As the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, families are being put in difficult situations. Many Americans have lost their jobs or are on temporary leave with no income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. This has left them wondering how they could pay their mortgage given the circumstances. Luckily, many mortgage support programs are here to help.
Congress has enacted the CARES Act. This provides homeowners relief from federally backed loans. This act prohibits lenders from starting any foreclosure proceedings on federally backed loans for a minimum of 60 days beginning on March 18th. It also gives homeowners, who are financially impacted by COVID-19, the option to request up to 180 days of forbearance on their current mortgage.
This will allow you to reduce your mortgage payments and or freeze them for the time being. The condition with this is, if you are still suffering financially after the 180 days you may submit a second request for up to 180 days. For more information, check out the US House Committee on Financial Services information found here and scroll to the Homeowners section.
Not only is the government offering mortgage relief in response to COVID-19, but so are multiple banks:
- Ally Bank is allowing for its customers to defer their mortgage payments for up to 120 days. However interest will continue to accrue. More about what Ally is doing.
- Bank of America is allowing their customers to defer their mortgage payments for up to 90 days. They are also pausing all evictions, foreclosures and more.
- Chase Bank is offering mortgage payment assistance; you can enroll here or call (888) 356-0023.
- Citi Bank has put in place a mortgage hardship program that is offering 90-day forbearance for Citi’s mortgage loans, to borrowers being affected financially by COVID-19, with no negative effect on credit scores. Also, foreclosures and evictions have been put on hold. More about what Citi is doing.
- Comerica Bank is providing hardship relief assistance for their customers experiencing financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19. This includes fee/penalty waivers, loan deferrals, and more.
- Fifth Third Bank is allowing its customers to apply for mortgage forbearance for up to 180 days.
- Huntington National Bank is allowing their customers defer mortgage payments for up to 90 days while interest will continue to accrue. Also, you will not have to add any additional payments to the end of your loan term.
- Wells Fargo is offering mortgage payment deferrals and waiving multiple fees. They are also putting any foreclosure sales and evictions on hold for customers affected by the coronavirus. More about Wells Fargo’s response to Coronavirus.
It is important to note the payment deferment as a result of forbearance typically is not free. It can range from continuing to accrue interest on the loan during the forbearance period – to simply tacking months on to the length of the loan. This will vary from lender to lender.
It is important to understand what your specific lender is doing to help during these challenging times. Each provider is offering some version of mortgage support programs and financial help. Browse online and make sure to reach out to your mortgage lender if you are no longer able to make mortgage payments at this time.