Advice from the Jefferson County Public Trustee’s Office – Jerry DiTullio & Holly Ryan
The moratorium on foreclosing federally insured loans officially ended July 31, 2021. The moratorium prohibited lenders of federally insured defaulted loans from referring those loans to foreclosure. It also precluded loans already in foreclosure from proceeding to sale. This means if you have a federally insured loan and are behind on your payments by more than 120 days, your lender can start a foreclosure action. Also, if you were in foreclosure prior to March 18, 2020 (initiation of the COVID Pandemic Moratorium) your foreclosure can proceed to sale with no additional notice.In April 2021 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recommended that mortgage lenders refrain from initiating foreclosures until Dec. 31, 2021. As this is a recommendation and not a requirement, some lenders may wait to initiate foreclosure actions, but some may not. It is recommended that you work with your lender if you are behind in your payments.Federal Mortgage Assistance is Now AvailableThis assistance is called the Homeownership Assistance Fund. The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), through its Division of Housing (DOH), Office of Housing Recovery (OHR) is pleased to announce the launch of the Colorado Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMAP). As part of the larger Homeowner Assistance Fund allocation through the American Rescue Plan act of 2021, DOH will be administering Colorado EMAP as a pilot program, which will provide financial assistance on behalf of income-eligible households experiencing a financial hardship associated with the COVID-19 health crisis, by disbursing funds directly to the homeownership loan lender/servicer, land contract holder, manufactured/mobile home lender, and/or other housing provider as appropriate. The application process is now open.What if I Rent and Am in Arrears? Emergency Rental Assistance ProgramThe Public Trustee’s office is not involved with renter evictions, however Governor Polis issued an executive order on July 30 requiring that a thirty (30) day notice be provided to tenants before evicting them for non-payment of rent. If you are a renter and need help, there is help available through the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program can help cover rent as far back as April 2020, including past due, current, and two additional months of rent payments up to a total of 15 months of assistance. If you are interested in applying for ERA resources, contact your landlord and see if you’re eligible and apply through Jefferson County Human Services.