A study by the Urban Institute determined:
“Approximately 400,000 homeowners who became delinquent after the pandemic began have forgone forbearance and become delinquent. These borrowers may not know they are eligible for forbearance.”
Thankfully, there’s still time to apply for forbearance. Doing so may be the game-changer you need to stay in your home. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published 5 steps to follow:
1. Find the contact information for your servicer
Look at your mortgage statement to find the phone number for your servicer to avoid scams.
2. Call your servicer
Explain your situation so your servicer can determine your best course of action.
3. Ask if you’re eligible for protection under the CARES Act
The CARES Act protects homeowners with federally backed loans (FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac). In addition, some private servicers are also providing forbearance programs.
4. Ask what happens when your forbearance period ends
Depending on the plan available to you, there are different options you may be able to consider. Your servicer will help you get a better understanding of what’s available.
The CFPB also recommends asking questions like:
· What happens to the payments I miss?
· What are my repayment options?
· When will repayment be due?
· Are there any fees?
5. Ask your servicer to provide the agreement in writing
A written agreement allows you to see exactly what type of program you’re agreeing to. It also helps you make sure it matches what you discuss with your provider over the phone.
Help is out there for homeowners in need, but it’s important to apply now while this benefit is still available. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says: don’t wait, forbearance is not automatic. It must be requested. Reach out to your mortgage provider today so you can get the assistance you need to protect the hard-earned investment you’ve made in your home.
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