Much of the United States is in a standstill, and even as the weather warms up, mortgage payments are being frozen. Many Americans are hitting pause on their mortgage payments due to the financial distress caused by the coronavirus.
Luckily, the CARES Act, part of last week’s massive multitrillion-dollar stimulus package, calls for lenders to allow people to put their payments on hold if they face financial difficulties.
And people are taking advantage of it. According to new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association:
- Loans in forbearance increased from .25 percent to 2.66 percent between March 2 and April 1.
- Forbearance requests rose 1,270 percent from March 1st to 15th and 1,896 percent from March 15th to 31st.
Forbearance is when a lender allows you to pause or temporarily reduce mortgage payments with the expectation that you will repay everything back in full over time. It allows you to pause or reduce your mortgage payments, but it’s not loan forgiveness.
If you need to, call your loan servicer and request mortgage assistance, but make sure you understand the terms of the deal. “It is important for the consumer to discuss with their bank what the repayment program will look like so they can make an informed decision,” Garrett Derderian, managing director of market analysis at CORE.
COVID-19 has brought a lot to a screeching halt, but what about the payments for the house you’re sitting in while you ride out the quarantine? Even a deadly virus can’t keep those on pause forever.