Effective immediately the PRHAP is no longer accepting applications. All applications submitted by 3/11/2022 will be reviewed for PRHAP eligibility. Assistance will be provided to eligible homeowners, subject to funds availability. To join our waiting list, click HERE.

FAQs:
Puerto Rico Homeowner Assistance Program

The Puerto Rico Homeowner Assistance Program (PRHAP) is for homeowners who live in Puerto Rico and are experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including loss or decrease in income or increases in living costs.

For additional questions, you can call 1-888-887-7234 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm) or you can send your question via email to info@covidhipotecas.com.

General

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was awarded $75.6 million of Homeowner Assistance Funds (HAF) from the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) to launch Puerto Rico’s HAF Program. Through this funding, the Puerto Rico Housing Finance Authority (PRHFA) will administer the Puerto Rico Homeowner Assistance Program (PRHAP).

The purpose of this program is to help homeowners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic avoid mortgage delinquency, default foreclosure, loss of home power or utilities, and displacement.

This relief is intended for homeowners facing financial difficulties before and continued after January 21, 2020.

The HAF Plan was developed following a data-driven methodology to identify homeowners most vulnerable to housing instability because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Data sets spanning Puerto Rico’s mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, and demographic characteristics were analyzed to identify areas of greatest need. The HAF Plan details the design of each program option proposed under the PRHAP, performance goals, and information regarding AFVPR’s readiness to implement the program, as required by Treasury.

On December 16, 2021 the U.S. Treasury officially approved the Puerto Rico’s HAF Plan. The PRHAP will be accepting applications from the general public beginning December 20, 2021.

To view the final HAF plan, please click here.

PRHFA was allocated 10% of the overall funds to develop the required HAF plan and create a small pilot that will evaluate the performance of the proposed Program. Using the initial allocation, PRHFA tested the program in the pilot with PRHFA’s portfolio of borrowers. These homeowners were targeted for initial relief as they are among the most impacted and have the lowest incomes in Puerto Rico.

The PRHAP pilot program ran from September 2021 to December 2021.

Contact the Homeowner Assistance Program by calling 1-888-887-7234 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm) or reach out via email to info@covidhipotecas.com.
No. This program does not require eligible homeowners to reimburse assistance received. However, if it is determined that there was a processing error or fraud, the funds will need to be refunded as they were not allocated correctly.

Eligibility

The PRHAP supports homeowners in Puerto Rico who have faced difficulties paying the mortgage on their main home, and other housing-related expenses, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The expenses included are the following:

  • Mortgage payment assistance.
  • Financial assistance to allow a homeowner to reinstate a mortgage or to pay other housing-related costs related to a period of forbearance, delinquency, or default; second mortgages eligible.
  • Homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance and mortgage insurance.
  • Homeowner’s association fees or liens, condominium association fees or common charges.
  • Payment assistance for delinquent property taxes to prevent homeowner tax foreclosures.
  • Utility assistance (electric power and water service).

The eligible uses of funds must not be the result of fraudulent or illegal conduct and activities, as determined by mortgage servicers, service providers, and/or applicable law.

In case of utilities, if either LUMA and/or PRASA considers a debt to be illegal and it is reported to the PRHAP, the Program cannot use federal funds to cover that debt.

  • First Mortgage Reinstatement Cap: $21,000

  • Second Mortgage Reinstatement Cap as a Standalone Option: $3,000
    • Combined with First Mortgage: $21,000

  • Eligible Expenses Cap as a Standalone Option: $9,000
    • Combined with First Mortgage: $21,000
    • Combined with Second Mortgage: $12,000
  • Be delinquent on at least one payment related to homeownership obligations (mortgage/home loan payment, property taxes, home-related insurance, utilities, homeowner/condominium association fees, etc.). 
  • Experienced a financial hardship before and continued after January 21, 2020 associated with the COVID-19 pandemic such as:
    • A reduction in income after January 21, 2020 due to COVID-19; or
    • An increase in living expenses after January 21, 2020 due to COVID-19 (e.g., job loss, decreased income, increased living expenses, health care costs)
  • Own and occupy property as their primary residence in Puerto Rico;
  • Property type must be of an eligible ownership type (living trust or individual);
  • Eligible property types include single family home, condominium, duplex, or quadruplex.
  • Household income must not exceed 150% of the area median income (AMI) or 100% of the median income for the United States ($79,900), whichever is greater.
    • Please note: The U.S. Department of the Treasury requires no less than 60% of funding be prioritized towards qualified expenses that assist homeowners with incomes equal to or less than 100% AMI or equal to or less than 100% of the median income for the United States ($79,900), whichever is greater.
  • Reside in an eligible property type: single family home, condominium, or mobile home (attached or detached).
  • The principal balance of the homeowner’s first mortgage must have been, at the time of origination, not greater than the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac conforming loan limit in effect at the time of origination. 

Homeowners must have an eligible property type: single family home, condominium, or mobile home (attached, unattached).

No, this program is only available to eligible homeowners seeking assistance on an eligible primary residential property.

Application

No, the Program will pay your mortgage servicer or other appropriate service provider directly. Please note that the Payments may take thirty (30) to sixty (60) days to reflect in your account.

Due to the high number of applications, PRHAP will no longer accept applications until further notice.  

Yes, the Program will start and complete additional applications after March 11, 2022 if, and only if, the situation meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Homeowners who, before March 11, 2022, coordinated an in-person appointment at any of the four (4) PRHAP Intake Centers, even if the appointment was scheduled to be held after the above-mentioned date.
  • Homeowners who, before March 11, 2022, have called the PRHAP Call Center to offer their information and request assistance to start and/or complete their application.
  • Homeowners who, before March 11, 2022, have written to any of the official Program emails requesting assistance to start or complete their application.

The Puerto Rico Homeowner Assistance Program and the Puerto Rico Housing Financing Authority continue to work tirelessly to improve the Program’s processes and procedures; in order to support the largest number of eligible Puerto Rican homeowners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, subject to the availability of funds.

Once you have applied to PRHAP, you have two ways to find out the status of your application:

  1. Directly in the PADHPR Application Portal.
  2. Sending an email to info@covidhipotecas.com

In order to assist you as quickly as possible, please include the case number assigned to your application in your email (PRHAP-xxxx).

Prescreening (Pending, In Progress, Submitted)

Your case is in the process of being evaluated by a Case Manager. The assigned Case Manager will be contacting you as soon as possible to complete your application.

Application (Invited, In Progress, Submitted)

Your case is in the process of being completed. You can try to complete your application through our Application Portal or a Case Manager will contact you as soon as possible to help you complete your application.

Under Review (Initial Eligibility Review)

Your case is in the process of being evaluated by your Case Manager. The Case Manager will be contacting you to verify the information provided and request any additional documents, if necessary.

Under Review (Initial Eligibility QC Review)

Your case is in the preliminary eligibility determination process. Once the preliminary determination is made, and your case is preliminarily eligible, your request will be passed to the Debt Verification Department. If additional documentation is needed, your Case Manager will contact you.

Under Review (CDF Requested)

Your case is in the Debt Verification process. Once the debt is verified, we will be contacting you with the final determination. Normally, this process can take about three (3) weeks.

However, if your servicer has not signed the Collaboration Agreement, the eligibility determination and debt verification process will be delayed. Currently, all servicers and lenders in Puerto Rico and the United States that have signed the collaboration agreement are listed HERE.

If your financial institution is not on our list, we recommend that you contact them regarding the Puerto Rico Homeowner Assistance Program.

No. There is no cost to apply. The purpose of this program is to help homeowners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic avoid mortgage delinquency, default foreclosure, loss of home power or utilities, and displacement.

There are various factors that may impact an application’s timeline. To support the review and processing of your application, please ensure all necessary documents are submitted in a timely manner. Our team is available to assist you with collecting the necessary documents to determine your eligibility for PRHAP. If your servicers and/or lenders has not signed the Collaboration Agreement with the Program, the eligibility determination and debt verification process will be delayed. Currently, all the servicers and lenders in Puerto Rico and the United States that have signed the Collaboration Agreement are listed HERE.

The application portal is best viewed and accessible using the current browser version of Microsoft Edge. If you are using an out-of-date Microsoft Edge or a different browser, you may experience technical difficulties.

Please follow the following instructions if any of these errors pop-up during your application process:

Error 403 or 413 – If this error appears, please close your browser and continue your application using Microsoft Edge.

If you receive a message stating that “Your Link has Expired”, you will need to click “Forgot Password”. An email containing the instructions for resetting your password will then be sent to your email address on record.

If any other error appears, please contact us via email at  info@covidhipotecas.com.

By completing the application, you provide information under penalty of perjury. Requests with false information will be subject to legal proceedings. Funds distributed as result of providing false information must be returned immediately to PRHFA and the Puerto Rico Homeowner Assistance Program (PRHAP).

Payments will be made directly to service providers. All the Payments may take thirty (30) to sixty (60) days to reflect in your account.

Applicants have the right to submit a Program Reconsideration Request to the Puerto Rico Housing Finance Authority (PRHFA). The PRHAP participants can request a Program Reconsideration Request when they understand that there was an error in determining program eligibility, the amount of an award, or other determinations. You must submit your Request for Reconsideration to the PRHFA, in writing, via email or regular mail, within seven (7) calendar days from the Notification (determination of eligibility or award).

If the date of the Notice is different from that of the mail (postal or electronic), the term of seven (7) calendar days will be calculated from the date of deposit in the post office or when it was sent via email, whichever applies.

Program Reconsideration Request must be submitted by the applicant via email to: reclamaciones@covidhipotecas.com or postal mail to the following address:

Attention: PRHAP Reconsideration Request
The Puerto Rico Housing Finance Authority
2043 Ave. Pedro Albizu Campos
Plaza del Mar
2nd Floor
Aguadilla, PR 00603

It is the program’s priority to safeguard housing. If you received an Exceeded Cap Letter, it means that the total amount of debt (s) exceeds the program’s assistance limit. Therefore, according to the program’s policies, your application is considered an exception.

To complete the evaluation of your application you must demonstrate that the remaining arrears have been covered through one of the following conditions:

  1. Funds that come from other sources;
  2. Through a loss mitigation plan approved by your mortgage servicer;
  3. A payment plan with your service provider (not applicable to mortgage assistance); or,
  4. A bankruptcy payment plan approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Puerto Rico (only for applicants that are currently in an active bankruptcy case).

The Common Data File is the system that allows the Program staff to store and share your information to your mortgage servicer. Once your case enters the status “CDF Requested” and you mortgage servicer has signed the Collaboration Agreement with the PRHAP, for your case to be fully evaluated and the Determination Letter to be sent, the mortgage servicer must return your CDF File reviewed.

“CDF Requested” is the most involved as it requires servicer cooperation. This is the funding approval process and entails our team verifying your debt, with the servicer(s) to be paid, based on your specific assistance request, which is a critical step in the application process.

Please note: Processing your application is dependent on receiving information back from your lender and/or service provider(s). If you ask your case manager for an update when you are in the funding approval process, they may say you are under “CDF Requested.” The CDF process includes record transfers and us working with your mortgage servicer and other payees. The timing of debt verification varies by service provider and depends on their responsiveness and their systems in place. This step typically ranges anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks in the process.

At this moment, LUMA has informed the PRHAP that they are not cutting services.

PRASA informed the PRHAP that if the approved assistance covers all the arrears, they will not cut off the services. Once the Award Letter is received, the applicant must go to their local office with the Letter. If the approved assistance only partially covers the arrears, the applicant will have to make a payment plan with the Agency for the remaining amount.

Foreclosure / Housing Services

Mortgage servicers that receive a Common Data File (CDF) from PRHAP are required to place a sixty (60) business day hold on all mortgage loans that are in foreclosure. This is applicable to foreclosures that are not imminent within seven (7) calendar days.

To read more about Fannie Mae’s Lender Letter, press HERE.

We recommend you contact your bank as soon as possible and let them know that you have applied to the Puerto Rico Homeowner Assistance Program.

In case that your application is still not under the CDF Requested status, we recommend you forward the Notice for Foreclosure to your case manager as soon as possible so it to be documented in your file.

Foreclosure prevention counseling and homeless counseling services are available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Counseling Program. To connect with HUD approved Housing Counseling Agencies (HCA) in Puerto Rico, please click here. You may also call (800) 569-4287 to find a HCA near you. 

Complaints

Complaints

A complaint can be filed by any interested party that takes issue with the programmatic, operational, or administration activities of the program. Typically, complaints originate from an individual who is experiencing some difficulty with program services, including eligibility, intake process, or award calculation.
 
You can file a Program complaint via U.S. mail, email, the PRHAP website, or verbally to a PRHAP representative, either in Spanish or English:
 
  • Complaints Submitted by Mail
    Interested parties should send written communications via U.S. mail to:Attention: Autoridad para el Financiamiento de la Vivienda de Puerto Rico
    Programa de Asistencia para Dueños de Hogar
    2043 Ave. Pedro Albizu Campos
    Plaza del Mar
    2nd Floor
    Aguadilla, PR 00603

  • Complaints Submitted by Email
    Complainants may submit inquiries or complaints by emailing consultas@covidhipotecas.com.

  • Complaints Submitted by Online Complaint Form
    Like email, complainants can submit a complaint through the online complaint form. Please press here to access the form in English.
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This project is supported by an allocation of federal funds granted to the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury by the United States Department of the Treasury. This project will be administered by the Puerto Rico Housing Finance Authority. This website provides information only and is not intended to be used for legal consulting purposes. For financial advice specific to your circumstances, consult your financial advisor, attorney, or certified housing counselor. Information on this website is subject to change without notice.