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COVID-19 Resources for Homeowners

 

 

Resources for homeowners

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) provides resources from across the government to help you during the coronavirus pandemic. Visit the CFPB website to learn more.

Get free housing advice

HUD-certified housing counselors are available to help you with your housing situation, discuss your options, and direct you to other local resources.

Call 1-800-569-4287 or find a housing counselor.

 

How to request COVID-19 mortgage relief (forbearance)

 

 
1
Recognize that you are struggling to pay your mortgage because of COVID-19

 

If you can’t pay your mortgage because you’re struggling financially due to COVID-19, you can ask for mortgage payment relief (forbearance). Mortgage forbearance is when you have worked with your mortgage servicer to temporarily pause or reduce your monthly mortgage payments. It is not payment forgiveness. That means you must repay any reduced or paused payments in the future. In most cases, repayment can occur over time or when you refinance or sell your home.

 

2
Contact your mortgage servicer

 

Your mortgage servicer is the company that handles your loan and to which you send your monthly loan payments.

Locate their contact information on your mortgage statement or their website. You can also find your servicer’s information in MERS, a database that tracks mortgages. Keep in mind they may have high call volumes due to the pandemic.

 

3
Request forbearance

 

Ask your mortgage servicer to temporarily pause or reduce your monthly mortgage payments (forbearance).

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all homeowners with FHA insured loans can ask for forbearance without any penalty. Find details on HUD’s FHA mortgage forbearance below.

Most homeowners with other types of loans can also request mortgage relief. For details on other mortgage options, visit CFPB's website.

When working with your servicer:

  • State that you are having a hardship related to COVID-19. You are not required to provide documentation of this hardship.
  • Request COVID-19 forbearance for your mortgage payments.
  • Ask your servicer to confirm the details of your forbearance agreement in writing.

 

4
Make a plan to repay your reduced or paused payments

 

Before your forbearance period ends or when you’re able to resume payments, contact your mortgage servicer to make a repayment plan. You will have to repay reduced or paused payments but should not need to pay them all at once (as a lump sum). Instead, your servicer will work with you on options to repay your reduced or paused payments over time.

 

5
Follow your plan to repay what you owe once your forbearance period ends

 

 

FHA’s COVID-19 forbearance

 

Eligibility

 

You are eligible for FHA’s COVID-19 forbearance (mortgage relief) if:

  • Your mortgage is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
  • You can’t make your payments because you were affected by COVID-19.

If you have a reverse mortgage, also known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, you should contact your mortgage servicer for options available to you.

 

What are FHA Loans?

Some home loans are insured by HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Your mortgage servicer must follow FHA guidelines when working with these loans.

Not sure if your loan is insured by FHA? You can find this information on your mortgage statement or you can call the FHA Resource Center at 1-800-CALL FHA (1-800-225-5342) or email answers@hud.gov.

 

Deadlines for requesting COVID-19 forbearance

 

If you… Then you…
Have not yet requested FHA COVID-19 forbearance You must request this assistance from your mortgage servicer by Sept 30, 2021. The maximum amount of forbearance available to you is described in the chart below.
 

 

Initial Forbearance Date Initial Forbearance Period Additional Forbearance Period Forbearance Extensions Maximum Forbearance Period
March 1, 2020 - June 30, 2020 Up to 6 months Up to 6 months Up to 6 months (in 3 month increments) Up to 18 months
July 1, 2020 - Sept. 30, 2020 Up to 6 months Up to 6 months Up to 3 months Up to 15 months
Oct. 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021 Up to 6 months Up to 6 months 0 Up to 12 months
July 1, 2021 - Sept. 30, 2021 Up to 6 months 0 0 Up to 6 months
 
Details of FHA’s COVID-19 forbearance

 

Important information about FHA’s COVID-19 forbearance:

  • You can request FHA’s COVID-19 Forbearance for up to 6 months, followed by an additional 6 months, if you need it.
  • No extra fees, penalties, or interest will be added to your account during the forbearance period.
  • You must repay any reduced or paused payments. However, you won’t have to pay them back all at once (as a lump sum) at the end of forbearance.
  • Before your forbearance period ends, or as soon as you can resume making payments, contact your mortgage servicer about the repayment options available to you.
  • Your servicer will work with you to determine if you are eligible for one of FHA’s COVID-19 loss mitigation tools that will enable you to bring your mortgage current. One of the tools available for borrowers who can resume making their current monthly mortgage payment is a partial claim. The partial claim is an interest free and no-fee loan from HUD that takes your reduced or paused payments and secures them in a junior lien on your property. You must repay this junior lien when you sell your home, refinance your mortgage, or your mortgage otherwise ends.
  • If you’re not able to resume making your current monthly mortgage payment, your servicer will work with you on other available options.

 


Foreclosure and eviction moratoria
 

Foreclosure is when your lender takes ownership of your property if you fail to make payments on your mortgage.

If you have an FHA-insured mortgage, there is a federal foreclosure and eviction moratorium (or pause) in effect through July 31, 2021.

If your mortgage is insured by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or a federal agency like VA or USDA, you may be entitled to protection from foreclosure and eviction. Please visit CFPB's mortgage and housing assistance webpage for more details.

Some states and local governments have also temporarily halted foreclosures. This means that if your loan is not federally insured or backed, you could still be protected from foreclosure. Check your state’s website for details.

 


Be aware of scams
 

Scam artists often offer fake help to people in crises. They do this to steal your money or personal information. Always check the legitimacy of offers and don’t feel pressured to “take immediate action.” The best way to protect yourself is to say “no” if anyone contacts you and asks for your personal information like your Social Security, bank account, Medicare ID, or driver’s license numbers.

Learn about COVID-19 scams on CFPB's website. This includes scams on the COVID-19 vaccine, fake charities, false unemployment claims, and people posing as someone in need, among other types of fraud.

 


 

Additional resources for homeowners

 

  • Housing discrimination: Federal law prohibits housing discrimination based on your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status, or disability. If you have been trying to buy or rent a home or apartment and you believe your rights have been violated, you can file a fair housing complaint.
  • Housing Choice Vouchers: File a Housing Choice Voucher complaint by calling 1-800-955-2232 or sending an email to Public Housing’s Customer Service at HUD-PIHRC@tngusa.net.
  • Bad landlords in federal housing: Many landlords have been fined or prevented from doing business with the federal government because they failed to provide safe and decent housing for the poor, while benefiting from taxpayer funds. Find out how to report a bad landlord.
  • Fraud, waste, and abuse: If you are aware of fraud, waste, and abuse in HUD programs and operations, report it to HUD’s Inspector General Hotline.

 

 

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Page last updated: June 25, 2021