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Mortgage Relief Programs for Homeowners Hit by the Coronavirus Crisis

Forbearance and loan modifications are mortgage relief programs that can prevent foreclosure if you're facing reduced pay or unemployment due to quarantines, shutdowns or illness.
March 25, 2020
Managing Your Mortgage, Mortgages
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The coronavirus outbreak has left many Americans dealing with reduced income or unemployment. In response, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with the Federal Housing Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs, have directed lenders to provide mortgage relief options to affected homeowners.

Some individual lenders and state governments are also taking independent action to provide mortgage relief to homeowners.

If you’re worried about paying your mortgage during the COVID-19 outbreak, a mortgage relief program may be able to help.

NOTE: Due to the number of homeowners impacted by the coronavirus crisis, many lenders are experiencing unprecedented call volumes. Check or log in to your lender’s website to see the most current customer service options.

Lender (click name for more details)Contact information
Ally866-401-4742
Alterra Home Loans (PHH)800-936-8705
Bank of America800-669-6607
BB&T (Truist)800-295-5744 (existing loans)
800-827-3722, option 9 (facing hardship)
800-827-3722, option 6 (already working with a third party to receive mortgage assistance)
Better.com415-523-8837
BNC National Bank800-262-2265
Caliber Home Loans800-401-6587
Carrington Mortgage800-561-4567
Chase800-848-9380
Citi855-839-6253
Flagstar Bank800-393-4887
Guaranteed Rate800-263-4159 (if you receive statements from Chicago, IL)
866-397-7238 (if you receive statements from another city or are not sure where your mortgage is serviced)
Guild Mortgage800-365-4884
Homebridge866-913-2951
loanDepot877-420-4526 (if you receive statements from Newark, NJ)
866-258-6572 (if you receive statements from Chicago, IL, or are not sure where your mortgage is serviced)
Mr. Cooper888-480-2432
Navy Federal Credit Union888-842-6328
NBKC Bank866-397-5370
Network Capital800-300-0018
New American Funding800-893-5304
PNC800-822-5626
Quicken Loans800-863-4332
Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans888-452-8179
SoFi855-622-3198
SunTrust (Truist)800-634-7928 (existing loans)
800-443-1032 (facing hardship)
855-223-4680 (already working with a third party to receive mortgage assistance)
U.S. Bank888-287-7817
Veterans First (WinTrust)866-718-7899
Veterans United833-593-5026
Vylla (Carrington)800-561-4567
Wells Fargo800-219-9739

Verify your mortgage type

The kind of mortgage you have may determine what type of assistance is available to you.

  • The government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac deal with conventional loans.
  • The Federal Housing Administration insures FHA loans.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees VA loans.

Each of these entities has issued guidelines for lenders around mortgage relief, including forbearance, loan modification and suspension of foreclosures.

You can find out if your mortgage is backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae using the loan look-up tools on their websites.

To verify whether you have an FHA or VA loan, find your closing documents (either hard copies or electronic versions) and look for the Closing Disclosure. In the upper right of the first page of this document, under “Loan Information,” you’ll see checkboxes indicating your mortgage type: conventional, FHA or VA. If you can’t locate this document, try looking at your monthly mortgage statement or contacting your lender at the phone number listed on the statement.

» MORE: What to do if you can’t pay your mortgage

Mortgage forbearance programs during the COVID-19 outbreak

The GSEs and government agencies that back certain home loans have announced forbearance plans specific to the coronavirus pandemic. Forbearance lets you make a reduced payment or no payment at all for a set amount of time. Interest accrues, and the skipped amount needs to be paid after the forbearance period ends.

Here are the mortgage forbearance programs available to homeowners affected by COVID-19:

Freddie Mac

Borrowers are eligible for up to 12 months of forbearance, which will not be reported to credit bureaus. Late fees and penalties for missed payments are waived, although it’s better to work with your lender to set up a forbearance plan than to simply miss a payment.

Find more info on the Freddie Mac website.

Fannie Mae

Borrowers are eligible for up to 12 months of reduced or suspended mortgage payments. Loans in forbearance won’t incur late fees or be reported to the credit bureaus — so if your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae, be sure to contact your lender before you miss a payment. After the forbearance period, repayment plans will maintain or reduce monthly payments.

See more on Fannie Mae’s website.

FHA

If you have an FHA loan and your ability to pay has been affected by the economic downturn, contact your lender to discuss your options. The FHA always has several mortgage relief programs in place. This includes standard mortgage forbearance lasting up to six months and special forbearance for unemployment (which can last a year or more). Forbearance is typically reported to credit bureaus, though in a statement the FHA encouraged lenders to “consider the impacts of COVID-19 on borrowers’ financial situations.”

Find more info on the HUD website.

VA

The VA has not implemented new policies for the current situation, but has encouraged VA lenders to help borrowers impacted by COVID-19 utilize existing mortgage relief programs. This includes special forbearance, the duration of which can vary based on the homeowner’s situation. The VA has also urged lenders to waive late charges and suspend credit bureau reporting, but this is not currently required.

See mortgage assistance information on the VA website.

NerdWallet Guide to COVID-19

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Loan modification options related to effects of coronavirus

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are allowing lenders to offer loan modifications typically reserved for homeowners who are victims of natural disasters. Contact your lender to understand your loan modification options. Depending on your employment outlook, a Flex Modification, which is offered by both GSEs, may be another option.

If you have an FHA loan or a VA loan, talk to your lender about loan modification options. Both agencies offer this type of mortgage assistance, but to date, neither has altered its usual programs specifically to assist homeowners impacted by the outbreak.

» MORE: Understanding mortgage loan modifications

Contact your lender to get mortgage relief

No matter what type of loan you have, contact your lender directly if you are worried about paying your mortgage. You don’t have to wait until you are delinquent on your mortgage, and calling before you’ve missed a payment will likely give you more mortgage relief options.

Here’s what you should have ready when you call your lender:

  • An estimate of your current income (and future income, if you anticipate that it may change).
  • An estimate of your current monthly expenses.
  • Your most recent mortgage statement.
  • Documentation of what caused your situation to change.

Beware of third parties offering mortgage assistance. Look for help from your lender, not from other organizations offering mortgage relief. If you want to get advice about talking to your lender, find a HUD-approved financial counselor on the HUD website. These counselors offer no-cost assistance, and can help you feel better prepared to call your lender.

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