Are you an airman PCSing from Eglin AFB or Hurlburt Field? Are you upside down in your mortgage and owe more than your current property value? If so, you may know I have been checking the HAP website daily for the last several months. As I have previously reported, the site was taken down at one point, and all information was removed.
Today, the site has changed and information is posted that may be useful to relocating military who might qualify for the government assistance to cover some of the loss.
1. Qualifications include: PCSing more than 50 miles, having purchased your home or entered into a contract to purchase prior to July 1, 2006, you lived there and it was your primary residence, and your orders were between February 1 2006 through September 30, 2012.
2. Your home must have declined at least 10% in value. (That should not be in problem in the Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field market).
3. Assistance will initially be emphasized to those who received orders through December 2009, with a report date no later than February 28, 2010.
4. HAP benefits are based on the amount you originally purchased the property for (prior fair market value PFMV verified by your settlement statement). The full amount of your negative value will not be reimbursed.
5. The site claims the government will provide benefits within 60 to 90 days of receiving your documents. I would use caution here, as that claim was also made several months ago and no HAP benefits have yet been paid to my knowledge.
6. You may be reimbursed your mortgage interest, tax and insurance premiums you paid from the time the Army Corps of Engineers receives your application.
7. The site states that no specific dollar amounts of loss reimbursement are addressed and HAP advises you to contact your local district CoE office. For Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field and Duke Field, please contact the Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District. However, elsewhere on its site, HAP mentions that up to 95% of your purchase price minus your sale price plus closing costs may be your benefit.
8. The government claims they will make up “liabilities” to servicemembers from a foreclosure, but not past due payments or junior liens you obtained after buying the property.
9. Some of your closing costs will be paid for, including title services and Realtor fees.
10. The government recommends you use a Realtor to sell your home and states that using a Realtor will may increase your chances of finding a buyer.
11. You are required to market your home for at least 120 days. Your initial list price should be obtained by the Corps of Engineers automated value model for at least 30 days.
12. Your benefits will be taxable as income to you.
13. Caution: Per the Realtor Guide , you or your Realtor must maintain records of price changes, showings, offers, etc to demonstrate that the house was not sold at too low a price. The CoE office will obtain an appraisal to verify the price was within market range. If the sales price is considered too low, no benefits will be paid.
14. There are maximum price range limits for assistance. In Okaloosa, Walton and Santa Rosa counties the purchase price limit for benefits is $417,000.
As soon as you know you have orders from Eglin AFB or Hurlburt Field, apply for assistance immediately.
Analysis and questions to follow. If I may help with your HAP sale, call me at 850-650-7883.
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, serving the entire Emerald Coast of Florida, Navarre, Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Destin, Freeport, Mary Esther, Shalimar, Santa Rosa Beach.
850-650-7883 ext 204