CAN'T PAY YOUR MORTGAGE?
COVID-19 has not only killed thousands and thousands of people, it has crippled much of our economy. Many have lost their jobs and find themselves unable to pay their mortgage. If you have been financially impacted by the Pandemic and are unable to pay your mortgage, help is available.
Since March of 2020 millions of U.S. homeowners have sought relief through a forbearance agreement with their lender. A forbearance agreement does not remove your obligation to pay, it simply puts your payments on hold or reduces your payments for a period of 3 – 6 months. You are automatically eligible if you are experiencing hardship due to the pandemic and you have a federally backed loan with HUD/FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. If your loan is not federally backed, your lender or servicer is still generally required to discuss work out options with you.
The deadline to apply for a forbearance agreement has ben extended to June 30, 2021 for HUD/FHA, VA and USDA loans. There is no current deadline for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans. For most loans, forbearance can be extended to 12 or in some cases 18 months.
READ THE FINE PRINT…
If you are going to request a forbearance agreement, make sure you fully understand the repayment options. Deferring the payments by adding them to the end of the loan, extends your loan term, but is probably the easiest to manage. A loan modification that reduces your payments but extends the term might be another option. Be wary of a plan that requires repayment at the end of the deferment…unless you win the lottery, it is unlikely that you will have the funds. Failing to make the repayment could put you in default.
If you are having trouble making your payments please call your lender and explore all your options, not just the one-size fits all forbearance plan. I am not a lending expert or a lawyer, but would be happy to provide my industry perspective if you have specific questions or are considering a short sale.
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Photo courtesy of CNBC