Happy Easter and Happy Passover to those of you who are celebrating this week. I have been thinking of ways to provide helpful information to everyone during this trying time. Some of you, unfortunately, are wondering how with a sudden loss of income, you will be able to make your mortgage payments this month or in coming months. Here is a video link on this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfirM0SQypk&feature=youtu.be
Luckily, the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 26th. The CARES Act provides two types of relief for Americans with federally backed mortgages–
- A moratorium on foreclosure proceedings by lenders and servicing companies for 60 days from 3/18/20
- The right to forbearance for up to 180 days or more. This is a temporary pause or reduction in your payments. This does not eliminate those payments. You should be presented with repayment options and you should not incur additional fees, penalties, interest or have your credit impacted by such an arrangement. Some typical scenarios for repayment would be: repayment in full at the end of the pause; repayment over a 12 month period following the end of the pause; repayment at the end of the loan term by way of an extension of the loan period. The tricky part is that each lender may offer different options. There is no one size fits all here.
If you truly need help because you can’t pay all or a portion of your mortgage you should reach out to the bank or company that services your loan. If you don’t, please reserve these options for those who do. Banks and servicing companies are swamped with requests so you will want to leave the lines open for those who need help most.
Even if your mortgage isn’t federally backed (about half of US mortgages are not) your servicing company may still be willing to work with you as the government is encouraging them to do so.
Know that you will have to explain why you need assistance and provide details/documentation to the company you are working with. Make sure you get all of the details about repayment and terms in writing.
Sarah Maloney, a wonderful lender that we work with from Guaranteed Rate Affinity, shared this great piece from the CFPB with me. It has much more detail on coronavirus mortgage relief options. Here is the link for your reference and I am sure she’d be happy to connect with you if you have general questions: