrower Connection. Transactions on this account are protected by two-step authentication. Two-step login is an extra layer of security to make sure you’re the only one who can access your account, even if someone else knows your password. Each time you log in, you will be asked to enter a username and password as well as an additional six-digit code, which you can choose to receive by email, text, or phone call.
Help for Idaho renters: Housing Preservation Program
About the Housing Preservation Program
Idaho Housing and Finance Association is working to stabilize Idaho households affected by COVID-19 and the related economic crisis. If you or your renter is unable to pay rent or utilities because of the COVID-19 pandemic, short-term assistance may be available to prevent eviction.
Eligibility is based on current household income, risk of eviction (within 30 days for nonpayment of rent from current residence) or utility shut-off due to the COVID-19 crisis, and several other factors. Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for a complete list of eligibility criteria.
Apply for assistance
Before applying for assistance, you should be prepared to provide:
- Basic information on each household member,
- An electronic copy of your state-issued ID,
- Proof of income,
- Your lease agreement and rent delinquency notice and/or,
- Your utility bill (if past due or threatened with shut-off).
To apply for assistance, click here or call 1-855-452-0801.
Questions? Need more information?
Click here for more details on the program and to get answers to your frequently asked questions. If you still have questions or need assistance applying, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at 1-855-452-0801.
Help spread the word
If you’re currently homeless
If you are currently homeless, click here to connect with services for which you may be eligible.
Click here to review the program’s privacy notice.
Section 1001 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code makes it a criminal offense to make willful false statements or misrepresentations to any Department or Agency of the United States as to any matter within its jurisdiction. I understand that knowingly supplying false, incomplete or inaccurate information is punishable under Federal or State laws and may result in prosecution and repayment of assistance. By submitting an application you certify that the information you have provided is accurate and complete to the best of your knowledge, you understand the penalties for providing inaccurate or fraudulent information, you believe you are eligible based on the eligibility criteria provided, and you agree that this acknowledgment shall be considered an equivalent to your manually executed signature and may be used as such to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.
Click here to see the rent and utility distribution at Transparent Idaho. Please keep in mind that the data reported by IHFA may take several weeks to be displayed on the site.
Acerca del programa para la Preservación de Viviendas
Idaho Housing and Finance Association (Asociación de Vivienda y Finanzas de Idaho) está trabajando para estabilizar los hogares de Idaho que se han visto afectados por COVID-19 y la crisis económica asociada. Si usted o su inquilino han perdido su fuente de ingresos debido a la pandemia y no pueden pagar la renta o los servicios públicos, es posible que haya asistencia temporal disponible para evitar el desalojo.
La elegibilidad se basa en el ingreso actual del hogar , el riesgo de desalojo (dentro de 30 días por impago del alquiler de la residencia actual) o el riesgo de interrupción de los servicios públicos a causa de la crisis de la COVID-19 y algunos otros factores. Consulte las Preguntas más frecuentes donde encontrará una lista completa de los criterios de elegibilidad.
Solicitar la asistencia
Antes de solicitar la asistencia, debería estar preparado para proporcionar:
- Información básica sobre cada uno de los miembros del hogar/unidad familiar
- Una copia electrónica de su identificación (ID) emitida por el estado
- Prueba de ingresos
- Su contrato de arrendamiento y
- Su factura de servicios públicos (si está retrasado en el pago o bajo amenaza de interrupción del servicio)
También necesitará completar un formulario de autorización para la divulgación de información . Todos los miembros del hogar sin fuente de ingresos necesitarán completar y adjuntar una Declaración de pérdida de ingresos o ingresos nulos.
Para solicitar asistencia, haga clic aquí o llame al 1-855-452-0801.
¿Preguntas? ¿Necesita más información?
Haga clic aquí para encontrar más detalles sobre este programa y respuestas a las preguntas más frecuentes.
Ayuda a correr la voz
Si actualmente está en situación de desamparo (sin hogar)
Si no tiene hogar, haga clic aquí para conectarlo con servicios para los cuales usted puede ser elegible.
Notificación de Privacidad
Haga clic aquí para leer la notificación de privacidad del programa.
Declaración de fraude
La sección 1001 del Título 18 del Código de Estados Unidos establece que realizar deliberadamente declaraciones o representaciones falsas a cualquier departamento u organismo de los Estados Unidos, respecto a cualquier asunto bajo su jurisdicción, es un delito penal. Entiendo que proporcionar información falsa, incompleta o incorrecta a sabiendas, está penalizado bajo la ley federal y estatal y puede dar lugar a procesamiento judicial y devolución de la asistencia recibida. Al enviar esta solicitud declara que la información que ha proporcionado es correcta y completa a su leal saber y entender, que entiende que existen sanciones por proporcionar información que no es precisa o fraudulenta, que piensa que es elegible en base a los criterios de elegibilidad proporcionados, y que acepta que este reconocimiento se considerará un equivalente a su firma ejecutada manualmente y que como tal se puede usar en la medida que las leyes vigentes lo permitan.
Lender and broker partners
Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) recognizes the severity of the impact of COVID-19. These are challenging times that require flexibility, creativity, and understanding. IHFA believes that homeownership is the backbone to our country’s economy and will do everything in its power to remain operational.
We value our employees and their families. To keep our employees safe, most of IHFA’s personnel are working at home. We have a minimal crew still coming into the office to provide essential functions.
Please be assured that members of our staff who you’re normally in contact with will remain accessible and we will continue to provide the professional support and service you’re used to. At this point, there is no interruption in the processing of loan purchasing.
The situation is consistently changing. Changes in policy and processes can occur at any time.
Some have expressed concern about the bond market and possible impacts to IHFA’s lending activity. While IHFA uses a best-execution strategy for selling loans into the secondary market, which may include bonds when viable, we hedge our loan pipeline in the TBA market, providing a take-out regardless the viability of the bond market. With ample liquidity, IHFA is well prepared to purchase loans in accordance with our program requirements.
As an added note, the recent stimulus bill includes a provision for the Federal Reserve to purchase state and local municipal debt, which includes housing bonds. This action has stabilized the bond market considerably in recent days.
For more information or assistance, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-855-505-4700, ext 8600.
We appreciate you and your continued partnership during this time. Please stay safe and healthy during this unprecedented time.
Here is some additional information about our loan processing:
Verbal Verification of Employment
• Verbal Verification of Employment (VVOE) is required for all files. Currently, the requirements for verifications of employment have not changed. It is recommended that VVOE’s are obtained the day of closing. VVOE’s may be obtained after closing, up to loan purchase/delivery.
• Borrowers who are furloughed or suspended and are not getting paid are not eligible for loan purchase unless they can qualify without the income.
• If the VVOE cannot be obtained prior to delivery, the loan is ineligible for delivery to Fannie Mae. If the lender is unable to obtain a VVOE because the business is closed, the loan will be ineligible for purchase until it can be completed.
Some alternatives taken directly from the Fannie Mae Lender Letter (LL-2020-03)
Many lenders are reporting difficulty in obtaining the verbal verification of employment (VOE) due to disruption to operations of the borrower’s employer. We expect lenders to attempt to obtain the verbal VOE in accordance with our existing requirements guidance. However, we will allow the following flexibilities:
• Written VOE: The Selling Guide permits the lender to obtain a written VOE confirming the borrower’s current employment status within the same timeframe as the verbal VOE requirements. An email directly from the employer’s work email address that identifies the name and title of the verifier and the borrower’s name and current employment status may be used in lieu of a verbal VOE. In addition, the lender may obtain the VOE after loan closing, up to the time of loan delivery (though we strongly encourage getting the verbal VOE before the note date).
• Paystub: The lender may obtain a year-to-date paystub from the pay period that immediately precedes the note date.
• Bank statements: The lender can provide bank statements (or other alternative documentation as permitted by Selling Guide B3-4.2-01) evidencing the payroll deposit from the pay period that immediately precedes the note date.
NOTE: If employment has been validated by the Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) validation service, the validation will remain eligible for representation and warranty relief on employment provided the lender complies with the “close by” date in the DU message. Otherwise, the guidance provided above applies.
These alternatives also apply to Freddie Mac loans.
• Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have established alternative appraisal options if an interior inspection is not possible due to COVID-19. IHFA will follow these guidelines and accept the alternative appraisals.
• In an effort to manage our pricing and loan pipeline more effectively we ask that our lending partners inform us when locks need to be cancelled. Low interest rates have created a strong refinance environment. The increased volatility in our current market has caused sharp swings to mortgage rates which, if rates are increasing, will result in loans falling out.
Housing Choice Voucher clients and applicants
Face-to-face meetings suspended at IHFA branch offices
Idaho Housing and Finance Association has implemented precautionary measures to eliminate social interaction at our offices in Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Coeur d’Alene and Lewiston in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Based on recommendations from health officials, we will not be conducting face-to-face meetings for the foreseeable future. Our offices have been closed to the public to help keep our community, our clients and our staff healthy and safe.
For Housing Choice Voucher clients, your annual recertification appointments will be held by telephone and supporting documentation can be mailed, emailed, or faxed to the office. Annual inspections have been suspended for the next 30 days.
For Housing Choice Voucher applicants, if you need to make a change to your application, please contact your local branch office by phone or email.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
A message to renters from Idaho Legal Aid Services and the Public Housing Authorities of Idaho
Recently, the federal government passed the CARES Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new law imposes a 120-day moratorium on tenant evictions in most federally subsidized housing properties/programs. Tenants in qualifying properties cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent and cannot be charged late fees until after July 24, 2020. For more information about the CARES Act and evictions, visit this site.
Even though evictions are suspended, rent is still due.
Here is some general advice:
- If you are able to, pay your rent. We are all in this together and if you can and do pay your rent, it may help your landlord to more easily work with someone who truly can’t pay. If you can only pay a portion of your rent, you should contact your landlord to discuss how much you can pay and when you can pay it. If you are able to secure a ‘partial payment’ agreement, put it in writing. Include these key details: when payments will be made, how much the payments will be, how much will still be owed after each payment, the date of the agreement and the signatures of you and your landlord. You and your landlord should each keep a copy.
- If you receive rental assistance and your income has decreased, report those changes to the agency that administers your assistance as soon as possible. Your portion of the rent may be decreased as a result. Failure to pay your portion of the rent can be considered a violation of family obligations for which you could lose your assistance.
- If you need help paying your rent, you can call 2-1-1 to find out about financial assistance programs in your area. If your work hours have been reduced or eliminated, you can apply for unemployment insurance online in English or Spanish here. You can also call your closest Idaho Department of Labor Office.
- If paying rent is an extreme burden for you, consider contacting your landlord in writing to explain why and request a payment plan. You may ask for a delay or reduction in rent, a stop to rent increases and late fees, a 6-month period for repayment of rent, and the ability to break your lease if necessary. We suggest you add to your letter specific information about why you will have difficulty paying rent. Keep any papers you have about why you are unable to pay rent–for example, if you received a letter or an email about losing your job or working fewer hours.
- Low income Idahoans can call Idaho Legal Aid Services Covid-19 Legal Advice Line at 208-746-7541 for free legal advice about their specific housing situation.
The CARES Act stops covered landlords from filing new eviction cases for nonpayment of rent beginning on March 27, 2020. This protection will continue until July 24, 2020. It also stops those landlords from charging fees and penalties related to nonpayment of rent. When eviction cases are allowed again, covered landlords must give tenants 30 days’ notice to vacate (lease) the home before filing an eviction case.
The Act does not cover the following eviction cases:
- Evictions that were filed before March 27, 2020, or after July 24, 2020;
- Tenants who live in properties that are not covered by the Act; and
- Evictions for reasons other than nonpayment of rent (such as termination of tenancy or for violations of lease terms);
There may be cases where landlords don’t give a reason for the eviction. However, covered tenants who believe their eviction is even partially related to nonpayment of rent should bring up the CARES Act as a defense.
If your property is not covered by the CARES Act or if the eviction is for a reason other than nonpayment, then the CARES Act moratorium does not apply and your landlord can file an eviction against you. However, based on restrictions on the types of hearings that are being held in state court, it is possible that the eviction proceeding will be delayed. If you are served with a summons and complaint for an eviction action, you should contact a lawyer immediately.
Low income Idahoans can call Idaho Legal Aid Services COVID-19 Legal Advice Line at 208-746-7541 for free legal advice about your specific situation.
Resources for homeless services providers
Home Partnership Foundation: The Home Partnership Foundation created a COVID-19 Housing Rapid Response Fund that is accepting applications from housing nonprofits in Idaho. Apply here or donate to the fund.
Webinar: COVID-19 information for HOPWA grantees (Log in using your Collaborative Solutions username and password.)
Preventing and managing the spread of infectious disease
Homeless or at risk of becoming homeless?
Click here for the resources in each region of the state that are available to help you during a housing crisis.