On March 22, 2020, as COVID-19 pandemic fears began to make headlines, the Wisconsin governor signed an emergency order requiring a Wisconsin foreclosure moratorium into law. The action prohibited mortgage lenders from proceeding with foreclosures for at least 60 days.
In addition, sheriffs were not allowed to proceed with assisting with any foreclosures during those 60 days. Those previously facing foreclosure were safe from losing their home.
Once the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the country and took hold, state and federal government policies took effect in order to assist homeowners and renters who could not work due to the coronavirus. These policies prohibited the typical eviction and foreclosure.
Is there still a Wisconsin foreclosure moratorium? Find out below if the state of Wisconsin still provides a foreclosure or an eviction moratorium. You can also learn about rental assistance and legal services from local governments in Wisconsin. Now, let’s get started!
Foreclosure Relief in Wisconsin During COVID-19
The assistance program, known as the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners Program, provides help to homeowners undergoing financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program began in early 2022. Further, the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority can provide payment assistance for homeowners who currently hold a mortgage loan.
Those having trouble paying off their mortgage loan should seek help from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, where they can remove penalties for nonpayment.
In addition to the emergency order from the Wisconsin governor providing a foreclosure moratorium and other foreclosure relief programs in the state, the American Rescue Plan Act that President Biden signed into law in early 2021 also benefited Wisconsin homeowners.
The law created a Homeowner Assistance Fund that sent $10 billion throughout all 50 states to help people who were late on their mortgage payments and housing spending because of the pandemic. The American Rescue Plan Act helped borrowers and homeowners all over the country, including in the following states:
- North Carolina and South Carolina
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
Each household could gain up to $40,000 from the funding available through the Homeowner Assistance Fund. The budget went straight to the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners Program, which allocated the funds to those who needed it to cover mortgage payments and other essential household expenses.
Other fees that homeowners can cover with that funding include property insurance, utilities, home energy costs, property taxes, and condominium fees.
Housing Protections in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program has stepped up during the coronavirus pandemic to help residents struggling to pay rent and utilities and who are close to facing residential evictions.
The assistance is explicitly meant for renters economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Four other counties in Wisconsin are offering renters financial help apart from the Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
The CARES Act, otherwise known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, was passed on March 27, 2020, to boost unemployment benefits and provide loans for small businesses and corporations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the CARES Act provided eviction protection. Residents were safe from receiving any eviction notices until July 25, 2020, giving the individual or family 30 days to leave. Landlords were also not allowed to charge late fees or penalties for any residents making late rent payments.
In addition, any nonpayment or late repayment could not lead people to get evicted. Later, the CDC issued a further eviction moratorium from August 3, 2021, through October 3, 2021, in regions with high transmission rates of the coronavirus. Yet, on August 26, 2021, the Supreme Court ended the eviction moratorium.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) received $17.4 billion in housing vouchers, public housing, elderly housing, or rent assistance due to the CARES Act. As such, landlords and renters received the finances needed to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CARES Act provided these housing protections in Wisconsin as well as numerous other states, like:
- And more
Mortgage and Foreclosure Relief in Wisconsin
Since 2010 when the foreclosure crisis hit its top peak, federal and state laws began strongly regulating mortgage servicers and foreclosure methodology. Borrowers have gained protection since the foreclosure crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also led homeowners with a federal mortgage loan to gain a forbearance if they face financial hardship. The possible delinquency of their loan does not stop them from getting a forbearance.
The Wisconsin Help for Homeowners program is available for state residents with and without a home mortgage who have late housing-related expenses. The homeowners need to have specific income eligibility requirements to qualify for the program. In particular, they need to have a qualified economic hardship anytime from January 21, 2020.
Some of the eligibility requirements involve living in a single-family home, factory-built home, duplex, or condo. The real estate property needs to be the primary residence for each individual or family. Household income for the resident should reach at or below 100 percent of its county median value.
If you’re eligible for the program, you can fill out an application via the Neighborly Portal. If you need customer service and assistance with the program, call 1-855-2-HOME-WI. You can even ask how to apply for the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners program in person.
Residents living in Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota, or any other state may also have eligibility for funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Now that the pandemic is coming to a close and mortgage and foreclosure relief are falling by the wayside, you’ll need to learn how to avoid foreclosure. The Milwaukee housing market could provide the right opportunity to sell your house and make a good profit.
For a quick sale, you may want to seek out companies that buy houses in Milwaukee. Cash home buyers in Glendale can purchase your property fast without needing a mortgage lender or a home inspection. Cash buyers can purchase a home in its as-is condition. We buy houses in Wisconsin, so contact us as soon as you can to avoid a foreclosure.
Utility Protections in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program provides financial help for utility consumers. The Public Benefits Energy Assistance Program funds are for utility customers facing financial hardships.
If you are a Wisconsin resident facing difficulty paying your utility bills and can’t reach a solution with their utility providers, call the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) for additional help. They also assist with internet payments.
Throughout the pandemic, the Public Service Commission in Wisconsin extended a disconnection moratorium for utility consumers multiple times. Essentially, consumers who aren’t able to pay part or all of their utility bills would not have their services disconnected throughout the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.
Once the disconnection moratorium ended, any utility users who could not pay for their services were advised to call their utility provider and arrange a payment schedule they could handle. It’s vital to express how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted one’s economic situation.
The Wisconsin Foreclosure Moratorium and mortgage relief and housing protections kept homeowners from losing their primary living residences and foreclosures throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, however, the foreclosure moratorium is over, and homeowners still facing financial hardships may need to sell their houses.
For a quick home sale, consider seeking a real estate investor or cash home buyer to purchase your property. Before you know it, the stress of paying a mortgage will be old news.