For millions of borrowers who are struggling to pay their mortgage, help is on the way under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Act a.k.a. the CARES Act. When you contact your mortgage servicer or lender to get financial relief, it’s important that you know your rights as a homeowner.
Mortgage interest rates are at historic lows for the past several years and it’s all over the news. When you shop and get loan estimates from several mortgage lenders, you’ll come across two important figures that are both expressed in percentages: mortgage interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR). Understanding the difference between the two can help you make better decisions when choosing between buying a home or refinancing.
Like your health, checking your mortgage periodically is worth considering to determine if it’s still in good shape. There could be a lot of changes that have happened in your life since you took out a mortgage to fulfill your homeownership dreams. After several years of dutifully repaying your monthly mortgage, you may want to find out if you can reap the rewards of being a homeowner.
Millions of mortgage borrowers have already applied for loan forbearance because of the uncertainty brought by the Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19). However, some homeowners who have called their servicers were advised that they need to make a balloon payment once the deferment period ends. A balloon payment could be overwhelming if the pandemic has affected your finances.
When refinancing your mortgage, the lender will order an appraisal to determine if your property has enough value to secure the new loan that you’re about to take. Just like homebuying, an appraisal is one of the most crucial steps when refinancing.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently clarified that the lump sum repayment at the end of the loan forbearance plan “is an option for repaying missed payments”. The two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) also explained the other options for repaying the missed payments amid growing confusion among millions of homeowners who have sought forbearance after being affected by the Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The right thing to do if you’re falling behind your mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic is to call your servicer. If your loan belongs to any of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSE) e.g. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, or VA, you could be allowed to temporarily suspend making your monthly payments.
Homeowners still paying their mortgage are on the brink of missing their monthly payments when they suddenly lose their jobs. Although mortgage interest rates have become favorable, borrowers who become unemployed could not possibly refinance their current mortgage simply because lenders will most likely not be able to verify that they have a stable source of income to repay the new loan. Their financial situation could be even more frustrating if borrowers don’t expect that they could land a job again anytime soon. Some struggling homeowners, however, may find loan modification a viable option to avoid foreclosure and keep their homes.
It’s a frustrating situation when homeowners start to miss making their monthly mortgage payments. Struggling homeowners are often advised to get in touch with their respective mortgage servicers to help them come up with a workable solution to keep up with their payments and hopefully avoid foreclosure. Homeowners should be familiar with the core duties of the companies that collect their monthly payments so that they can ask the right questions about their mortgage and have an idea of what to expect when they do.
Loan forbearance could be a viable option if you are one of the millions of Americans who have been directly, or indirectly, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Forbearance could help you stretch your remaining funds if you suddenly lose your job or have your income reduced or while waiting for financial assistance from the federal government.