What protections do I have as a homeowner with a mortgage?
A federal law put in place two protections for homeowners with federally or Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) backed mortgages (FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac). Learn more about these options and if they’re right for your situation.
If you don’t have a federally or GSE-backed mortgage, you still may have relief options through your mortgage loan servicer or from your state, but it is important to understand that not all homeowners are currently protected from foreclosure.
Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and guidance from federal agencies and the GSEs, there are two protections for homeowners with federally or GSE-backed (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) or funded mortgages:
- First, for many federally or GSE-backed loans, your lender or loan servicer may not foreclose on you through at least June of 2021.Specifically, the CARES Act and the guidance from the GSEs, the FHA, the VA, and the USDA, prohibit lenders and servicers from beginning a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure against you, or from finalizing a foreclosure judgment or sale. This protection began on March 18, 2020, and extends through at least June of 2021.
- Second, if you experience financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, you have a right to request and obtain a forbearance for up to 180 days. You also have the right to request and obtain an extension for up to another 180 days (for a total of up to 360 days). You must contact your loan servicer to request this forbearance. There will be no additional fees, penalties or additional interest (beyond scheduled amounts) added to your account. You do not need to submit additional documentation to qualify other than your claim to have a pandemic-related financial hardship.
- You may be required to renew your forbearance. Once you receive a forbearance, your servicer may require you to renew your request periodically. It is very important to respond to these requests so that your servicer does not prematurely end your forbearance.
How do I know what type of mortgage I have?
You must determine who owns or backs your mortgage to see if one of these mortgage relief options may be available. Find out which mortgage relief options and protections you may qualify for.
I am facing foreclosure and am not sure what to do and how the COVID-19 changes impact me.
Foreclosure is a complex legal process, even in “normal” times, and especially now with the ways COVID-19 has impacted all our lives. An attorney can help you navigate that process and may be able to help prevent foreclosure. Please contact Pisgah Legal at 828-253-0406 or apply online at www.pisgahlegal.org/free-legal-assistance
The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact Pisgah Legal Services or a private attorney if you need to speak with an attorney regarding your specific situation. You can apply online for Pisgah Legal at www.pisgahlegal.org/free-legal-assistance or call 1-800-489-6144.