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Looking For Housing Assistance During The Coronavirus Crisis?

housing assistance during coronavirus

As the coronavirus crisis has caused waves of impact across the U.S. and the globe, many people have been laid-off or are facing greatly reduced hours at their jobs. If you are looking for housing assistance during the coronavirus crisis because you’ve experienced job loss or illness, we’ve gathered a list of resources to help you make sense of the options and find relief.

Housing Assistance Options

The CARES Act

The CARES ACT was signed into law on March 27, 2020.

Specific provisions of the CARES ACT cover mortgage protection and assistance for borrowers. Specifically, the CARES ACT mandates that:

  • Servicers of federally backed mortgage loan may not: initiate foreclosure process, move for a foreclosure judgment, order a sale, or execute a foreclosure-related eviction or foreclosure sale. These specific provisions last a minimum of 60 days beginning on March 18, 2020. Of special note: These provisions are not only limited to borrowers with a COVID-19 related hardship.
  • Homeowners with federally backed mortgage loan affected by COVID-19 can request and obtain forbearance from mortgage payments for up to 180 days. They can additionally request and obtain extended forbearance for up to another 180 days after that time. The term of either the initial or the extended forbearance may be shortened at the Borrower’s request. While on forbearance, no late fees or penalties may be imposed, but interest continues to run. The law covers the period during the COVID-19 emergency or until December 31, 2020.

Is My Mortgage Federally Backed?

Provisions for forbearance under the CARES ACT apply to only mortgages that are federally backed. How do you determine if your mortgage is federally backed and protected under the CARES ACT?

There are several sources of federally backed mortgages:

  • Freddie Mac
  • Fanie Mae
  • Veterans Affairs (VA)
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

There are tools available to help you determine whether your mortgage is backed by one of the providers on this list. Both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have websites available to look up your loan and determine if they back your mortgage. The Freddie Mac Loan Lookup Tool and The Fannie Mae Know Your Options tool can help you.

To find out if your mortgage is backed by FHA or VA, you can look for an FHA case number on your loan documents. Additionally, for both FHA and VA backed loans, look for specific language in your loan documents identifying it as an FHA or VA loan. For either of these types of loans, there should be fees for FHA or VA noted in your closing documents. You can also check to see if you paid a premium for FHA loan insurance on your mortgage statement.

Protection from Eviction for Renters

The CARES Act also outlines Protections against eviction for renters.

During the 4 month period (120-days) beginning on the March 27, 2020, the owner of a “covered dwelling” (which means the property has a federally backed mortgage loan) may not file a court action for eviction or charge additional fees for nonpayment of rent. After that period, the owner cannot require the tenant to vacate until it gives the tenant a thirty-day notice to quit.  

In addition to the protection of the CARES ACT, many states have issued broader restrictions on evictions as well.

Where Do I Start If I Need Housing Assistance?

If you are experiencing hardship such as the loss of your job, reduced income/hours, or illness related to COVID-19 and are unable to pay your mortgage, it’s important to contact your mortgage servicer quickly. Your servicer is the company listed on your monthly mortgage statement. When you contact them to request help, make sure to have your financial information accessible so you can answer any questions they have.

Utility Assistance

If you are behind on payments for your utilities because of lost income from the COVID19 crisis, don’t wait -- reach out to your providers to see if they have options for assistance. Many companies have suspended shutoffs for customers affected by COVID19.

HUD Housing Counseling Can Help

You don’t have to navigate a financial crisis alone. If you need housing assistance during the coronavirus crisis, a HUD housing counselor can assist you as you figure out the options available to you. HUD housing counseling is available to help you prevent foreclosure, purchase a home, obtain a reverse mortgage or any other issues related to homeownership. You can find a HUD housing counselor in your state easily through the HUD website.

If you are experiencing financial difficulty and are looking for a solution, CESI’s Homeownership Center is here to help. Our counselors are available to assist if you are experiencing job loss, temporary loss of income or financial hardship that has impacted your housing during this time. 

Contact us today to learn about our Housing Counseling Services.

Filed Under: App Posts, COVID-19, Housing

1 Response to Looking For Housing Assistance During The Coronavirus Crisis?

  1. […] you happen to’re a house owner and may’t make your month-to-month mortgage funds, there are resources available, nevertheless it’s essential to contact your mortgage servicer […]

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