For people who have fallen behind on their mortgage or utilities due to COVID-19 illness, job loss or other pandemic-related hardship, “the Kansas Homeowner Assistance Fund (KHAF) is a great benefit,” says loan officer Julie Cannady of Community National Bank & Trust (CNB) in Augusta, Kansas.
CNB registered early
CNB is one of the early loan servicer participants approved to receive KHAF payments, which are designed to prevent foreclosures in Kansas. The bank has already received one payment, bringing an elderly customer with health concerns current on her mortgage. “It’s a blessing for her,” says Cannady. There are four more CNB customer applications in the KHAF pipeline.
Since all payments go directly to the delinquent account, not the homeowner, it’s vital for banks, credit unions and other loan servicers to get registered. “It benefits the homeowner and us,” Cannady says. “It helps the homeowner and us avoid having a delinquent loan on our books.”
“We signed up to be an approved servicer when a customer requested it,” says Cannady. A homeowner in need must apply, but applications can only be considered if the lender also participates by registering with the program.
Register only once
Marilyn Stanley, KHAF Program Manager at Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, says that any bank, credit union or other loan servicers with mortgages for homes in Kansas can get set up. “It’s easy to get registered, with just a few forms to submit, and then an online portal for payment information,” says Stanley. This makes the homeowner application process much smoother and facilitates payments.
Track progress in real time
Once a servicer is approved, “the rest is easy,” says Cannady. The bank receives an email when a customer has submitted an application. The bank is then required to verify information about an applicant’s home loan, any delinquencies and the amount needed to bring the account current. Cannady can log in to the lender portal at any time to check on the status of an applicant. It shows the application pipeline and indicates if any information or action is needed from the bank. Cannady reports that none of CNB’s customers who have applied have been denied so far. Stanley encourages other banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders to get registered and talk to customers who may benefit from this program. Homeowners must be low- to moderate-income, and can see if they qualify by answering a few questions in the homeowner application portal. “Financial instability and the fear of losing your home is traumatic. Talk to customers that you think may benefit,” says Stanley, “this is a win-win for homeowners and lenders.”
The KHAF program is funded by the American Rescue Plan and administered by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation. More information for lenders is online at https://kshousingcorp.org/kansas-homeowner-assistance-fund-lenders.
KHAF Call Center
To assist both homeowners and lenders.
8 am – 5 pm CST, Mon–Fri
This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number HAFP-0140
awarded to Kansas Housing Resources Corporation by the US Department of the Treasury