If you’re having difficulty making your mortgage payments during this covid-19 pandemic, you need to know there are two protection plans that are in place to help.
-1- Moratorium until 12/31/2020
There is a moratorium placed on initiating foreclosures for all government-backed loans (i.e. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). This plan started on March 18, 2020, and it extends at least through December 31, 2020.
-2- 180 Days + 180 Days
Property owners are able to obtain forbearance directly from their lenders for up to 180 days, followed by a potential extension for another 180 days.
Help is Available
In a recent survey by the National Housing Resource Center, housing counselors from across the country noted that many homeowners really don’t know that there is help available.
Thus far over 4 million property owners have obtained forbearance agreements with their lenders during the pandemic. However, 530,000 homeowners who became delinquent after the pandemic began did NOT take advantage of forbearance, despite being eligible for the plan.
Additionally, 205,000 homeowners who were in forbearance programs but did not extend their forbearance after the initial 180-day term ended, became delinquent on their loans again.
Worse, nearly 21 percent of both Black and Hispanic homeowners missed the previous month’s mortgage payment, compared with only 10 percent of white homeowners and about 13 percent of all homeowners with payments due.
Clearly, a more focused effort on education about forbearance and relief programs may make a big difference for many people. The Urban Institute indicates it’s important to note that borrowers experiencing financial hardship have the right to request forbearance.
If you’re unfamiliar with the plans available, contact your mortgage provider (the company you send your mortgage payment to each month) to discuss your options. It is a necessary first step, as you may qualify for mortgage relief options or forbearance.