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Options and Protections

Learn about mortgage relief options and protections federal laws have put in place two protections for homeowners with federally or Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) backed mortgages (FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac). Learn more about these options and if they're right for your situation.

Relief for all federally or GSE-backed mortgages:

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and guidance from federal agencies and the GSEs, there are two protections for homeowners with federally or GSE-backed (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) or funded mortgages:

  • First, your lender or loan servicer may not foreclose on you until at least August 31, 2020. Specifically, the CARES Act and the guidance from the GSEs, the FHA, the VA, and the USDA, prohibit lenders and servicers from beginning a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure against you, or from finalizing a foreclosure judgment or sale. This protection began on March 18, 2020, and extends through at least August 31, 2020.

  • Second, if you experience financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, you have a right to request and obtain a forbearance for up to 180 days. You also have the right to request and obtain an extension for up to another 180 days (for a total of up to 360 days). You must contact your loan servicer to request this forbearance. There will be no additional fees, penalties or additional interest (beyond scheduled amounts) added to your account. You do not need to submit additional documentation to qualify other than your claim to have a pandemic-related financial hardship.

Mortgage Forbearance:

Forbearance is when your mortgage servicer or lender allows you to pause (suspend), or reduce your mortgage payments for a limited period of time while you regain your financial footing. The CARES Act provides many homeowners with the right to have all mortgage payments completely paused for a period of time. Forbearance doesn’t mean your payments are forgiven or erased. You are still required to repay any missed or reduced payments in the future, which in most cases may be repaid over time. At the end of the forbearance, your servicer will contact you about how the missed payments will be repaid. There may be different programs available. Make sure you understand how the forbearance will be repaid. There can be different forbearance programs or options, depending on the type of your loan.



A housing counselor will help you understand your current situation, explain your mortgage assistance options and review what documents you will need to provide to your servicer. Be able to contact the servicer and help prepare and submit your application to the servicer on your behalf. Help you make a budget to help you pay your monthly mortgage payment and other expenses and provide information about local resources that may be helpful to you.

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