COVID-19 Mortgage Payments: Is Your Home at Risk?

COVID 19 Mortgage Payments: Is Your Home at Risk?

( – Do you need a break from your mortgage? Maybe you’ve lost a job, been furloughed, or are facing another coronavirus-related challenge. Americans are being forced to make some difficult decisions about what to pay for and what to hold off on.

There’s some good news if you have a mortgage: help is available if you need it.

A growing number of states are temporarily waiving mortgage payments and putting a stop to foreclosures and evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if you’re not in one of those states, it doesn’t mean you can’t get help if you need it. On March/26, Consumer Reports urged the Mortgage Bankers Association to provide options to homeowners facing financial challenges. Mortgage companies are rising to the occasion.

Skipping one, or multiple, payments may be a relief option available to you.

Will Banks and Mortgage Companies Let You Skip a Payment?

Right now, many banks are offering forbearance and deferment plans. It doesn’t matter where you live for you to be eligible for one of these plans. It only matters that you’re suffering from financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is only one catch: it’s not automatic. You will have to take the initiative to talk to your mortgage company.

If you have a federally-backed loan through Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, or Ginnie Mae, federal regulators have ordered lenders to provide a year-long pause on your mortgage payment. However, you must proactively reach out to your mortgage company and prove you’ve lost a job or source of income.

State economies could be bolstered by relieving mortgage pressures. So, California and New York have announced 90-day suspensions of mortgage payments if you are suffering financial hardship. Governors in other states are reviewing options to follow in the footsteps of California and New York.

How Do You Skip a Loan and What Happens When You Do?

When you call to make arrangements with your mortgage provider, you get immediate relief from the mortgage payment as agreed upon by both parties. The agreement will keep you from defaulting on your loan, racking up fees, and getting negative feedback on your credit report. In most cases, The payments that you skip will be added to the end of the loan. Interest will continue to accrue on the loan while payments are deferred.

Whatever you do, don’t miss payments before calling your mortgage company. While your mortgage is not technically defaulting until you miss three payments, you don’t want to deal with late fees or unnecessary dings on your credit report. Most lenders will waive late fees once as a courtesy. However, missing payments could affect any relief programs in the future if your credit is too low due to missed payments.

The bottom line is your mortgage company wants to work with you. It’s in their best interest in these difficult times. That also means it’s in your best interest to call them if you need help.

~Here’s to Your Prosperity!

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