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  • Kathy Smith

Financial Help for Landlords and Homeowners

Landlords, do you know that you can apply for rental assistance for your tenant(s)? Colorado has a Property Owner Preservation (POP) program for landlords and property owners to apply for assistance on behalf of their tenants. This program also pertains to lot rental fees at manufactured housing communities. You can apply for rent in arrears back to March 1, 2020.

The recent federal relief bill also has a provision for landlords and property owners to apply for rental assistance on the tenant’s behalf. For this assistance, the tenant must cosign the application. For rental assistance, households with incomes below 80% of the area median income (AMI) are eligible, and households below 50% of AMI are prioritized.

The state has prepared a model repayment agreement that allows landlords and tenants to mutually agree on a plan for repaying outstanding rent or other contractual amounts.

National federal eviction moratorium—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has Frequently Asked Questions about the federal eviction moratorium. The recent federal relief bill extends this moratorium through January 31, 2021. The CDC has a Declaration Form for tenants to sign.

FHFA foreclosure and eviction moratoriums—The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) extended the moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) evictions until at least January 31, 2021.

Statewide eviction and rental late fee moratoriums—Governor Polis extended the statewide eviction moratorium and suspension of rental late fees until December 31, 2020. The state has Frequently Asked Questions about evictions, foreclosures, rent and mortgage payments. For late rent fees, landlords and property owners cannot charge late fees for failure to pay any portion of rent from October 15, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Any fee or penalty assessed on or after January 1, 2021 can only apply to rent due on or after January 1, 2021.

Rental and mortgage assistance—Colorado has an Emergency Housing Assistance Program (EHAP) for both tenants and homeowners. The Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program pays money directly to the lender to cover mortgage payments for eligible low- and moderate-income homeowners, and directly to the landlord for rental payments. The state also provides Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention information.

Mortgage forbearance—Many lenders are offering mortgage forbearance for those who cannot pay due to COVID-19. In a forbearance agreement, the lender agrees to reduce or suspend payments for a certain amount of time. The specific terms of an agreement vary from lender to lender. Under the CARES Act, homeowners with federally backed mortgage loans can ask for a forbearance, which will last up to 180 days and can be extended up to an additional 180 days. Unless the deadline is extended, homeowners must make the request before December 31, 2020.

If you need additional help getting forbearance or avoiding foreclosure, visit Colorado Housing Connects or call 844-926-6632 to be connected to a housing counselor.

The Colorado Association of Realtors has a foreclosure hotline at 877-601-4673 and a Facing Foreclosure webpage.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has a “Mortgage and Housing Assistance during the Coronavirus National Emergency” webpage with some helpful information and videos.

HUD offers foreclosure avoidance counseling through Housing Counseling Agencies and offers information about avoiding foreclosure.

Some Articles:

CPR: “It’s Gonna Go Really Far:” Colorado Could Get $383 Million For Renter Aid From Stimulus, But Will It Get To People In Time? (December 21, 2020)

CPR: Almost 300,000 Coloradans Will Lose Unemployment Benefits After Christmas Even If A New Federal Stimulus Passes (December 18, 2020)

Colorado Sun: Colorado has money to help struggling renters, but some landlords won’t play ball (December 17,2020)

The Washington Post: Nearly 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty since the summer (December 16, 2020)

CPR: Where Will the Latest Round of Colorado Coronavirus Relief Money Go? (December 7, 2020)

Consumer Reports: If You Need Mortgage Relief, Time May Be Running Out (November 13, 2020)

Colorado Sun: Eviction ban or not, Colorado tenants still worry about their rent while landlords struggle to survive (November 3, 2020)

Colorado Sun: Colorado governor bans evictions for tenants who can prove financial hardship because of coronavirus (October 21, 2020)

CPR: Polis Suspends Late Rent Fees until 2021 (October 16, 2020)

Forbes: 1.3 Million Homeowners Fear Imminent Foreclosure—But They Don’t Have To (September 16, 2020)

Forbes: How Mortgage Forbearance Works (September 1, 2020)

Colorado 2020 Executive Orders

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