Coronavirus/COVID-19: Mortgage Relief and Foreclosure Prevention - Financial Regulation
Last reviewed/updated: August 16, 2021
If you are unable to pay your mortgage because of COVID-19 related circumstances or are currently facing foreclosure,notify your mortgage lender or servicer (the company where you send your monthly payments) as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Homeowners experiencing difficulty paying their mortgage due to COVID-19 related circumstances may request a temporary suspension of loan payments, called “forbearance”.
Be aware that with a forbearance plan, you will still be required to make up the suspended payments at a later date. R each out to your mortgage servicer before your first missed payment. Depending on the terms of your mortgage or deed of trust, partial payments may not prevent default, so you should discuss this option with your mortgage lender or servicer as well.
If you enter into a forbearance plan due to COVID-19, your account should accrue interest as if you had made all contractual payments on time and within the terms of the loan and should not accrue any additional fees, penalties, or interest beyond the amounts already scheduled or calculated.If your mortgage loan is backed by one of the federal agencies or government-sponsored enterprises listed below, your lender or servicer should provide payment forbearance for an initial period of up to 180 days, with potentially one or more extensions, if you request such assistance. Mortgage forbearance for these “federally-backed loans” is provided pursuant to the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and additional rules enacted by these agencies:
- Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)
- Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac)
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-sponsored enterprises that hold nearly half of U.S. mortgages. Use the Fannie Mae lookup tool and the Freddie Mac lookup tool to check if either of these entities owns your loan.
NOTE: FHA, VA, and USDA have a deadline of September 30, 2021 to request an initial forbearance.
There is also a moratorium on most evictions related to foreclosure until September 30, 2021 for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the FHA, VA, and USDA. This moratorium is intended to provide homeowners who are facing eviction from a foreclosed home with more time to find alternative housing.
Additionally, federal law includes temporary credit reporting protections for certain borrowers with federally-backed loans. If you are current at the time you enter into a forbearance plan for a federally-backed mortgage, the mortgage servicer should continue reporting your loan status as “current” to the credit bureaus.
If you do not have a federally-backed loan, you may still request forbearance from your lender or loan servicer. Some companies are granting forbearances, even if the mortgage is not held by FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. However, there is no requirement that lenders grant your forbearance request if your loan is not federally-backed.
CONTACT YOUR MORTGAGE LENDER OR SERVICER
To find out if you qualify for a COVID-19 mortgage relief program, contact your mortgage lender or servicer (the company where you send your monthly payments).Lenders and servicers cannot automatically apply one of these programs to your mortgage – they must hear from you and you must maintain contact throughout the process.
See your monthly statement to find the appropriate contact information for your lender or servicer. For bank information, see also the Maryland Bankers Association’s coronavirus-related resource page; and for credit union information, see the MD|DC Credit Union Association’s consumer guide to credit unions.
If you would like help understanding your options when faced with foreclosure or you need assistance communicating with your mortgage lender or servicer, call the Maryland HOPE hotline at 1-877-462-7555 for a referral to a nonprofit housing advocate.
If you have an inquiry or complaint about a mortgage lender or servicer under the supervision of the Office, please contact us by email at DLFRComplaints-LABOR@maryland.gov or by phone at (410) 230-6077.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has many resources on its website about mortgage and housing assistance during the coronavirus national emergency, including a Help for Homeowners section with tips on requesting, extending, and exiting forbearance plans.