Homeowners who have lost their jobs or are sick with COVID-19 may be eligible to delay their mortgage payments for six months or longer, depending on circumstances.
The first step is to contact your mortgage lender. Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO Robert Broeksmit recommends patience because mortgage companies are also working remotely and having to deal with staffing shortages.
The delayed payments are meant to help homeowners avoid foreclosure during the ongoing crisis. Repayment plans will be worked out once the pandemic is over.
“This is not a mortgage holiday. You have to pay this money on the back end,” Raphael Williams, a spokesman for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, told the Dallas Morning News.
Granting this short-term relief to homeowners does not relieve mortgage lenders of their responsibility to continue paying their investors. They are looking to the Federal Reserve for increased liquidity to help maintain cash reserves. When the coronavirus is better contained and homeowners make good on their deferred payments, the mortgage companies will be able to repay the extra cash they needed to stay afloat.