Mortgage Relief for COVID-19 – What’s Available?
Mortgage relief for COVID-19: the virus did more than affect the health of millions. It also knocked the wind out of millions of Americans’ pocketbooks, making it impossible to make ends meet.
The CARES Act helped homeowners in this situation, allowing anyone affected to take advantage of mortgage relief for COVID-19 including suspending mortgage payments for 180 days at the start of the pandemic.
Now that the 180 days are up for most homeowners, everyone wonders, what now?
Extending Mortgage Relief for COVID-19
Most homeowners deferred their mortgage payments starting in March, which puts the “end date” for those provisions right about now.
But many homeowners still aren’t back on their feet. Whether you’re still out of a job or you’re just getting back to it, you may not have the money to jump right back into your mortgage payment, not to mention the payments you skipped.
What are your options?
Fortunately, the CARES Act makes it easy for anyone with a federally backed mortgage. You can request to extend your forbearance agreement another 180 days for a total of 360 days. In addition, the CARES Act protects homeowners with forbearance agreements from any foreclosure acts or threats through December 31, 2020.
Lenders also may not charge you late fees or report the late payments to the credit bureaus. In the meantime, you should see what steps you’ll need to take to catch up.
How to Get Mortgage Relief for COVID-19
If you need to extend your forbearance agreement, contact your lender. You don’t need extensive documentation proving your hardship. You just need to request the extension and follow your lender’s requirements.
If you find you still can’t afford your payments after the forbearance period ends, talk to your lender. Don’t ignore your obligations. Many lenders offer payment arrangements that include:
- Tacking your missed payments onto the end of the loan and extending the term
- Splitting up the payments over an extended period, paying a small amount of the missing payments each month
- Modifying the loan to include the new principal at a lower interest rate
Help for Non-Federal Mortgage Loans
If your loan isn’t backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, talk to your lender. While they aren’t forced to provide the same programs federally-backed mortgage lenders must provide, many do.
Be honest with your lender about your situation and ask what options you have. They may have a similar forbearance option or another payment arrangement that makes it easy for you to continue affording your mortgage payments despite the economy’s downfall.
Don’t Give Up
We’re all in the midst of a tough time, but there is plenty of mortgage relief for COVID-19 available whether you have a federally-backed mortgage or a private lender mortgage. The key is to stay in touch with your lender and always ask what programs are available to you.
With the right support, you can catch up on your mortgage payments and not worry about losing your house along with the other stressors COVID-19 has caused for people throughout the United States and around the world.