The Mortgage Relief Fund is an ACT Government initiative, administered by the ACT Revenue Office. The fund aims to provide repayable interest free loans to mortgagors who are experiencing short term mortgage stress due to an unforeseen change in their circumstances. This change includes loss of employment, sudden illness or injury within the last 12 months.
A mortgage relief loan will only be considered and offered when you can demonstrate that you have attempted to access all reasonable avenues of help available to you. This includes discussion with your lender about hardship assistance.
The fund is not designed to assist mortgagors who have simply neglected to meet their payment obligations under a mortgage.
Eligibility for assistance
To be considered for a mortgage relief loan, you must meet the following minimum requirements:
- have recent and unforeseen change in circumstance which has led to short term mortgage stress;
- you must be an owner-occupier;
- you cannot own any other interest in property anywhere, including those held under a trust;
- have a minimum of 10% equity in your home to provide security for any assistance given;
- the total value of the property must not exceed $450,000 (the median house price in the ACT applicable for the period 1 January 2013 to 30 June 2013). This figure is based on the actual sales data from ACT Planning and Land Authority and is updated every 6 months to reflect the current housing market;
- be able to demonstrate that you have contributed some funding towards current mortgage repayments in the 6 months prior to an application; and
- have proof of current home insurance - Certificate of Current Insurance.
Payment and repayment
The maximum amount payable for an approved mortgage relief loan is $10,000. The loan can only be used as payment towards arrears on the mortgage or a combination of arrears and future mortgage payments (arrears capped at $5,000).
A mortgage relief loan, if approved:
- will be paid directly to the applicants' home loan account at the relevant lending institution;
- will be repayable over a 5 year period, with repayment of the loan to commence 6 months after the funds have been provided to the applicants' relevant lending institution;
- will be interest free; and
- will be secured by way of a caveat over the property for which the mortgage relief loan is sought.
Repayment of a mortgage relief loan is required in the event of the sale of the property, refinance or renegotiation of the mortgage on the property.
Making an application
To be considered for a mortgage relief loan, applicants must meet all eligibility criteria set out in the application form. It is the responsibility of the applicants to ensure that all information is provided to the ACT Revenue Office, including documentation required from lending institutions.
Based on the information provided in a mortgage relief application, if there is no reasonable prospect of applicants sustaining home ownership or repaying the mortgage relief loan, the application will not be processed.
Applicants may require assistance in the preparation of a mortgage relief loan application from financial counsellors or other external service providers. Any costs associated in the preparation of a mortgage relief loan application will be borne by the applicants.
Mortgage Relief provides short-term assistance only.
If you are experiencing long-term financial problems, you should seek advice from a financial counsellor regarding other options available to resolve these problems. Assistance may be available for low income earners with Care Inc. Financial Counselling Service (external site).
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Exchange of information
To assist in the identification and assessment of ACT taxes and grants we exchange information with other Revenue Offices and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
The exchange of information with other Revenue Offices is in accordance with part 9 of the Taxation Administration Act 1999 (ACT) and similar legislation in the States and the Northern Territory. The exchange of information with the ATO is in accordance with subsection 355-65 (5) Schedule 1 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth).