Where to Find Help Paying your Mortage During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has brought hardships to citizens with mortgage or rent payments, along with citizens that are homeless or at risk of homelessness. 

Help for Federally Funded Backed Mortgages

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).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. FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac owns a large percentage of mortgages in the US.

How can I tell who owns my mortgage?

You can look up who owns your mortgage online, call, or send a written request to your servicer asking who owns your mortgage. The servicer has an obligation to provide you, to the best of its knowledge, the name, address, and telephone number of who owns your loan.

It’s not always easy to tell who owns your mortgage. Many mortgage loans are sold and the servicer you pay every month may not own your mortgage. Whenever the owner of your loan transfers the mortgage to a new owner, the new owner is required to send you a notice.  If you don’t know who owns your mortgage, there are different ways to find out. 

Call your mortgage servicer You can find the number for your mortgage service provider on your monthly mortgage statement or coupon book. 

Look it up online

There are some online tools you can use to look up who owns your mortgage.

  • Many mortgages are owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Both offer a mortgage look up tool on their website.

You can look up your mortgage service provider by searching the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS)  website.

Worried you cannot make my next mortgage payment?

If you are a homeowner with an FHA-insured single-family home mortgage and you’re having difficulty making your monthly mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 National Emergency, help is available. The three most important things you should do to protect your home investment if you have, or expect to have, a loss of income due to COVID-19:

  1. Continue to make your monthly mortgage payments if you are able to do so.
  2. If you are unable to make your mortgage payment, contact your mortgage servicer
    — the entity to which you make your monthly mortgage payments —as soon as
    possible and discuss your situation with a loss mitigation specialist. Please
    understand that your servicers ability to respond quickly may be impacted during this National Emergency.

CARES Act Mortgage Forbearance Program

Did you lose your job or have been furloughed due to the COVID-19 National Emergency?

If so you may qualify for a forbearance. Maximum mortgage repayment flexibilities are being offered to homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. if you are eligible. If you find you are no longer able to make your monthly mortgage payments, the first thing you should do is contact your servicer — the company to whom you make your monthly mortgage payments. Your servicer will be able to provide you with what is known as forbearance, a mortgage repayment option that allows you to defer or lower your monthly payments for up to six months, and an additional six month period, if needed. Your mortgage servicer can further explain the details of the FHA COVID-19 National Emergency Forbearance option — what it means now and the options for bringing your mortgage payments current in the future.

Request a Forbearance

If you qualify once you know who is your FHA Mortage service provider you can use any available means of communication to contact your servicer to request a forbearance. This includes, but is not limited to, phone calls, emails, texts, fax, mail, teleconferencing, etc.

Mortgage forbearance

Forbearance is when your mortgage servicer or lender allows you to pause (suspend), or reduce your mortgage payments for a limited period of time while you regain your financial footing. The CARES Act provides many homeowners with the right to have all mortgage payments completely paused for a period of time.

Forbearance doesn’t mean your payments are forgiven or erased. You are still required to repay any missed or reduced payments in the future, which in most cases may be repaid over time. At the end of the forbearance, your servicer will contact you about how the missed payments will be repaid. There may be different programs available.

Make sure you understand how the forbearance will be repaid. There can be different forbearance programs or options, depending on the type of your loan. For example, if you have a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, or USDA loan, you won’t have to pay back the amount that was suspended all at once—unless you are able to do so. If your income is restored before the end of your forbearance, reach out to your servicer and resume making payments as soon as you can so your future obligation is limited.

What Happens if mortgage is not backed or funded by the Government Mortgage Programs?

If you have a mortgage loan that is not backed by one of the federal agencies or entities, the loan is not covered by the CARES Act. Contact your loan servicer to see what options are available to you. You can find your servicer’s name on your mortgage statement or by searching the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS)  website.

The CFPB and other financial regulators have encouraged financial institutions to work with borrowers who are or may be unable to meet their obligations because of the effects of COVID-19. Your servicer should help you identify alternatives that may be available to you given your specific circumstances.

Are You Facing Foreclosure Or Need Housing Counseling ?

If you’re behind on your mortgage or having a hard time making payments., there is free foreclosure and counseling service available to help anyone in need of these services. If anyone tries to charge you in advance for help or guarantees that they can stop your foreclosure, they’re not legitimate. Get in touch with a HUD-approved housing counselor—they’ve been sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Your counselor can develop a tailored plan of action for your situation and help you work with your mortgage company. They’re experienced in all of the available programs and a variety of financial situations. They can help you organize your finances, understand your mortgage options, and find a solution that works for you.

Contact a free housing counselor

Find a HUD-approved counseling agency in your area.

Call HUD, enter your ZIP code and they’ll refer you to a counselor near you.(800) 569-4287