The government has made it very easy for homeowners to get a forbearance on their mortgage during the pandemic. This has been a life line for many homeowners who have been affected financially by COVID-19. In this time of crisis, all a borrower has to do is pick up the phone and call their mortgage servicer and ask for payment relief. But how are homeowners going to pay the forbearance back? Are homeowners really being protected from delinquent marks and credit consequences?
If you have secured a COVID-19 mortgage forbearance that works for you and your family this can be a great help. However, it is important to discuss with your mortgage servicer how they will be handling your past due payments at the end of the forbearance. 30 days before the forbearance ends you should assess your situation with your mortgage servicer to determine your next steps. Some servicers are requiring borrowers to make one large balloon payment when the forbearance ends, which is the worst case scenario for many homeowners. Other options are:
- repayment plan
- payment deferral
- loan modification
Your mortgage payment is usually a PITI payment. PITI stands for Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance. When you make your payments each month, the "TI," or tax and insurance portions, are saved in an escrow account.
Only if you have to.
Our attorneys' COVID-19 advice:
- If you can afford to keep paying your mortgage during a hardship caused by Coronavirus, keep paying your mortgage.
- If you cannot afford to make your mortgage payments, our lawyers want to do everything possible to help you understand your options and be protected from your bank's misrepresentations.
A: Because in our experience, most mortgage "disaster relief" becomes a nightmare.
The government shutdown, which began on December 22, 2018 and is now the longest in history, has left 800,000 federal workers without pay.
While there's no end to the shutdown in sight, there is help available for federal workers who are struggling to pay their mortgages because of it.
Mortgage servicers are making assistance available that they normally offer during natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has announced that a settlement was reached with Nationstar Mortgage, doing business as Mr. Cooper, that “resolves allegations regarding Mr. Cooper’s servicing misconduct in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.”
(If you're in foreclosure, or being threatened with foreclosure after a hurricane, contact our firm for a free Hurricane Hardship Review.)
Mr. Cooper's Misconduct
Mr. Cooper/Nationstar is a mortgage lender and servicer based in Texas which services mortgages nationwide. Their misconduct related to Hurricane Irma is similar to stories we've heard from homeowners with loans serviced by many servicers after the hurricane. It goes like this:
A mortgage servicer tells a homeowner that they can postpone 3-6 months of mortgage payments to recover from the financial impact of Hurricane Irma.
If you're experiencing a temporary hardship that has caused you to be unable to make your monthly mortgage payments, a forbearance agreement is an option to consider that helps you keep your home out of foreclosure until your hardship passes. A forbearance agreement allows you to:
- Reduce or suspend mortgage payments
- Stay in your home
- Avoid foreclosure
- Have time and flexibility to overcome your hardship