If you’re wondering how to get Coronavirus mortgage relief, you’re in the right place. These are scary times, but fortunately you have options. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
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- Fannie, Freddie, and FHLB Loans
- How to Get Coronavirus Mortgage Help
We are currently in the midst of an unprecedented economic disruption that few, if any, saw coming. Due to the sudden impact that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has on personal and business finances, many homeowners are left wondering how they will pay their mortgages.
Fannie-Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHLB Loans
According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Home loans owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Bank may be eligible for relief. This relief comes in the form of:
- Waived late fees
- Delinquency won’t be reported to credit bureaus
- Delayed foreclosure and legal proceedings
According to the release, FHFA encourages you to “Contact your mortgage servicer (the company where you send your monthly payments) as soon as possible to let them know about your current circumstances. The telephone number and mailing address of your mortgage servicer should be listed on your monthly mortgage statement.”
It’s also worth noting that this is not free money. You will need to pay pack the amount you’ve deferred, though those terms will be determined by your lender, or the entity to which you send your monthly mortgage payment.
– Mark Calabria, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency
Calabria also understands that homeowners can’t afford to wait for approval, stating that, “You’re not going to have to send 20 pieces of paper at the front of this,” he says. “We want to do it quickly.”
- Homeowners who are adversely impacted by this national emergency may request mortgage assistance by contacting their mortgage servicer
- Foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers are suspended for 60 days
- Homeowners impacted by this national emergency are eligible for a forbearance plan to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months
- Credit bureau reporting of past due payments of borrowers in a forbearance plan as a result of hardships attributable to this national emergency is suspended
- Homeowners in a forbearance plan will not incur late fees
- After forbearance, a servicer must work with the borrower on a permanent plan to help maintain or reduce monthly payment amounts as necessary, including a loan modification
- Ensuring payment relief by providing forbearance for up to 12 months
- Waiving assessments of penalties or late fees
- Halting all foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers living in homes owned by the company until at least May 17, 2020
- Suspending reporting to credit bureaus of past due payments of borrowers who are in a forbearance plan as a result of hardships attributable to this national emergency
- Offering loan modification options to provide mortgage payment relief or keep those payments the same after the forbearance period
Banks Offering Coronavirus Mortgage Help
While loans owned by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the FHFA amount to about 50% of all home loans, the rest are owned by public and private banks. We’ve talked to a number of bankers over the past week, and most have stated that they are willing to work with borrowers until the virus subsides.
However, they stress that it’s critical to communicate your intentions with your lender. The Coronavirus was a sudden shock to our economy, and mortgage relief is necessary to ensure that homeowners have a safe place to live during this time of uncertainty.
But this does not mean that you can simply stop making payments. As with any business transaction, communicating your intentions is key. A bright spot is that many banks already have programs in place to deal with short-term income disruptions, unrelated to COVID-19.
Most banks offer some sort of mortgage forbearance plan. In a nutshell, this is a plan that lets you defer payments into the future. The kicker is that in many cases, these plans require you to pay the full deferral in one lump sum.
Mortgage modification is most flexible, especially in situation like the Coronavirus. Under a modification plan, a lender will either spread out payments over future months, or add additional months to the life of the loan.
Big Banks with Coronavirus Mortgage Relief
While these are only some of your options, it’s worth noting that big banks already have mortgage relief plans in place. Below, we’ve included some of the biggest lenders and links to their assistance pages.
- Chase — Per their Mortgage Assistance page, options offered are repayment, forbearance, or loan modification.
- Bank of America — BOA offers the same options as Chase. Visit their Mortgage Assistance Page to learn more.
- Wells Fargo — Wells is a big bank, and offers the same options as Bank of America and Chase. Find more information on their Payment Assistance page.
As of publishing, there are few, if any, government-mandates for private lenders to take specific actions. After all, things have moved quickly these past few weeks. However, most bankers we’ve spoken to understand the situation and are doing their best to offer flexibility until we see how things play out.
Many are deferring principal, interest, or both. And some are committing to this agreement on a month-to-month, three-month, or six-month basis. The best way to learn about your options is to call your lender directly.
So, How Do You Get Coronavirus Mortgage Help?
As we’ve discussed, this is an unprecedented and rapidly-changing scenario. If you’re wondering how to get Coronavirus mortgage help, there is likely an option available to you.
While many banks and mortgage companies across the country offer it’s best to call your lender to determine your options. After all, each one is different and has a different method for tackling this uncertainty.