Mortgage Relief During COVID-19 Outbreak
If you are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, the federal government is offering relief options to homeowners through the recently passed CARES Act. In addition, for those borrowers who do not qualify, many banks and credit unions in Connecticut are offering relief consumers may qualify for. Please read the information below provided carefully, in order to determine which option meets your needs.
Watch this helpful video by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:
CARES Act Mortgage Forbearance: What You Need to Know
If you are able to pay your mortgage, continue to pay as usual.
If you cannot pay your mortgage, immediately contact your mortgage servicer or financial institution. Please note that mortgage servicers are getting a lot of calls from homeowners experiencing difficulties due to the pandemic, and wait times are much longer than usual. Be prepared to wait, and also check your companies website for online options.
What options do you qualify for?
Your mortgage relief options depend on who owns or backs your mortgage.
Find out if your mortgage is federally backed. The majority of mortgage loans in the state are owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or guaranteed by other federal agencies like the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) or the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, which are entities sponsored by the federal government. All these entities have options for homeowners impacted by the Coronavirus.
- Find out if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae.
- Find out if your loan is owned by Freddie Mac.
- A borrower can find out if their loan is guaranteed by FHA by calling their servicer.
If your mortgage is federally-backed:
There is a new federal law, the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, which offers the following protections for homeowners with federally backed mortgages:
- Mortgage Forbearance. Servicers required to provide 180 days of mortgage forbearance (with option to extend for an additional 180 days) to borrowers attesting to COVID-19 financial hardship. Servicer may not charge any fees, interest, or penalties beyond amounts scheduled or calculated as if borrower made payments on time and in full. Applies to federally-backed mortgages (FHA, VA, RHS, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).
- Foreclosure Moratorium. A moratorium on foreclosure proceedings, foreclosure-related evictions, and foreclosure sales for federally-backed mortgages has been extended until June 30, 2021.
- Credit Protection During COVID-19. Requires that furnishers of information to credit reporting agencies who agree to account forbearance or modified payments due to COVID-19, report a consumer’s obligations or accounts as “current” or as the status reported prior to the accommodation during the period of accommodation unless the consumer becomes current. This applies only to accounts for which the consumer has fulfilled requirements pursuant to the forbearance or modified payment agreement. This credit protection is available from January 31, 2020 and ends at the later of 120 days after enactment of the bill or 120 days after the national emergency declaration related to the coronavirus is terminated.
For Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac Mortgages:
In addition to the foreclosure moratorium and forbearance, if you are granted forbearance to delay making your monthly payments during this temporary period:
- You won’t incur late fees
- You won’t have delinquencies reported to credit reporting companies
- Foreclosure and other legal proceedings will be suspended
- Consumers have the option to place the payments on the back end of the mortgage
For FHA mortgages:
In addition to special COVID-19 forbearance, FHA has implemented the COVID-19 National Emergency Partial Claim, an option to be used by servicers when the COVID-19 forbearance period ends. This partial claim will help eligible homeowners who have been granted special COVID-19 National Emergency forbearance to reinstate their loans by authorizing servicers to advance funds on behalf of homeowners. The partial claim will defer the repayment of those advances through an interest-free subordinate mortgage that the borrower does not have to pay off until their first mortgage is paid off.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced that starting on July 1, 2020, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now offering a new repayment solution for homeowners who are in forbearance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The payment deferral option allows borrowers the ability to repay their missed payments at the time the home is sold, refinanced, or at the end of the loan. In addition to this payment deferral option, borrowers with COVID-19 related hardships can still utilize other options that include reinstatement, repayment plan, or loan modifications based on their individual situations. Homeowners with federal loans are not required to pay back missed payments in one lump sum.
Updated Information as of February 25, 2021:
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has also announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are extending their moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until June 30, 2021. The foreclosure moratorium applies to federally-backed single-family mortgages only.
Connecticut Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMAP)
The State of Connecticut, through the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), offers the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMAP) for homeowners facing financial hardship. More information may be found on the CHFA website.
You can find more information on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP) website.
Watch these helpful videos by the CFPB:
CARES Act Mortgage Forbearance: What You Need to Know
5 Steps to Ask for Mortgage Forebearance