HAP Program ~ Hampton Roads Real Estate Ramblings

HAP Program

Friday, May 7, 2010

Hello Hampton Roads,

The HAP Program (Homeowners' Assistance Program) was created in 1966 by the Dept of Defense and it is run by the Army Corps of Engineers for all branches of the military. The HAP program helps distressed homeowners who are either eligible military or federal civilian employees by offering them financial help should they face a loss from the sale of their primary residence in a declining real estate market.

 
Military personnel and federal civilian employees affected by base closure or realignment and as well as those who have been permanently reassigned may be able to get HAP support.

 
For HAP support the following must be met:
  • The property must be owner occupied
  • The property must have declined at least 10% in value
  • Retiring personnel are only eligible if their positions are moved or eliminated
  • The service member is permanently re-assisgned
  • Relocation distance must be at least 50 miles away
  • The property must sell between July 1, 2006 and September 30, 2012 (the property must have been purchased before July 1, 2006)
  • The home owner must not have previously received HAP benefits
  • The purchase price cannot exceed Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac conforming loan limits (these loan limits range from $417K-$729,720 and for homes in Virginia Beach, the limit is $458,850.00)

  
Who is Eligible for HAP?

 
In addtion to personell affected by base realignment and closure (BRAC) and service members who have been permanently reassisgned, HAP benefits also extend to the following:

  • Military and Civilian Employee Wounded
    • Wounded, ill or injured service members or federal civilian employees with a disabilility (a disability rating of 30% or more) due to injuries incurred in the line of duty who need to relocate for treatment or rehabilitation
  • Surviving Spouses
    • Surviving spouses of service members and federal civilian employees who spouse died while deployed in the line of duty (on or after Sept. 11, 2001 and who relocate from their spouse's primary residence within 2 years of the death of their spouse


 For those who qualify the benefits are substantial.

 Benefits to homeowners include the following:

  • Reimbursement for the homeowner for part of the loss of selling his or her primary residence (home must be sold at fair market value)
  • Homeowner assistance if the funds for the sale are insufficient to pay off the mortgage.
  • If the home doesn't sell within 120 days, the government may elect to purchase the home by paying off the mortgage thus avoiding foreclosure. This is paricularly important for those with security clearance as they are able to avoid foreclosure and keep their security clearance.
  • Homeowner assistance if he or she defaults on the mortgage


It is also important to note that the homeowner must actively sell his home even after application for the HAP program. For eligible home sellers it is important to market your home aggressively with the widest market exposure in order to sell your home at it's current fair market value.

 
It would be beneficial to retain the services of a skilled Realtor to help you sell the home and document all marketing activities. If it appears that the home was sold below market value, then HAP eligibility could be lost.

If you think you may be eligible for the HAP program, visit http://hap.usace.army.mil/ for more information and to download a complete application.

Thanks for Reading,
 
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