In the midst of a pandemic, many suddenly find themselves worrying about their health, their jobs, their families, and their finances. Homeowners may have trouble making their mortgage payments, whether due to financial strain, sudden unemployment, or other hardships. This raises the question – how are banks helping to relieve that strain from borrowers? Here, we take a look at 20 different financial institutions to see how they’re handling the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts.
Now, through the CARES Act, GSE or federally backed mortgages qualify for forbearance if the borrower has faced hardship due to the pandemic. However, many banks or mortgage lenders have some forbearance or loss mitigation plan option even for mortgages that aren’t backed by the federal government or a GSE. Keep reading to learn what some of these options may be. Also, keep in mind that even if your bank or mortgage lender isn’t listed below, you can contact them to see what options they have if you’re struggling with your mortgage payments. You may also have options through your local or state government – a list of COVID-19 mortgage resources by state is given here.
AmeriSave Mortgage Corporation
For those who qualify due to hardship, AmeriSave may be able to waive fees for late payments, not report late payment information to any credit agency, and defer payments. More information can be found by contacting AmeriSave or logging on to your online account.
Bank of America
Bank of America offers payment deferral plans or payment forbearance plans for loans that they own, depending on what you qualify for. Both of these programs share certain features: due dates for payments are pushed back, payments are not erased or forgiven, and no late charges will occur. The difference between these plans has to do with whether or not you are current on your loan. If you only have one payment due, you may qualify for the deferral plan, but if you have more than one payment due (such as if you have missed payments), you may qualify for forbearance. Deferring payments will extend your loan term (if you have deferred payments for three months, your term will be extended for three months to make up those payments). Three months is the initial deferral time, but if you’re still facing hardship after three months, Bank of America will re-evaluate and possibly extend the deferral plan for as long as 6 months. If you get a forbearance plan, typically you’ll have an initial period of three months that may be extended for up to 6 months. After your forbearance period is over, repayment will need to be made either with a lump sum, a repayment plan that allows you to pay the difference gradually, or a loan modification that may change interest rates or the loan term. If, however, a third party owns or insures your loan, Bank of America will follow that third party’s guidelines for forbearance plans.
In addition to other services, such as increased daily limits for mobile deposits and increased withdrawal limits for ATMS, Banner has options for payment deferral plans for mortgages, lines of credit, and personal loans. Read their updated coronavirus plan with all the services they have available on their website.
Better has promised to offer loan forbearance, late fee and overdraft fee waivers, negative credit reporting suspension, and foreclosure suspension for all loans that they service. They’ve also posted additional information about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting mortgages, including how it’s impacting rates, how to handle appraisals and closings, and more.
Caliber Home Loans
Caliber Home Loans encourages any of their borrowers who are facing hardships to contact them for assistance, including forbearance plans. At first, this forbearance period is for a term of three months, but for certain borrowers, this can be extended repeatedly for as long as twelve months. During this forbearance period, the borrower will have no penalties or late fees charged, and no extra interest will accrue. Negative credit reporting actions will also be temporarily suspended. Repayment options include extending the loan term, opting into a repayment plan, or paying missed payments in a lump sum.
Chase encourages you to make sure your family is healthy and safe first and foremost. If you can keep on making your mortgage payments normally, do so, but if not, you can request payment assistance. The initial term for this payment assistance is three months, but it can be extended. Members of the military may have additional resources and are encouraged to call Chase’s hotline at 1-877-469-0110.
Payment deferral and late fee waivers can be requested if you’re experiencing hardship due to the pandemic. In addition, no negative credit will be reported and evictions as well as foreclosures have been suspended.
Embrace Home Loans
If you’re experiencing financial strain due to COVID-19, you may qualify for forbearance or a different type of assistance. If Rushmore Mortgage Services is servicing your loan on behalf of Embrace, then contact them to request more information. If the servicing of your loan has been transferred to a third party, then you will need to contact that third party.
Fairway Independent Mortgage
Fairway can temporarily suspend or reduce mortgage payments in a forbearance plan for those who qualify. Those on forbearance plans will not incur late fees or negative data on their credit report. More information can be found on their website.
Freedom Mortgage has forbearance and deferral plans both for those whose mortgages are covered by the CARES Act and for those who are not. Steps, benefits, and repayment details are listed for Freedom’s consumers. The easiest way to request a forbearance plan or view or loan information is from your online Freedom Mortgage account.
loanDepot encourages those who are worried about their loan to contact one of their customer representatives. In addition to providing a resource for information, loanDepot also donated one million dollars to help financially support those who have been affected by COVID-19, including first responders, healthcare workers, and support staff members. This donation will help provide food, utilities, and other necessities, as well as hardware and WiFi to allow individuals to continue with their remote employment or schooling. Finally, loanDepot plans to hire 3,000 new employees before the yearend, having successfully transitioned to a remote workforce environment. In this way, loanDepot continues to help its consumers and others during this trying time.
New American Funding
New American Funding allows for forbearance plans through the CARES Act and provides steps for how to request a forbearance plan in the fastest way possible. This forbearance period lasts for 180 days, but can be extended for an additional 180 days. At the end of the forbearance period, your repayment options will be discussed, but these include a repayment plan or loan modification.
QuickenLoans also has forbearance options, with a three-month starting period that can be renewed every three months for up to a year. Borrowers are encouraged to make payments if they can even when they’re on a forbearance plan, as any payment you make now helps to protect your equity and means you won’t owe as much later.
TD Bank is offering assistance through a TD Cares program, which offers late payment waivers and deferred payment options. Other plans and programs are available for additional loan types (such as auto loans, personal loans, or small business loans).
United Wholesale Mortgage
United Wholesale Mortgage (or UWM, as it’s commonly known) has options for mortgage assistance and payment relief if one of their consumers has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. First, payments have until the 15th of the month to be made as a grace period, without any penalties or late fees applied. If, however, you are unable to make your payment by the 15th, other options include forbearance. UWM also lists options for those who have not been affected by the pandemic but still need assistance, including refinancing, repayment, loan modification, or possibly, if none of the above is viable, a short sale or deed-in-lieu. However, as both of these last two options would mean moving out of your current home, they may not be best for everyone. Additional programs and aid may be available to those who have served in the military or are eligible for a Hardest Hit fund. Public assistance may also be an option, and UWM lists resources on their website.
US Bank is offering forbearance plans for up to 180 days for those who are having hardships during this time. If, at the end of that period, the customer is still experiencing hardship, another 180 days can be requested. While on a forbearance plan, your account is considered current, even if your payments have been deferred or missed. US Bank is also offering specialized Relationship Managers to those on forbearance plans, to help keep them informed of their options and accounts.
Veterans United Home Loans
Borrowers of Veterans United Home Loans who have come under financial strain due to the pandemic can qualify for up to 180 days of forbearance, which can be extended for up to 360 days. However, Veterans United states that homeowners can chose to start with only 90 days of forbearance and then extend it in 90-day increments for up to 360 days, if they think their situation could change at the end of three months. Like many other banks, Veterans United states that forbearance is not the same as forgiveness, and that any missed payments will need to be paid back. This is why it’s helpful (but not required) for borrowers to make partial payments if they can during the forbearance period, as it will lessen the amount that they owe in the future. During forbearance, borrowers will not incur any late fees or negative credit actions.
Under the CARES Act, Wells Fargo customers can request forbearance for 6 months, and then request an additional 6 months if their situation has not been resolved. Wells Fargo will contact the borrower at 3-month intervals during this time to see if the forbearance plan needs to continue or if the borrower is ready to start making payments as normal. Wells Fargo notes that while on a forbearance plan, the customer may be ineligible for new loan products or refinances until the forbearance period is over and any missed amount has been paid. At the end of the forbearance period, payment options include a repayment plan that divides the missed payments into smaller amounts to be included in your normal monthly payment, a payment deferral which adds the missed payments to the end of your loan term, or a loan modification which may change the rate or term of your loan.
Most banks and financial institutions will be offering some type of loss mitigation, usually forbearance or payment deferral. Contact your mortgage servicer for more information, and read more about COVID-19 and the mortgage market on RateZip!