Saturday, July 13, 2024

Government Help With Your Mortgage

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If I Am A Landlord Is Financial Assistance Available

Government grants for mortgage assistance coming soon.. do you qualify?

If you’re a landlord struggling to pay your mortgage because your tenants have been impacted by COVID-19 and are having difficulty paying their rent, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has helpful information on state and local programs offering rental assistance. Eligibility varies, but landlords can often apply directly, and may be able to receive direct payments. Each rental assistance program has conditions, and landlords and tenants should contact the program in their area to find out how to get started. Or if you would like personalized help from a HUD-approved housing counselor, call our Disaster Response Network directly at . These counselors can help you navigate the rental assistance application process for your tenants.

Veteran Mortgage Relief Options

One benefit of a VA loan is that the Department of Veterans Affairs can help you out if youre having trouble making mortgage payments.

Veteran mortgage assistance comes in two forms:

  • You could use a Streamline Refinance loan to lower your rate and payment
  • You could get help from a VA loan professional to figure out your repayment plan

If youre underwater on a VA loan and need to refinance, you may be able to use the VA Streamline Refinance to do so.

Like other Streamline programs, the IRRRL requires no income or employment check, and skips the home appraisal so your LTV wont matter.

If youre not sure whether a refinance is right for you, you might take advantage of the other VA relief program.

For VA loan holders as well as veterans with non-VA mortgages, the VA offers access to professional counselors who can help you if youre having trouble making your payment.

These people help veterans figure out whether they should refinance, try to restructure their loan, or take another measure to prevent foreclosure.

Even better, the VAs loan technicians work with your lender on your behalf so you dont have to figure out all the logistics of a mortgage relief program yourself.

What Is Loan Modification

Loan modification is a change made to the terms of an existing loan by a lender. It may involve a reduction in the interest rate, an extension of the length of time for repayment, a different type of loan, or any combination of the three.

Such changes usually are made because the borrower is unable to repay the original loan. Most successful loan modification processes are negotiated with the help of an attorney or a settlement company. Some borrowers are eligible for government assistance in loan modification.

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Keep Your Home California

Keep Your Home California offers a mortgage-assistance program. Specifically called Unemployment Mortgage Assistance, this grant gives a homeowner up to $3,000 per month for a maximum of 18 months to pay the mortgage. Participants must be unemployed and collecting state unemployment benefits. Household income is capped at $54,000, and the job loss must be an involuntary action, such as firing or being laid off. With the use of the grant, homeowners can direct their limited financial resources for other household needs. Ideally, it also gives homeowners enough time to find new employment and change the circumstances that created the need.

How Do I Get Government Help To Pay For My House

How to get government help

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There are government programs available to help homeowners in financial distress make house payments or otherwise reduce some of the principal owed on their home loans. These programs review eligibility based on payment history, income verification and loan-to-value ratios. While not everyone meets the criteria to qualify for assistance, review your situation with your lender and a loan counselor to see if you do.

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Types Of Mortgage Relief Scams

Here are some common warning signs of a mortgage relief scam:

  • Scammers will demand payment upfront, before you get any services. Thats illegal and a warning sign to avoid them.
  • Scammers may want you to pay only by cashiers check or wire transfer. Scammers like you to pay this way because its hard to get your money back.
  • Scammers may try to convince you to transfer the deed to your home to them. The deed is the legal document that proves who owns the home.

Scammers come up with different stories to pressure you into paying them. Knowing some of their come-ons can help you avoid them.

Communicate With Your Lender

If you know that you are going to have trouble making your mortgage payments, contact your lender immediately and let them know you are having financial difficulties. This allows your lender time to work with you to create a plan. Remember, do not stop paying your bills, and do not wait until you cannot make payments before you act. Learn how to talk to your lender about trouble making payments.

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Will Forbearance Affect Refinancing

Yes, if you are in forbearance you are not allowed to refinance. The specific point is that any missed mortgage payments will prevent you from being eligible for refinancing with most institutions. Each individual, however, has different circumstances and each mortgage provider has different rules. It is important to check with mortgage providers what your situation would be.

What Are Your Other Mortgage Relief Options

Mortgage Reduction Grants. Government pays down your mortgage.

Read your mortgage contract and speak to your financial institution about the options available to you. You may be eligible for one, or a combination of the options offered by your financial institution. Keep in mind that if you make changes to your mortgage contract, you may have to pay fees.

Financial institutions look at situations on a case-by-case basis.

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Will My Home Be Foreclosed Now That Forbearance Has Ended

Though the forbearance period has ended for most borrowers, the CFPB and the Biden Administration have put new rules in place to prevent a massive wave of imminent foreclosures. Lenders are required to allow borrowers many options including:

  • Allowing borrowers to resume mortgage payments and apply their missed payments to the end of their mortgage
  • Lower their monthly mortgage payments through streamlined loan modification
  • Allowing borrowers to sell their homes
  • If none of those options are possible for borrowers, there are still additional restrictions in place through Dec. 31, 2021. Lenders can only start the foreclosure process if the borrower has abandoned their property, has not responded to inquiries from the lender for more than 90 days , or was more than 120 days behind on their mortgage prior to the pandemic .

    Assistance For Other Types Of Mortgages

    Not all mortgages are backed by government agencies or the GSEs. Sometimes called “portfolio loans,” these mortgages aren’t resold and are kept in-house by the lender. Portfolio loans which can include mortgages for self-employed borrowers, borrowers who are not U.S. citizens or borrowers who have experienced a foreclosure don’t meet Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s standards. Lenders may also choose to hang onto a mortgage for other reasons.

    Portfolio loans aren’t covered by any of the mortgage relief programs listed above. However, your lender may have its own assistance programs. Follow the steps in the next section to contact your lender.

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    How To Apply For Forbearance

    Borrowers should contact their lenders or loan servicers to apply for forbearance on student loans or mortgages. In most cases, they will need to demonstrate a need to put off payments, such as financial difficulties associated with a significant illness or job loss.

    Since forbearance agreements are negotiated, lenders have a lot of discretion when it comes to deciding whether or not to offer help and to what extent if they do. Borrowers with a consistent payment history are more likely to be successful.

    For example, a borrower who worked at the same company for 10 years without ever missing a mortgage payment is a good candidate following a layoff. This borrower would be particularly likely to receive forbearance if they are highly skilled and can land a comparable job within a reasonable period of time. A lender is less likely to grant forbearance to a laid-off borrower with a spotty employment history or a track record of missed payments.

    The special government program described below is a temporary exception, providing for federal student loan forbearance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In that case, borrowers with eligible loans were automatically placed in administrative forbearance and not required to make monthly loan payments until the program comes to an end, currently scheduled for Jan. 31, 2022.

    How To Find Out If Your Loan Is Federally Backed

    How The Government Can Help Pay Your Mortgage

    To find out whether your loan is backed by the federal government, making you eligible for the help noted above, here are some actions that you can take:

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    Is There A Congress Mortgage Stimulus Program

    With Covid-era relief efforts winding down, some Congress mortgage stimulus programs are coming to a close.

    Fortunately, homeowners who need to lower their mortgage payments are not out of options.

    Millions of homeowners are still refinance eligible. And with a wide variety of mortgage programs available, even those with little or no equity might qualify for a lower rate and cheaper monthly payment.

    > Related: The best way to refinance your mortgage

    Homeowner Assistance For Victims Of Covid

    The federal government offered the first bit of foreclosure help through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government lending agencies that back 29 million homeowner mortgages.

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said eligible homeowners those who have lost income because of the coronavirus and hold loans backed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Federal Housing Finance Agency could have mortgage payments suspended or reduced for up to 12 months, but that ended July 31, 2021.

    The private lending industry, which includes banks, finance companies, servicers and mortgage investors, followed suit. It said it would suspend payments if the coronavirus has reduced a homeowners income, made them ill or kept them from working. Many banks put a hard 12-month deadline on that policy, while some extended it to 18 months.

    If you owe several months of payments, it would be best to contact your lender and see what COVID-19 related financial assistance is still available.

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    Can I Get Additional Down Payment Assistance With An Fha Loan

    While FHA does not offer its own down payment assistance, you may still be able to get help with your down payment through a program. Take note: Assistance for closing costs on FHA loans is capped at 6%. For an FHA loan, you have to put up some of your own money, but most down payment programs will work with FHA loans.

    How Mortgage Forbearance Works

    Does your financial hardship qualify you for free mortgage grants?

    Forbearance is an agreement with your lender that lets you make a reduced payment or no payment for a set amount of time. Interest accrues, and the skipped amount needs to be paid after the forbearance period ends.

    Under normal circumstances, forbearance typically lasts about three months, but longer periods have been available to homeowners dealing with financial issues during this pandemic.

    Before you start forbearance, make sure your lender offers repayment terms that seem reasonable. Repayment may be expected as a lump sum at the end of forbearance, sometimes called a “balloon payment.” If a lump-sum payment doesnt sound feasible, try to negotiate for another option.

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with the FHA, VA and USDA, have required lenders to offer options other than lump-sum repayment to borrowers using COVID-19 forbearance. The agencies and GSEs have also barred lenders from charging additional fees, penalties or interest during forbearance beyond what would have normally accrued.

    Lenders shouldn’t report forbearance to the credit bureaus.

    “The lender should report it as ‘paying as agreed,'” says Rocke Andrews, president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. Once the forbearance is repaid, Andrews says, “in theory, it shouldn’t affect your ability to refinance or purchase in the future.”

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    Looking For More Homebuying Information

    Take a moment to browse through our wealth ofhomebuying information. Youll find everything you need, from mortgage calculators, to home hunting worksheets.

    CMHC providesmortgage loan insurance. This lets you buy a home with a minimum down payment starting at 5% with interest rates comparable to those with a 20% down payment. Ask your mortgage professional about CMHC.

    The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program

    The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program is for borrowers who, although eligible for the government Home Affordable Modification Program , are not able to secure a permanent loan modification or cannot avoid foreclosure. HAFA provides protection and money to eligible borrowers who decide to do a Short Sale or a Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure.

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    Federal Housing Administration Forbearance

    Technically the Federal Housing Administration Special Forbearance isn’t a grant, but it accomplishes the same thing no cash out of pocket for mortgage payments without modifying your loan. If you have an FHA loan, ask your lender about the forbearance. Forbearances are available for eligible loans when borrowers become unemployed. The forbearance suspends mortgage payments for up to 12 months.

    Deed In Lieu Of Foreclosure

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    The deed in lieu of foreclosure means you turn the property deed over to the lender in return for no longer being responsible for the mortgage.

    It also means the lender wont foreclose on the property, which is a very damaging bit of information to have on your credit report. The deed in lieu of foreclosure will appear on your credit report, but packs far less impact.

    Thus, a deed in lieu of foreclosure can be a double win for distressed homeowners, if they can get the lender to agree to settle things this way. The lender is not obligated to do this and may reject the idea if the property value has sunk dramatically, the house is in bad shape or there are liens against your property.

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    What Happens After Forbearance Ends

    Once the forbearance period is over, the borrower is responsible for making up the delinquent payments. The lender often works with the borrower to come up with a plan to catch up on the owed debt. If the loan is owned by Freddie Mac, the borrower is never required to pay back the deferred payments in a lump sum. Keep in mind that this may not be the case with other lenders.

    Again, depending on the terms negotiated with the lender, the borrower may owe interest that has accrued during the forbearance period, as well as possible late fees.

    Mortgage Assistance And Your Rights

    Scammers target desperate homeowners looking to avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. These scammers promise theyll get changes to your loan so you can keep your home. But they want you to pay them an upfront fee before giving you any services or getting any results. Dont do it. Its illegal for a company to charge you upfront for promises to help you get relief on paying your mortgage. If youre working with a lawyer, make sure theyre licensed in the state where you live and are reputable.

    If a company offering help with your mortgage debt doesn’t follow these rules, it could be trying to scam you. Heres what to know about your rights.

    • You don’t have to pay any money until the company delivers the results you want. The Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule says it’s illegal for a company to charge you a penny until it’s given you a written offer for a loan modification or other relief from your lender and you accept the offer.
    • The company must disclose key information to you. If you decide to accept your lenders offer, the company must
    • give you a document from your lender showing the changes to your loan
    • clearly tell you the total fee the company will charge you for its services
    • warn you that you could lose your home and damage your credit if you stop paying your mortgage
  • The companys ads and telemarketing pitches must clearly say
  • theyre not associated with the government, and their services havent been approved by the government or your lender
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    How Can I Apply

    Start by researching what programs are available in your area, if any. HUD has a list of local home buying programs by state. Check with your city and county to see if they offer any loans or grant programs. Search their websites for information on how to apply. Reach out to them via email or phone for specific answers you cant find online. Make sure your mortgage lender works with the program.

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