Friday, May 15, 2020

Is Mortgage Relief Available?

Are you struggling to pay your mortgage?
real estate lawyer ann arbor
There may be some relief available!
Upon a simple affirmation that the borrower is experiencing a financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the Covid-19 emergency, and submitting a request to the loan servicer, the borrower may obtain a forbearance without a fee or penalty.  Section 4022(b)(1).  In fact, the statute states that the servicer “shall,” with no additional documentation and with no fees or penalties, provide the forbearance.  Section 4022(c)(1).  As such, it is a broad order that allows many borrowers to obtain a loan forbearance.  The period of the forbearance is 180 days, which may be extended upon the borrower’s timely request for an additional 180 days.  Section 4022(b)(2).  This forbearance is available even if the loan had been delinquent.  The borrower can also shorten the forbearance period upon request.
In a typical forbearance, a borrower would not have to pay principal and interest payments on a loan.  The legislation states that during the forbearance period, no other fees, penalties, or interest shall accrue other than what would otherwise apply.  Section 4022(b)(3).  The legislation, however, provides no further details about the forbearance.  Congress may pass clarifying legislation or Fannie and Freddie may issue guidelines for servicers regarding the forbearance details.
Nevertheless, a forbearance does not reduce or forgive the principal owed, and interest would typically continue to accrue at the loan rate.  Moreover, a forbearance would not typically excuse payment of taxes or insurance, so if those are included in a monthly payment which is made to an escrow account, the borrower should consider continuing to make that portion of the monthly payment.

Have Questions About Your Mortgage?

If you have questions about your rights under the federal stimulus legislation, or need advice about negotiating the terms of your lease, please contact a real estate lawyer in Ann Arbor at PSED. 734-665-4441

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