Kentucky USDA Rural Housing Repair and Grant Program.

Section 504 Repair Loan and Grant Program for Kentucky USDA RHS Loans
If you missed the live webinar to learn about recent changes to the Section 504 Single-Family Housing Repair Loan and Grant Program, the presentation slides from the webinar are available on the U.S. Department of Agriculture  (USDA) Rural Development’s website. This information is for individuals and organizations, including nonprofits and public agencies, who work with affordable housing products such as weatherization, home repairs, and Section 504 application packaging.

The slides will provide information on the following:

  • An overview of recent changes to the Section 504 Single-Family Housing Repair Loan and Grant Program.
  • Information on Procedure Notice 527 (published on August 29, 2019).

For a brief overview of the 504 program, please watch the USDA Helps You Make Home Repairs

Program Guidelines & Terms –Section 504 Loans
• Maximum outstanding 504 loan amount is $20,000
• Interest rate is fixed at 1%
• Maximum term of 20 years (term and payment is based upon the
family budget)
• Appraisal and escrow account is required for loans over $15,000
• Flood insurance is required for properties located in a flood zone
• Mortgage, title work and closing agent required for loans of
$7,500 or more
• Mortgage is filed for loans of $7,500 and over
• Assets above $15,000 ($20,000 for elderly/disabled households)
must be applied toward repairs.
• Residential Mortgage Credit Reports are ordered by Agency for
loans of $7,500 and over (RMCR fee paid by Rural Development

General Eligibility Criteria – Section 504 Loans
• Household income must not exceed “very low” income
limits; < 50% HUD median income
• Applicant must own home (to include site when
considering manufactured housing) and occupy house on a
permanent basis
• Demonstrate repayment ability based upon a family budget
• Stable and dependable source of income
• Acceptable credit – reasonable ability and willingness to
meet debt obligations
• Meet asset limitations (15K non-elderly and $20K elderly*)

Program Guidelines & Terms –Section 504 Grant
• Maximum cumulative lifetime grant assistance is $7,500
• Grantee must sign Grant Agreement requiring occupancy
of home for 3 years
• No lien on property
• Repairs to remove health and safety hazards or to make the
home accessible and useable for household members with

General Eligibility Criteria – Section 504 Grants
• At least one applicant must be 62 years of age or older.
• Household income must not exceed “very low” income limits;
< 50% HUD median income
• Applicant must own home (to include site when considering
manufactured housing) and occupy house on a permanent basis
• Repairs must be necessary to remove health and safety hazards or
to make the home accessible and useable for household members
with disabilities.
• Must demonstrate a lack of repayment ability based upon a
household budget.
• Meet asset limitations (15K non-elderly and $20K elderly*)
• No outstanding federal judgments

• Must be modest for the area; market value cannot be in
excess of USDA established area loan limit
• Property must be located in a designated rural area
• Must not have an in-ground swimming pool
• If the property has income producing land or structures, we
may use loan/grant funds as long as repairs are used for the
residential portion of the home.
• Mobile or manufactured homes must be on a permanent
foundation or be placed on a permanent foundation with
loan or grant funds.
For additional program Information, please visit the following USDA webpages:

USDA Rural Development Housing Program 




There are several other Section 502 loan programs, but the only one that approaches the guaranteed program in number of loans made is the Homeownership Direct Loan Program

This program once accounted for almost all the Section 502 loans, but the number of guaranteed loans has greatly increased in the last few years. In Fiscal Year 2001, the guaranteed program obligated approximately $2.3
billion for 29,326 loans, while the direct program obligated approximately $1.07 billion for a total of 14,789 loans. The important differences between the Section 502 guaranteed and direct loan programs are as follows:

ƒ The lender for Section 502 guaranteed loans is a private savings and loan institution, bank, or mortgage company which also handles all the loan servicing. The lender for the direct program is the Rural Housing Service; Rural Development handles the servicing.

ƒ Income levels for Section 502 guaranteed borrowers are capped at 115 percent of the area median income. Income levels for the direct program must be no more than 80 percent of the AMI. ƒ Payment assistance subsidy is not available 
through the guaranteed program. Payment assistance, which can reduce the interest paid on the mortgage to as low as 1 percent, is available for borrowers in the direct program and is based on the borrower’s income as a percent of AMI.
ƒ Borrower protections differ between the programs. Applicants for guaranteed loans do not have the rights of moratorium or of appeal that accompany the direct program. Also, in the case of default, Section 502 guaranteed loans are liquidated by
the commercial lender, while direct loans are liquidated by the government



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Section 502 USDA Guaranteed Loan Program Rural Refinance Pilot Guidelines for Kentucky Mortgages

Rural Refinance Pilot Loan


Brief Pilot Description: The Rural Refinance Pilot is available to eligible borrowers who qualify to refinance their current USDA mortgage loans.

Under the Rural Refinance Pilot program, a lender does not need to submit a new credit report, new appraisal, any HUD Handbook minimum property determinations, or any additional property inspections.

Eligible “Hardest Hit” States: The following states may participate in the Rural Refinance Pilot: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Additional States are not eligible at this time.

Eligible Borrowers: Current Section 502 Direct or Guaranteed Loan borrowers must:

1. Meet current income eligibility requirements;

2. Reside in an eligible rural area or an area that was eligible at the time of the original loan closing; and

3. Have made timely mortgage payments for the 12-month period prior to the refinance. Overview of Rural Refinance Pilot Guidelines: 1. The existing loan must be a Section 502 Direct or Guaranteed loan. 2. The new interest rate must be a fixed rate 100 basis points below the current interest rate. 3. The new term of the refinance loan may not exceed thirty years from the date of closing

. 4. A Rural Refinance Pilot loan may only include the principal balance of the loan plus a portion of or the full upfront guarantee fee. The applicable upfront refinance guarantee fee is 1.5 percent. No cash out is permitted to the borrower. Accrued interest, closing costs, lender fees, and late fees are not eligible to be part of the refinance loan.

5. An annual fee also applies. For FY 2012 the applicable annual fee is .3 percent.

6. A new appraisal, new credit report, HUD Handbook determination and additional property inspections are not required. The original appraisal amount may be used from Guaranteed Loan System to process the loan.

7. Ratio calculations are not required. Therefore debt ratio waiver requests will not be necessary.

8. Rural Refinance Pilot loans must be manually underwritten. They cannot be processed through the Guaranteed Underwriting System.

9. Customary and reasonable closing costs and other fees may be collected from the borrower by the lender. Such charges may not exceed the cost paid by the lender or charged to the lender by the service provider. An origination fee of up to one percent of the total loan amount may be charged to the borrower.

10. All the following documentation is required:

a. Form RD 1980-21 “Request for Single Family Housing Loan Guarantee”.

b. Income verifications for all adult household members.

c. Uniform Residential Loan Application.

d. Evidence of qualified alien status, if applicable.

e. FEMA Form 81-93 “Standard Flood Hazard Determination.” Appropriate flood insurance must be obtained if the property is in a flood zone at the time of the new loan closing, even if the area was not in a flood zone at the time of the original loan closing. A flood elevation survey is not required.

f. Evidence of previous 12 month mortgage payment history. The lender must secure evidence to document the borrower(s) has paid the loan on time for the previous 12 months. The lender may utilize a Verification of Mortgage obtained from or provided directly by the loan servicer that lists the payment history for each of the previous 12 months. As an alternative, the lender may submit a credit report which reflects a satisfactory mortgage payment history over the past 12 months.

If the lender submits a credit report to Rural Development as proof of payment history, only the payment history of the current mortgage will be considered.

Credit waivers or explanations for adverse credit that may be present on the report are not required.

11. All additional requirements of RD Instruction 1980-D and applicable Administrative Notices continue to apply. Rural Development Responsibilities:

1. Request funding for the refinance if necessary by sending an email request to: Please include the State and the amount of funding needed.

2. Retrieve original appraisal amounts in GLS when processing Rural Refinance Pilot transactions.

3. Review the previous 12-month mortgage payment history. If a credit report is submitted, only review the 12-month mortgage payment history.

If the mortgage account is currently delinquent or has been reported delinquent in the previous 12 months, the borrower is not eligible. Agency staff should use the “Borrower ID” with GLS Report “GLSST01: Status of a GRH Loan Account” to ensure the loan is currently active and not in default.

4. Enter 0 in the “FICO Score” data field when processing a Rural Refinance Pilot application. 5. Enter the repayment income calculation in GLS, but do not include any “Additional Liabilities” amounts.

In the event the new mortgage payment results in ratios above 29 and/or 41 percent, check the box that indicates a debt ratio waiver has been issued by the Agency. 6.

In the “Agency Notes” section of the GLS Application screen enter “Rural Refinance Pilot Loan.” This will identify the loan as part of this pilot in the event of a loan review. 7.