Are you having trouble paying your mortgage due to the Covid-19 pandemic?
Currently, there is a foreclosure moratorium for federally backed mortgage loans through at least June 30, 2021.
Forbearance is when your mortgage servicer or lender allows you to pause or reduce your mortgage payments for a limited time.
You may be eligible for Covid hardship forbearance under the CARES Act, if:
You are experiencing financial hardship directly or indirectly due to the coronavirus pandemic, and
You have a federally backed mortgage, which includes HUD/FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac loans.
The deadline for requesting an initial forbearance is June 30, 2021, unless your loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac; there is not currently a deadline for requesting an initial forbearance from those two lenders.
If your mortgage is not federally backed, you should check with your servicer for similar forbearance/payment relief options.
How long will the forbearance last?
- An initial forbearance plan will last 3 to 6 months. If you need more time, you can request an extension.
- If your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you can request up to two additional three-month extensions, for a maximum of 18 months of forbearance. To be eligible, you must have been in an active forbearance plan as of February 28, 2021.
- If your mortgage is backed by HUD/FHA, VA, or USDA, you may request up to two additional three-month extensions, as well, for a maximum of 18 months of forbearance. However, to qualify, you must have requested an initial forbearance plan on or before June 30, 2020. Not all borrowers will qualify for the maximum.
Additionally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is currently proposing a rule to further prevent pandemic related foreclosures. The proposed rule would provide a special pre-foreclosure review period that would prohibit servicers from starting foreclosure until after December 31, 2021.
Check the CFPB’s website to stay up to date on this information: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/mortgage-and-housing-assistance/
Bankruptcy is another option that may be right for you. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can allow you to catch up on missed mortgage payments and keep your home, while protecting your home equity. Under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy you will continue to make your regular mortgage payment while also catching up on your past payments, spread over a period of 3-5 years.