Last modified on May 8th, 2020
By Brittany Benz
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent shutdown of the country, homeowners have been struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments. According to a recent Forbearance and Call Volume Survey conducted by Mortgage Bankers Association, the total number of loans in forbearance jumped from 2.73% to 3.74% during the week of March 30th to April 5th.
As we move towards a post-pandemic future, many community association professionals are concerned about their homeowners’ financial well-being and are looking for ways to help get them back on their feet, which is why we compiled a list of financial programs for you to share. We will continue to update this list as more resources become available, however, we recommend homeowners consult these websites directly for the latest information. In addition, it’s important for homeowners to first check with their mortgage servicer to determine their eligibility for these programs.
Signed into law on March 27th, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or “CARES” Act includes the following protections for homeowners:
- National Mortgage Forbearance: Grants homeowners impacted by COVID-19 the ability to request up to a 60 days’ mortgage loan forbearance.
- Nationwide Foreclosure Moratorium: As of May 7th, there’s a nationwide foreclosure freeze for homeowners who have federally backed mortgages.
- National Moratorium on Evictions: Along with foreclosures, there is also a national moratorium on evictions to safeguard families and individuals who are sheltering in place and social distancing.
- Credit Reporting: Community associations reporting to credit bureaus must mark a homeowner’s account as current if they are on a flexible payment plan during COVID-19.
A United States government-sponsored enterprise, Fannie Mae is offering mortgage assistance and financial relief to homeowners with Fannie Mae-owned loans who have been adversely affected by COVID-19. Right now they are offering payment relief through a forbearance plan, special repayment options, and waived late fees. They also have a Disaster Response Network that provides free financial coaching and support.
Also known as The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Company, Freddie Mac is another public government-sponsored company that buys mortgages and packages them into mortgage-backed securities. In response to the crisis, they are taking actions to make sure homeowners with Freddie Mac-owned loans can stay in their homes. From mortgage forbearance for up to 12 months, to loan modifications and waived late fees, these are just a few ways they’re trying to help. To learn more about their mortgage relief options and to see if you qualify, visit their website.
Designed to educate American homeowners about the statutory and contractual obligations that stem from the acquisition of properties managed by homeowners’ associations, this organization has step-by-step guides, articles, and information for homeowners regarding COVID-19.
For homeowners with Bank of America-owned loans that are experiencing financial hardship, Bank of America is currently offering a payment deferral program and payment forbearance program. In addition, they are providing refinancing options for those who have at least 3-5% equity in their home.
In an effort to help customers affected by COVID-19, Chase Bank is providing payment assistance with the option to defer mortgage payments and refinance equity lines of credit for a limited period of time.
Similar to Bank of America and Chase Bank, Quicken Loans is offering its clients the ability to temporarily pause their mortgage payments without having them reported late to credit bureaus.
In addition to the mortgage lenders mentioned above, Capital One, Citi, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, and others have implemented financial assistance programs. If you have a mortgage through one of these providers, be sure to contact your local branch for assistance.
As homeowners continue to adapt to the changing circumstances, it’s important to take a proactive approach in communicating with your community associations. By sharing this list of financial resources you can provide support and relief, and strengthen your relationship during this challenging time.