Frequently Asked Questions
- Q. How do I apply?
- A. Visit the HAP web site: http://hap.usace.army.mil/ and download the application package. Once you have completed the application, mail it to:
U.S. Army Engineer District, Savannah
Corps of Engineers
100 West Oglethorpe Avenue
Savannah, Georgia 31401-3604
- Q. Will the applications be handled in a first come first serve manner?
- A. Applications will be processed as quickly as possible in the following order:
- Wounded, Injured, and Ill. Within this category, applications will generally be processed in chronological order of the wound, injury, or illness.
- Surviving Spouses. Within this category, applications will generally be processed in chronological order of the date of death of the member or employee.
- BRAC Impacted Personnel. Within this category, applications will generally be processed in chronological order of the date of job elimination.
- Q. What should I do after I mail in my completed application?
- A. Wait for your confirmation email. Within 3 business days of receipt of your application by the Savannah District, you will receive a confirmation email. Within 20 business days of receipt, you will receive another email addressing the status of your application.
- Q. What are the specific eligibility requirements for Wounded, Injured, or Ill?
- A. For members of the Armed Forces – Any member of the Armed Forces in medical transition who 1) incurred a wound, injury, or illness in the line of duty during a deployment in support of the Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001; 2) is disabled to a degree of 30% or more as a result of such wound, injury, or illness, as determined by the Secretary of Defense; and 3) is reassigned in furtherance of medical treatment or rehabilitation, or due to medical retirement in connection with such disability. In addition, the home for which HAP benefits are being requested must have been the applicant’s primary residence at the time of the relevant wound, injury, or illness.
For Civilian Employees of DoD or the United States Coast Guard – Any civilian employee of the DoD or the United States Coast Guard who 1) was wounded, injured, or became ill in the performance of his or her duties during a forward deployment occurring on or after September 11, 2001, in support of the Armed Forces; and 2) is reassigned in furtherance of medical treatment, rehabilitation, or due to medical retirement resulting from the sustained disability. In addition, the home for which HAP benefits are being requested must have been the applicant’s primary residence at the time of the relevant wound, injury, or illness.
- Q. What are the specific eligibility requirements for a Surviving Spouse?
- A. A spouse of a member of the Armed Forces or a civilian employee of the DoD or the United States Coast Guard may be eligible when 1) the member or employee was killed in the line of duty or in the performance of his or her duties during a deployment on or after September 11, 2001, in support of the Armed Forces or died from a wound, injury, or illness incurred in the line of duty during such a deployment; and 2) the spouse relocates from such residence within 2 years after the death of such member or employee.
- Q. What are the specific eligibility requirements for BRAC Impacted Personnel?
- A. A civilian employee or member of the Armed Forces 1) assigned to or employed at or in connection with the installation or activity at the time of public announcement of the closure action or employed by a nonappropriated fund instrumentality operated in connection with such base or installation; 2) must have been transferred from such installation or activity, or terminated as an employee as a result of a reduction in force, within six months prior to public announcement of the closure action; or 3) must have been transferred from the installation or activity on an overseas tour within three years prior to public announcement of the closure action.
A member of the Armed Forces shall also be eligible if the member 1) was transferred from the installation or activity within three years prior to public announcement of the closure action, and 2) in connection with the transfer, was informed of a future, programmed reassignment to the installation.
In addition, at the time of public announcement of the closure action, or at the time of transfer or termination, such personnel or employees must 1) have been the owneroccupant of the home for which compensation is sought, or 2) have vacated the owned home as a result of being ordered into on-post housing during a six-month period prior to the closure announcement.
As a consequence of such closure action, employees or personnel must 1) be required to relocate because of military transfer or acceptance of employment beyond a normal commuting distance from the home for which compensation is sought, or 2) be unemployed, not as a matter of personal choice, and able to demonstrate such financial hardship that they are unable to meet their mortgage payments and related expenses.
- Q. If I retire from a BRAC affected installation, am I eligible for HAP benefits under the BRAC Impacted Personnel category?
- A. To be eligible for HAP benefits, an employee must be required to relocate because of military transfer or acceptance of employment beyond a normal commuting distance from the home for which compensation is sought, or be unemployed, not as a matter of personal choice, and able to demonstrate such financial hardship that they are unable to meet their mortgage payments and related expenses. An employee who voluntarily retires would not meet this criteria.
- Q. My spouse is the sole owner of the home for which compensation is sought. Am I eligible for HAP benefits?
- A. Spousal ownership is allowed where either the applicant or spouse is the fee simple owner of the property. For BRAC Impacted Personnel, the applicant must have been married to their spouse at the time of the BRAC public announcement. Where the applicant has an ownership interest with someone other than a spouse, the remaining owner(s) must deed their interest to the applicant prior to Government acquisition. Where the applicant has an ownership interest with someone other than a spouse, private sale benefits will be paid in accordance with the amount of interest the applicant has in the property.
- Q. Do owners of condominiums or mobile homes qualify for HAP benefits?
- A. Applicants who own individual units in condominiums or cooperatives qualify for HAP benefits. Applicants who own mobile homes qualify for HAP benefits if the mobile home is affixed to the land in accordance with local and state laws and regulations and the underlying realty is held in either fee simple, long term lease (27.5 years or longer) or contract to purchase.
- Q. What rights do I have if I am not satisfied with the decision made regarding my application for HAP benefits?
- A. You have the right to appeal any decision denying benefits or contesting the amount of benefits approved. No particular format is required. Simply submit a written statement of your objections to the Savannah District. If the appeal is not approved by the Savannah District, your appeal will be submitted to Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (HQUSACE). If a favorable decision cannot be made by HQUSACE, the appeal will be forwarded to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Housing & Partnerships) (DASA(IH&P)). For appeals submitted by BRAC Impacted Personnel applicants, DASA(IH&P) is the final decision authority. For appeals submitted by Wounded, Injured, or Ill and Surviving Spouse applicants, appeals will be forwarded to the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment) (DUSD(I&E)) for a final decision if not approved by DASA(IH&P). DUSD(I&E) is the Senior Appeals Authority for appeals submitted by Wounded, Injured, or Ill and Surviving Spouse applicants.
- Q. If I’m not eligible for HAP benefits, what other options may be available?
- A. The Department of Justice (DoJ) National Mortgage Settlement, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Short Sale Assistance for Military Homeowners with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Loans, or the Departments of Treasury and Housing and Urban Development program Making Home Affordable may be other options to consider. Please see the “Other Options” page for details.
- Q. Is there a cap on the HAP benefits to be paid?
- A. The total benefit calculation is based upon the home purchase price. The benefits for applicants who purchased homes for more than $729,750 will be calculated using $729,750 as the purchase price in accordance with the HAP Final Rule 32 CFR Part 239.4 (h).
- Q. If I have to sell my home at a loss and I qualify for HAP benefits, will I be able to recoup 100% of my loss?
- A. No, but it can offset your losses.
- Q. Will my HAP benefits be subject to Federal taxes?
- A. No. Public Law 111-92 exempted HAP benefit payments from Federal taxes. However, some states may impose a tax on HAP benefits.
- Q. If my home is foreclosed upon, what will the government pay or not pay?
- A. In the case of a foreclosure, the benefit is paid directly to the lien holder for any legally enforceable liabilities. Missed payments will not be paid. The government will not pay encumbrances of a personal nature or junior mortgages acquired after acquiring the property unless the junior mortgage was obtained at the same time as the original mortgage or used to finance eligible home improvements. If you deed the property back to the mortgage company in lieu of foreclosure, your application will be processed as a private sale.
- Q. Who pays the closing costs?
- A. HAP pays those seller’s closing costs customary for the region where the home is located. Seller’s closing costs typically include: loan payoff fees; the real estate commission; title insurance; all or part of transfer taxes and escrow fees, if there are any; attorney’s fees where applicable; and other fees set by local custom. HAP will reimburse the seller for limited contributions made to the buyer’s portion of closing costs, including appraisal cost and realtor fees.
- Q. Will I have to bring any money to closing?
- A. An applicant may have to bring money to closing to cover mortgage interest and property taxes through the date of closing, homeowners association dues and/or transfer fees (unless required by local law), plus any mortgage principal not covered by HAP (applies to loans that have been refinanced or equity loans or lines of credit taken out after purchase that cannot be traced back with receipts for eligible home improvements). Please check with your lender or settlement agent for items specific to you.
- Q. In a private sale, can I use a realtor to sell my home?
- A. Yes, you may use a realtor to sell your home. Using a realtor may increase your chances of finding a buyer.
- Q. How is a short sale treated when calculating HAP benefits?
- A. For HAP, short sales are treated as private sales. If an applicant remains personally liable for a deficiency between the outstanding mortgage and the sale price, that deficiency shall be paid directly to the lender on behalf of the applicant. If the applicant was fully released from liability after a short sale, no benefit shall be paid to either the applicant or the lender.
- Q. Will I receive reimbursement for closing costs if I have a short sale?
- A. An applicant will only be reimbursed for closing costs that he or she paid out of pocket that are customary for the region where the home is located.
- Q. Will the government pay real estate commissions when the government purchases an applicant’s home?
- A. No, the government will not pay real estate commissions when the government purchases an applicant’s home. Applicants should ensure that the listing agreement for their property contains the following statement: "In the event the herein listed property is sold to the United States of America, or an agency thereof, the listing broker will not be entitled to any commission or other consideration as a result of such sale." If the listing agreement does not contain the above statement and any commission is due, it is the applicant's responsibility to pay the commission. While the commission payment is the responsibility of the applicant, the government will make the commission payment for the applicant when the home is sold by the government to the applicant's buyer contingent upon both the government acquisition and government sale contract transactions being completed and recorded. Commissions will be paid to the broker listing the property. The allocation of dollars to real estate agents will be the responsibility of the listing broker.
- Q. Will HAP reimburse for mortgage interest?
- A. HAP will reimburse applicants for mortgage interest (not principal payments), taxes, and hazard insurance premiums that have been paid from the date the Savannah District receives an application, or the date the applicant vacates the home, whichever is later.
- Q. Should I stop trying to sell my home after applying to HAP?
- A. A key part of the process is your effort to sell your home at the best possible price. Two eligibility requirements for the program are 1) the applicant must have made a reasonable effort to sell the home, and 2) the applicant must relocate beyond a reasonable commuting distance.
- Q. What constitutes a reasonable effort to sell my home?
- A. Your primary residence must be listed, actively marketed, and available for purchase for a minimum of 120 days.
- Q. If I rent my home before I sell it, will it impact my HAP benefit?
- A. No, your HAP benefit will not be impacted if you rent your home prior to selling. Rental income is not deducted from benefit payments.
- Q. If I lease my home, is there any information I should include in the lease concerning HAP?
- A. Any lease agreement for your home should contain the following clause: "If the leased premises are approved for purchase by the United States of America under the Homeowners Assistance Program, pursuant to P.L. 89-754 and P.L. 111-5, the Lessor shall have the right to terminate this lease by providing to the Lessee either a 30 or 60-day written notice to vacate the premises."
- Q. As an example, if an applicant owns a 60-acre farm and maintains a home on the farm, how much of the property qualifies for HAP benefits?
- A. Only the dwelling and the portion of the land that would reasonably constitute a residential property within the area would qualify for HAP benefits.
- Q. Do I need any language concerning HAP in a purchase contract with a buyer?
- A. Yes, you should include verbiage stating “Contract is contingent upon seller’s eligibility for the Homeowner’s Assistance Program”.