Mortgage Assistance Questions Relating to COVID-19?
To assist you in making some critical decisions about your mortgage during this time, here are a few things to consider outlined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
A new federal law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, puts in place two protections for homeowners with federally backed mortgages:
- A foreclosure moratorium
- A right to forbearance for homeowners who are experiencing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency
First, assess your short-term financial situation.
- If you can pay your mortgage, you should pay your mortgage. If you choose forbearance, you’ll have to repay any missed or reduced payments in the future.
- However, if you can’t pay your mortgage, or can only pay a portion, contact our loan servicing department for further instructions. Please be advised that we are experiencing high call volumes but rest assured that your inquiry will be addressed. To expedite resolution to your inquiry please have the following information available when you speak with a representative:
- Your mortgage loan number
- An explanation of why you are unable to make your payment
- Whether your situation is temporary or permanent
- Whether you are a servicemember with permanent change of station (PCS) orders
What is forbearance?
- Forbearance is when your mortgage servicer or lender allows you to pause or reduce your mortgage payments for a limited period. Forbearance doesn’t erase what you owe; you’ll have to repay any missed or reduced payments in the future. Depending on the kind of loan you have, there may be different forbearance options for you.
What are federally backed mortgages?
To be eligible for protections under the CARES Act your mortgage must be federally owned or otherwise backed by one of the federal agencies and entities listed below. If you don’t know who owns or backs your mortgage, you can call your lender or servicer. The servicer has an obligation to provide you, to the best of its knowledge, the name, address, and telephone number of who owns your loan.
List of federal agencies and entities
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- U. S. Department of Agriculture
- USDA Direct
- USDA Guaranteed
- Federal Housing Administration (FHA) (Includes reverse mortgages)
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- Fannie Mae
- Freddie Mac
If your mortgage is backed by the federal government:
- You won’t incur late fees
- You won’t have delinquencies reported to credit reporting companies
- Foreclosure and other legal proceedings will be suspended
If your mortgage is not backed by the federal government:
If you have a mortgage loan that is not backed by the federal government, contact your lender or servicer. The government is encouraging lenders to work with borrowers who are or may be unable to meet their obligations because of the effects of COVID-19.
Your lender should help you identify alternatives that may be available to you given your specific circumstances.
The CFPB created THIS VIDEO to help borrowers better understand their options.