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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
CESI is NOT A LOAN COMPANY