Struggling to pay the mortgage bill is not an uncommon experience for American homeowners in modern times. If you are a homeowner experiencing financial hardship, you are not alone. Thankfully, mortgage assistance is available to help reduce the burdens of paying your mortgage both in-full and on time.
The U.S. Congress recently passed an emergency mortgage relief bill, which permits homeowners to essentially pause mortgage payments when experiencing pandemic and unemployment-based financial hardship. Read ahead for vital information on FHA loans, down payment assistance and other mortgage relief programs today.
The U.S. federal government provides mortgage assistance to homeowners who are experiencing financial hardship to the point they cannot afford their monthly mortgage payments. The pandemic created multiple types of hardships for households around the country and the world, especially pursuant to finances and housing. Widespread unemployment (also caused by COVID-19) ultimately led to an also-widespread lack of income, which resulted in mortgage-related burdens.
Congress enacted a mortgage relief program, which was included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) act (passed March 27, 2020). CARES act mortgage relief benefits include mortgage forbearance, which is equivalent to either the temporary cessation (pause) or reduction of mortgage payments for qualified homeowners.
This type of mortgage help is available to homeowners who already possess loans insured by the U.S. federal government. Examples of a federally insured loan are those funded by the U.S. Federal Housing Association (FHA), which is a division of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans are also included in this category. Additional federally insured mortgage loans include:
- All HUD-funded loans.
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans.
- U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) loans.
Mortgage relief of this nature is not an automatically guaranteed occurrence. Financial hardship caused by COVID-19-related burdens is a prerequisite for qualifying for this type of mortgage forbearance. For example, homeowners whose place of employment became defunct due to COVID-19-related issues might qualify.
For another example, homeowners whose income-contributing spouse was hospitalized or died because of the coronavirus might also qualify. Deadlines also apply. While 2021 deadlines have passed for USDA, VA and HUD loans, both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans have no deadlines.
Please note: Mortgage help in the form of forbearance is only temporary. Forbearance periods typically last between three and six months. Requests for forbearance extensions are accepted, however.
Continue reading to learn more about how to request homeowner relief program assistance and the aftereffects of mortgage forbearance on your financial situation going forward.