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Frequently Asked Questions
What is TXHAF?
TXHAF is the Texas Homeowner Assistance program, which provides financial assistance to Texas homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage or related payments due to the pandemic.
Is assistance from the TXHAF program provided to homeowners as a grant or a loan?
The TXHAF funds are issued as grants that homeowners do not need to repay. The payments are made directly to the mortgage servicer or applicable property charge payee.
Can TXHAF help if the homeowner has already moved out of the property?
No. In order to be eligible for assistance, the homeowner must currently occupy the home as their primary residence.
What is the difference between the Texas Utility Help or Texas Homeowner Assistance programs?
Please refer to this chart to compare the programs and determine which one is best for your household.
How much assistance can I apply for?
- Provides assistance to eligible Texas homeowners with qualified hardships to pay past due mortgage payments and, in some cases, up to three (3) months of future payments, including eligible amounts advanced by a mortgage servicer.
- Maximum assistance of $65,000 per household.
- Provides assistance to eligible Texas homeowners with qualified hardships to pay past due property taxes, property insurance and past due mortgage statement, property tax statement, insurance statement, and/or homeowner/condo association fees.
- Of the maximum $65,000 available per household, up to $25,000 can be used for property charge defaults.
Utility Payment Assistance
- Provides assistance to eligible Texas homeowners with qualified hardships to pay past due utility bills and up to three (3) months of prospective payments.
- Of the maximum $65,000 available per household, up to $10,000 can be used for utility assistance (inclusive of past due balance and prospective assistance).
- Eligible utilities include electricity, gas, propane, water, and wastewater.
What documents do homeowners need to provide?
Below are examples of documents that homeowners are required to submit with the application:
- Identification card
- Mortgage statement
- Proof of occupancy, such as a utility bill
- Income documentation, such as pay stubs
- Signed program documents
What about escrow advances paid by loan servicers for property charges?
Frequently, a loan servicer will collect property tax and insurance payments from the homeowner and maintain them in an “impound” or “escrow” account. An “escrow advance” is when the loan servicer pays these fees on behalf of the homeowner when there are not enough funds in the escrow account to do so.
Of the maximum $65,000 available per household, up to $25,000 can go towards property charges, including escrow advances.
What can the TXHAF funds be used for?
TXHAF funds can help qualified homeowners catch up on late payments on their mortgage, property tax, property insurance, homeowner/condo association fees, and utilities. Some applicants may also be eligible for up to three (3) months of future mortgage payment assistance.
The TXHAF program currently does not cover expenses such as home repairs and does not cover home equity loans.
What types of properties are eligible for assistance?
- Single-family (attached or detached) property
- Condominium unit
- 1 to 4-unit property where homeowner lives in a unit as their primary residence
- Manufactured home permanently affixed to real property and taxed as real estate
- Mobile home not permanently affixed to real property
For any of the above property types, the original principal balance of the mortgage must not be more than the conforming loan limit.
Can homeowners apply for future mortgage payments?
Some applicants may be eligible for up to three (3) months of future mortgage payment assistance.
How many times can I apply for assistance?
An applicant/homeowner can only apply once for each of the following as long as the total amount of TXHAF assistance doesn’t exceed $65,000.
- Property Tax
- Property Insurance
- Homeowner’s Association
- Natural Gas
Who is eligible for TXHAF program assistance?
Texas homeowners may be eligible for assistance through TXHAF if they meet the following:
- Have fallen behind on one or more payments: mortgage, property tax, property insurance, homeowner/condo association fees, utility payments.
- Household income at or below 100% Area Median Income (AMI) or 100% of the median income for the United States, whichever is greater. Check your AMI here.
- Own and occupy their home in Texas as their primary residence.
- Experienced a qualified financial hardship after January 21, 2020, such as lost income or increased expenses due to the pandemic.
- The mortgage loan has to be in the name of a natural person, not an LLC, LP, or business.
What if I can’t afford to continue making my monthly mortgage payments?
If you qualify for the program and you can continue making your monthly mortgage payments after receiving program assistance, then the program will provide funding to “Reinstate” your mortgage. “Reinstate” means pay the total past due amount.
If you qualify for the program and you cannot afford to continue making your monthly mortgage payments after receiving program assistance, then the program will provide funding to “Reinstate” your mortgage. Additionally the program will provide up to three months of monthly payment assistance to qualified households.
If you cannot afford to continue making your monthly mortgage payments, please contact a housing counselor and/or your loan servicer to explore available options.
For full details about TXHAF Mortgage Reinstatement and Monthly Payment Assistance, please see the Policy Manual.
What is forbearance? Am I eligible for TXHAF assistance if my loan is in forbearance?
“Forbearance” is when your mortgage servicer allows you to pause or reduce your mortgage payments for a period of time. Homeowners in forbearance are encouraged to contact their loan servicers to explore options to exit forbearance. Homeowners exiting forbearance are eligible for TXHAF assistance.
I already received assistance from a different program. Am I qualified to receive assistance from this program?
Households are not allowed to receive duplicate payments for the same expense for the same time period.
Is there a maximum mortgage loan limit?
If you have a mortgage, the maximum amount of the mortgage loan at origination must be at or below the Maximum conforming loan limit secured by a single-family residence, a mortgage secured by a two-family residence, a mortgage secured by a three-family residence, or a mortgage secured by a four-family residence, as determined and adjusted annually under section 302(b)(2) of the Federal National Mortgage Association Charter Act (12 U.S.C. 1717(b)(2)) and section 305(a)(2) of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation Act (12 U.S.C. 1454(a)(2)). A History of Conforming (Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac) Loan Limits (hsh.com).
My application was denied. How do I appeal?
If you believe your application was denied in error, you may submit an appeal within 30 days by logging into the portal. Appeal requests must include additional facts or evidence to show why your case should be reconsidered.
Why was my application denied with “Servicer not responding”?
Your application for assistance has been denied because your loan servicer has not responded to the TX HAF Program’s request for mortgage information. Please contact your servicer to resolve why they have not responded. You may submit an appeal within 30 days by logging into the portal.
What happens if I am under threat of disconnection and have already submitted a Utility Payment Assistance application?
Priority is given to those who are at risk of having utilities disconnected, as evidenced by a disconnect notice from the utility.
If your application is pending, please contact the TXHAF call center (1-833-651-3874) for instructions on adding the disconnect notice to your application so we can prioritize your application.
If your application was recently approved, we encourage you to contact your utility provider directly to request they delay the disconnection. You can log into the application portal at any time to view your approval status and amount of assistance approved and share the information with your utility provider. Please note payment can take up to 21 days after approval.
If I submitted an application for Utility Payment Assistance, can I get an official pledge, letter of intent, or guarantee I can show my utility provider?
If your application is pending, we encourage you to contact your utility provider directly to discuss options for past-due payments, and to let them know you applied for assistance. You can log in to the application portal at any time to view and share your case number and status.
Once your application is approved, you can log into the application portal at any time to view your approval status and amount of assistance approved and share the information with your utility provider. Please note payment can take up to 21 days after approval.
How are payments made?
Once a homeowner’s application is approved, payment is sent directly to the mortgage servicer, property tax authority, insurance company, homeowner/condo association, or utility provider.
Payment is made by either ACH/direct deposit or check.
TXHAF is not able to make payments directly to homeowners.
If I am approved, how quickly can I receive assistance?
After you submit your application, it will be carefully reviewed to see if it meets program eligibility requirements. Mortgage details will be confirmed with your mortgage servicer. If any documents or information is missing from your application, you will be contacted and asked to provide it. Once your application review is completed, you will be notified whether you qualify for program assistance. Application review times can vary. Homeowners can log into the portal at any time to check the status of their applications.
Can I be reimbursed for a payment(s) I have already made, but could not afford?
No. The program cannot reimburse homeowners for payments made. Program assistance is only available to help homeowners with past-due payments and, if eligible, up to three (3) months of future payment assistance.
How does a payee return funds to Texas Homeowner Assistance?
Payments returned by a mortgage servicer, tax authority, HOA, insurance company, or utility provider can be sent via check.
Checks must be mailed to the address found on the check and made out to Yardi Systems, Inc. Please include the homeowner’s name, case number, account number, and property address with the returned check.
Loan Servicers paid by ACH may return funds by ACH. The ACH transmission must include the loan number and must be accompanied by a CDF-P or CDF-R record with the return details (CDF column BU: Amount of Overage; column BV: Status of Discrepancy; column BW: ACH Return Number; and column BX: ACH Return Date).
ACH returns and check returns may be rejected if they do not include the required details.
Please call the Call Center at 1-833-651-3874 for additional questions about how to return funds.
When do payments need to be returned to Texas Homeowner Assistance?
It is the responsibility of the payee (mortgage servicer, tax authority, HOA, insurance company, or utility provider) to apply assistance to the homeowner’s account for the eligible costs reflected in the payment.
Funds must be returned to Texas Homeowner Assistance under any of the following scenarios:
- Duplication of Benefits: Texas Homeowner Assistance and another assistance program issued payments on behalf of the same homeowner, for the same expense, for the same period of time.
- Incorrect Payee: The payee is ineligible to receive funds as they are not the homeowner’s provider.
- Overpayment: Texas Homeowner Assistance issued payment in excess of the amount the applicant was entitled to receive based on the program policy.
- Household Ineligible for program assistance for any reason including the following:
- The property was not physically located within the State of Texas.
- The homeowner was not able to demonstrate primary residency over the property for which assistance was requested.
- The homeowner was unable to demonstrate they were the homeowner/had a payment obligation.
- At the time the application was submitted, the applicant household earned an income above the 100% AMI or 100% of the median income for the United States, whichever is greater, for the family size provided.
- The application contains misleading, unverifiable and/or conflicting information; or is ineligible due to not providing the required information to confirm program eligibility.
- Previously disbursed assistance was not used for its intended purpose.
I don’t have internet or computer access. How do I apply?
Those who want to apply can work with a representative to submit the online application on their behalf. Please select “Find Help” to locate the Intake Center provider nearest you.
Who can report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse (FWA)?
Anyone, regardless of religion, race, sex, or national origin, is safe to report fraud, waste and abuse. A person does not have to have been a participant in the program to share a concern of possible fraud, waste, or abuse.
What is Fraud, Waste, and Abuse?
Fraud is defined as the wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. Fraud includes false representation of fact, making false statements, or by concealment of information.
Waste is defined as the thoughtless or careless expenditure, mismanagement, or abuse of resources to the detriment (or potential detriment) of the U.S. government. Waste also includes incurring unnecessary costs resulting from inefficient or ineffective practices, systems, or controls.
Abuse is defined as excessive or improper use of a thing, or to use something in a manner contrary to the natural or legal rules for its use. Abuse can occur in financial or non-financial settings.
What should I report if I think there is Fraud, Waste, Abuse related to an application or payment for the Texas Homeowner Assistance (HAF) Program?
HAF encourages anyone suspecting fraud, waste, or abuse (e.g. mismanagement of HAF funds) related to a HAF application or payment to report these. Examples of reportable scenarios include:
- Any dishonest or fraudulent act, including:
- Providing false information to qualify for assistance
- Omitting information such as not listing all occupants of the home
- Omitting or not providing income for individuals residing in the home
- Providing altered documentation
- Persons colluding to appear to be a homeowner and non-traditional loan servicer and in fact are not in a loan servicer/homeowner relationship
- Misappropriation of funds by homeowner or loan servicer using the funds intended for homeowner’s assistance for other ineligible purposes
- Failure of the applicant or loan servicer to adhere to the terms of the program certifications
- Inappropriate use of HAF information or records
- Any similar or related irregularities
Hotline tips are incredibly valuable, and we appreciate any efforts to assist the HAF Program address fraud, waste and abuse.
Note: Unspecified, broad or unidentifiable information of potential wrongdoing cannot be investigated.
- Any dishonest or fraudulent act, including:
How do I report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse (FWA) to the Texas Homeowner Assistance (HAF) program?
The HAF Program has several options for persons to report fraud, waste and abuse. Please report any concerns by:
- Leaving a detailed voicemail with the HAF Hotline: 1-833-651-3874 (Dial 3)
- Mailing a written allegation to:
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Attn: Texas Homeowner Assistance Program Fraud
P.O. Box 13941
Austin, TX 78701
- Submitting complaints to the State Auditor’s Office website: http://sao.fraud.state.tx.us
- Submitting complaints to the U.S. Dept. of Treasury Office of Inspector General’s website: Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse | Office of Inspector General (treasury.gov)
What information do I need to file a Fraud, Waste, and Abuse complaint?
Please have as much of the following information as possible when you contact the HAF Program:
- Case ID #
- Name of alleged offender(s), witnesses or victims
- Home address related to the alleged fraud
- Provide clear details about the fraud, waste or abuse and how it is being done
What happens once a Fraud, Waste, Abuse complaint is submitted?
Reports of fraud, waste and abuse are recorded in our system of record and reviewed by a HAF Fraud Team member. A final disposition of the allegation will be determined by the HAF Fraud Team member.
What happens if a Fraud, Waste, or Abuse allegation is substantiated?
If the review substantiates that fraud, waste, or abuse has occurred by an applicant or other party, recapture of funds will be pursued (if applicable), and the case will be referred to the Texas State Auditor’s Office or U.S. Department of Treasury Office of the Inspector General. Restitution, civil and criminal penalties, including costs associated with the investigation may be pursued as well.
Can I add additional information to a complaint once it has been submitted?
Once the complaint is assigned to a HAF Fraud Team member, a staff member may contact you if they have additional questions about your complaint.
Will I receive information about the Fraud, Waste, or Abuse complaint and review?
No. In order to protect the identity of complainants and objectivity of the review, all information is confidential.
Are there any penalties for submitting false information?
Yes. Falsification of documents or any material falsehoods or omissions in an application to this program, including knowingly seeking duplicate benefits, is subject to state and federal criminal penalties. Homeowners and mortgage service providers are put on notice that 18 U.S.C. §1001 provides, among other things, that whoever knowingly and willingly makes or uses a document or writing containing any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States will be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.