Need mortgage relief during the coronavirus pandemic? You’re not alone. Many homeowners are struggling to pay their obligations during the crisis, and fortunately, we’ve found help.
Read below for all of the mortgage relief we’ve found during COVID-19 – and don’t forget to check out how to save money on property taxes, too!
You may be able to skip 12 payments under the CARES Act.
The Federal Government recently passed the CARES Act, which provides relief for certain mortgage holders. If your mortgage is backed by the federal government, you need to know about this act.
What does the CARES Act provide?
If you are eligible, this act provides certain important benefits to eligible homeowners who have federally-backed loans.
- Your payments could be suspended for up to 12 months.
- You will not be charged late fees or reported to credit bureaus.
- Foreclosures and evictions will be suspended for at least 60 days.
- Additional help may be available after the forbearance period.
Who is eligible for relief under the CARES Act?
This law applies to mortgage loans which are backed by the federal government. These include:
- VA Loans
- FHA Loans
- USDA Loans
- Loans that are guaranteed under Section 184 or 184 A of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992
- Loans that are purchased or securitized by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation or the Federal National Mortgage Association
If you don’t know if your loan is federally backed, you can check online or contact your servicer for information. Your servicer, which is the company you pay every month, is required to tell you who owns your mortgage and their contact information.
If you are not eligible for relief under the CARES Act, skip the rest of this section to see what else you may be eligible for. You can also reach out to your lender to see what additional options you may have.
How do I request relief under the CARES Act?
Do NOT just stop paying your mortgage! As a borrower, you will need to submit a request to your servicer (the company you pay each month) stating that you are experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 emergency.
Once you provide proof of your arrangements, make sure to get some confirmation in writing. You will want to make sure that the terms are clearly explained in writing, especially regarding what happens at the end of the forbearance period.
It appears that you will be granted forbearance for 180 days, with an option to extend the forbearance by an additional 180 days. You can cancel the forbearance at any time.
During this time, you will not be charged any penalties, interest or fees that would not have been charged if you had made your payments on time. You will also not be reported negatively to the credit bureaus until 120 days after the emergency period or July 25, 2020, whichever is later.
Other lenders have COVID-19 mortgage relief programs, too.
If your mortgage isn’t federally backed, you won’t be eligible for the benefits offered by the CARES Act. However, you may still be covered by other programs offered by your mortgage company.
These benefits vary by lender. Find your lender in the list below to learn more about their coronavirus mortgage relief programs. If you don’t see your lender in the list below, leave us a comment and let us know.
Ally Bank has suspended foreclosure and eviction proceedings through at least July 30th, 2020. They are also offering a 120 forbearance with no late fees. You can apply for this program online.
Bank of America
Bank of America is offering payment deferral to their customers. They do not offer much information about this service, so you will have to contact them directly to inquire.
Chase Bank is offering three months of payment protection to eligible customers. At the end of the three months, you will have to pay the total amount of missed payments. If you are unable to do so, they will offer you additional assistance which may include extending your payment assistance period, rolling payments to the end of your loan, or modifying your loan.
Citi Bank mortgages are serviced by Cenlar. Their website offers information about the CARES Act but also states that customers who are not eligible for CARES may be eligible for other relief. To find out what you may qualify for, you are encouraged to log in and submit a form.
Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third customers may be eligible for a 90 day forbearance. During this time, they will not assess late fees. They have also suspended foreclosure activities during this time. You will need to contact the bank to participate in this relief program.
Flagstar Bank is offering six month forbearance to those who need it. The entire balance will be due at the end of the six months, but they are assuring customers that they will be able to work out payment arrangements when the time comes.
If you have a mortgage or home equity loan from HSBC, you may be eligible to defer or reduce your payments during this hardship. Your payments will not be reported late during the time that you are participating in their relief program. Contact HSBC for details.
If your loan is serviced by Loancare, you can apply here for relief.
If you are experiencing financial strain due to the coronavirus outbreak, you may be able to get relief from Loan Depot. They have not specifically described what kind of relief is available, but they encourage you to contact them via email.
Quicken Loans (Rocket Mortgage)
You can apply online for assistance from Quicken Loans. Their initial relief plan is a three month forbearance, which means that you will not have to pay for three months. However, at the end of that term, you will owe all the money that was not paid during that time. The company states that “once that timeframe is up, we work to reevaluate your situation and determine the next step, which can be a continuance of your forbearance.” They will not report any late payments to credit bureaus during the forbearance period.
TD Bank has offered to defer payments and waive late fees on residential mortgages and home equity lines of credit. You will need to reach out to the appropriate financing department at the bank for assistance.
At US Bank, you may be able to suspend your mortgage payments for 180 days, avoid late fees and more. You may also be able to get a hardship loan modification or other repayment plan option. To receive assistance, you will need to log in to your online account and select “Mortgage Assistance” on the dashboard.
Wells Fargo can help you suspend your regular mortgage payments so that you do not have to pay for three months. At the end of those three months, you may have additional options including suspending payments for another three months, modifying your loan, or making a lump sum payment for the entire amount you missed. In order to suspend your payments, you will need to log in and select the payment assistance alert.
Beware of Scams!
As always, it’s important to be aware of scams when you’re looking for relief programs. Be sure that you contact your servicer directly for the most accurate information about coronavirus relief.
Scammers often employ one of these common techniques:
- Scammers may charge a high up-front fee for their services.
- Scammers may promise you a loan modification.
- Scammers may ask you to sign over the property title.
- Scammers may ask you to sign papers that you don’t understand.
- Scammers may ask you to make payments to someone other than your loan servicer or tell you to stop making payments altogether.
- Scammers may promise you payments if you give them your credit card or other personal information.
Be careful and ask a lot of questions. You can also read more about common scam techniques here.