What protections to my home are available during this financial hardship?
Many Americans are still under a Stay At Home order, with some worried about financially protecting the home they are in. Fortunately, you may be able to find relief options through the CARES Act, your loan servicer, or a state program.
CARES Act Protections
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, there are two mortgage protections under the CARES Act. The first prevents lenders from beginning a foreclosure, whether it be judicial or non-judicial. It also does not allow lenders to finalize a foreclosure judgement or sale.
Requesting a Mortgage Forbearance
The 2nd protection under the CARES Act gives you the right to request a forbearance of up to 180 days if you can prove you are experiencing a financial hardship due to the pandemic. A forbearance is the delay of a foreclosure or the pausing of payments. To request this, you must contact your loan servicer with your claim of a financial hardship due to COVID-19. Under this protection, you will not have additional fees, penalties or added interest beyond already agreed upon amounts.
Mortgage Forbearance of Federally Backed Mortgages
How the forbearance will work looks different for different loan types. Under a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Affairs (VA) or United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Loan, you may not have to pay back the full amount immediately, unless you are financially capable. The payment amount that was suspended during the forbearance may be paid back over several months, added as additional payments to your plan, or paid in full at the completion of your mortgage.
Support for Renters
Homeowners are not the only ones who may be struggling with payments. The Federal Housing Finance Agency has shared the help that may be available to renters. If the property you are renting is financed by a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan, you are covered by a temporary eviction moratorium. This means you cannot be evicted. However, you are still expected to pay your rent during this period if you are financially able to do so.
If these programs do not apply to you, the government agencies mentioned above recommend reaching out to your loan servicer about your financial hardship.
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