Various relief policies have been launched at the federal and the state level for homeowners across the country. For those who own property in NYC, below are the relief programs that can help you weather this crisis.
Mortgage forbearance and foreclosure relief
For homeowners, mortgage forbearance and foreclosure relief will happen at three levels: Federal, State, and banks.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan banks, is providing payment forbearance to borrowers impacted by the coronavirus for up to 12 months due to hardship. Please note that this only applies to federally backed mortgage loans and does not include jumbo loans. Under this program:
- You won’t incur late fees
- You won’t have delinquencies reported to the credit bureaus
- Foreclosure and other legal proceedings will be suspended
Contact your mortgage servicer (the company where you send your monthly payments) as soon as possible to let them know about your current circumstances. The telephone number and mailing address of your mortgage servicer should be listed on your monthly mortgage statement.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on March 19 that mortgage payments will be suspended for 90 days based on financial hardship for borrowers due to the effects of the coronavirus.
The directive includes:
- Waiving mortgage payments based on financial hardship
- No negative reporting to credit bureaus
- Grace period for loan modification
- No late payment fees or online payment fees
- Postponing or suspending foreclosures
Despite the relief policies above, homeowners should still pay attention to the following issues
Be prepared to repay what you owe
It’s important to note that mortgage forbearance is not mortgage forgiveness, meaning you still have to pay back what you owe. You will need to repay the amount that was reduced or suspended.
Depending on your lender, repayment may be as a lump sum, added to your normal monthly payment, or deferred to an additional term at the end of your existing loan.
Before you talk to your bank
Before you call your bank, please remember to have the following information ready:
- Loan number
- Monthly pre-tax income of each borrower on the loan
- Description of your hardship
- Details about your monthly household expenses
- Unemployment benefits, if applicable
- Amount of homeowner’s association dues, if applicable
Individual bank policies
Here is a list of a few major banks and the policies that they have announced.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.
This post was prepared with the help of Nathan Xiang, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson at Real 212.
*The above is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or investment advice. Please check with your attorney and banks to confirm which policies may or may not apply to you.