There are a lot of rumors and myths out there about how the CARES Act can help those suffering hardships due to COVID-19. If you were already experiencing financial issues prior to the pandemic, these new economic issues may have pushed your budget over the edge. The first thing that you need to know is that you're not alone. If you're concerned about losing your home or property, we're making CARES Act mortgage forbearance information available to help you navigate these waters.
Your mortgage is one of your most important accounts. For many people, this will be the largest loan you've ever taken out and it will have a major impact on your credit report. More than your financial stability, it also represents your security in your home. Getting behind on your mortgage can result in foreclosure which is one of the most traumatic situations anyone can face.
The good news is that the CARES Act provides protection for you if the COVID-19 emergency has negatively impacted you. One of the things that the CARES Act offers to homeowners is the requirement that mortgage lenders give you a forbearance and don't require you to pay anything for up to one year. This option is available for anyone with a federally backed mortgage.
Most people have a federally backed mortgage. These include FHA loans, HUD loans, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans and VA loans. Check here to see if you have a Freddie Mac loan: https://ww3.freddiemac.com/loanlookup/ and check here to see if you have a Fannie Mae loan: https://www.knowyouroptions.com/loanlookup#
If you're not sure whether or not your loan is federally backed, the information is usually available in your closing documents, and you can request those from your servicer. For FHA loans, you can call HUD’s National Servicing Center at 877-622-8525.
For more information on the CARES Act as it applies to mortgage relief, This HUD Fact Sheet offers an excellent resource.
The CARES Act Protects Your Credit Report
Whether you were in financial distress prior to the COVID-19 pandemic does not matter. The assistance is available for anyone whose livelihood and income changed due to this crisis. Having economic difficulty often keeps people from checking their credit reports as often as they should. The financial strain takes an emotional and physical toll on many of us.
The best course of action is to make sure that you run your credit report and understand everything on it. (You can do it right here right now for Free: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/) This is especially true if you've requested CARES Act mortgage forbearance because there are unscrupulous things that some lenders might do which you should guard against.
For instance, it's against the Fair Credit Reporting Act for them to report a forbearance if you are not in one. This violation would entitle you to have that entry corrected on your credit report and it can entitle you to compensation from the reporting institution. It's also a violation for them to report your account as not current while you are in forbearance.
These things do happen and they can adversely affect your credit if you're not aware of them.
Are You Considering CARES Act Mortgage Forbearance?
If you're worried about your ability to meet your financial obligations and the COVID-19 crisis has put a strain on your income, the CARES Act has provisions to help you. The first step to getting mortgage relief is to put it writing to your mortgage company!