Mortgage Relief During Covid
Connecticut Homeowners:If you are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, the federal government is offering relief options to homeowners through the recently passed CARES Act. In addition, for those borrowers who do not qualify, many banks and credit unions in Connecticut are offering relief consumers may qualify for. Please read the information below provided carefully, in order to determine which option meets your needs.Watch this helpful video by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: CARES Act Mortgage Forbearance: What You Need to Know
If you are able to pay your mortgage, continue to pay as usual.
If you cannot pay your mortgage, immediately contact your mortgage servicer or financial institution. Please note that mortgage servicers are getting a lot of calls from homeowners experiencing difficulties due to the pandemic, and wait times are much longer than usual. Be prepared to wait, and also check your companies website for online options.
What options do you qualify for?
Your mortgage relief options depend on who owns or backs your mortgage.
Find out if your mortgage is federally backed. The majority of mortgage loans in the state are owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or guaranteed by other federal agencies like the Federal Housing Authority or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which are entities sponsored by the federal government. All these entities have options for homeowners impacted by the Coronavirus.
If your mortgage is federally-backed:
What Else Do I Need To Know Before Starting A Home Repair
Tips for Hiring a Contractor
Finding a good contractor to do repairs and improvements to your home is important. Before hiring a contractor, get tips from the Federal Trade Commission on avoiding home improvement scams. Also, find out how you can report a problem, if you encounter any issues with work you’ve had done on your home.
Watch Out for Utility Lines Before You Dig – Call 811
Before digging on your property, . Utilities will come out to mark the area to help you avoid damaging or being injured by underground utility lines. The timing for processing your request differs from state to state. Some states allow for an online digging request.
How Will The Homeowner Assistance Fund Be Used
The HAF prioritizes funds for homeowners who have experienced the greatest hardship in an effort to:
- Prevent mortgage delinquencies, defaults, and foreclosures, by providing financial assistance
- Avoid loss of utilities or home energy services, through payment assistance
- Assist homeowners who have experienced a financial hardship after January 21, 2020
- Cover qualified expenses for a homeowner’s primary residence
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Helping Homeowners Determine Their Best Options
HAF payments can help struggling homeowners address financial hardships related to the pandemic. However, temporary financial assistance through the HAF program is just one option available. For instance, if a homeowner would be unable to keep up with regular mortgage payments once HAF assistance ends, that homeowner might be better served by first exploring loss-mitigation options such as a loan modification to lower the interest rate or lengthen the payment term. Housing counseling and plain language education materials can help homeowners determine the best option for them.
Provincial Home Improvement Grants
Many of the provinces across Canada have certain grant programs in place to incentivize their citizens to increase the energy efficiency of their homes and decrease their overall footprint. Many also have programs in place to help seniors with home improvement.
Each province has different eligibility and program details. Ive linked the appropriate pages for you to start exploring the programs in your province.
|For the Main Directory of Energy Efficiency and Alternative Energy Programs in Canada, go here.|
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What Kind Of Grants Can I Get
New construction and existing home purchases are both included in these housing grants, as are grants that cover closing costs and renovations. You can find homeowner education for free with grants that are designed to assist homeowners in managing their homes once purchased, including training you how to set up a household budget and manage your finances.
Government housing grants can be obtained for anywhere in the U.S., and in cities, suburban areas, or rural locations.
Specific types of grants can be found for:
- Mobile homes or parks
- 1st-time home buyers
- New construction
What Is A Forbearance Plan
If you own your home and are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, you may be able to receive a forbearance plan.
Entering into a forbearance plan can give you some financial breathing room. A forbearance plan doesnt erase the amount you owe on a mortgage, but it temporarily suspends or reduces your mortgage payment until your hardship is over. At the end of the forbearance plan, you must repay what you missed, but necessarily not all at once.
Talk with your servicer about your situation, so they can help you and give you the best mortgage relief option for your situation.
If you were current on your loan before you started a forbearance plan or another accommodation covered by the CARES Act, you will be reported as current to the credit bureau as long as you continue to make payments as required by the plan youre set up in, or as long as no payments are required under the plan.
Fannie Mae can help you learn more about what to expect on a forbearance plan and when youre ready to move forward, you can start here.
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How Can I Get Free Money To Renovate My House
You can take advantage of one of the hundreds of programs in Canada to increase the energy efficiency of your home.
Do note that most home improvement grant programs in Canada do not give you free money to renovate your house for aesthetic or purely comfort reasons.
Their purpose is to increase the energy efficiency of your home to aid in environmental goals and save you money on your utility bills, and have strict criteria on the types of retrofits you must execute.
The biggest program in Canada, the Canada Greener Homes Grant, reimburses you up to $5,600 on eligible retrofit activities. You must check your eligibility before going ahead with the plans in order to make sure that you can in fact get reimbursed for your expenses.
If you are a senior in Canada , your province may have special programs in place to make you feel safer and more independent within your own home.
Such programs may give you very favourable loans or even grants to install things such as handrails and bathtub grab bars in your primary residence. Please see the above list for available programs in your province.
Offer A Range Of Suitable Refinancing Products And Emergency Loans
A number of state and local housing finance agencies have developed special loan products to prevent foreclosures among families that cannot qualify for traditional refinancing products and have not been able to modify their existing loans to make them more affordable. Foreclosure prevention loans take a variety of different forms that all aim to help families stay in their homes whenever possible. Depending on local needs and resources, this may involve silent second mortgages and shared appreciation loans, low-interest refinance loans and short-term emergency loans.
Short-term emergency loans
In cases of temporary financial hardship, a small amount of assistance may make a large difference for a family. Housing finance agencies can craft these emergency loans to meet local needs and economic realities. Small and/or short-term loans are not capable of preventing foreclosure for every family, but they play an important role in a communitys overall foreclosure prevention strategy by helping families stabilize their finances before delinquencies get out of control. Temporary financial assistance products are often designed to help families retain stable housing during unemployment or sudden losses of income. During the Great Recession, unemployment problems lasted for extended periods of time. The assistance provided by short-term loan programs was similar to deeper assistance approaches, such as silent second mortgages.
Make low-interest refinance loans available
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What If I Don’t Get The Money
First, if you’re waiting for an answer on your application from the Homeowner Assistance Fund, you should contact your mortgage servicer and let them know, especially if you’re facing foreclosure, experts say.
All struggling homeowners are encouraged to seek help from a housing counselor approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Fha Supports Fair Housing And Equal Opportunity
HUD is committed to enforcing the Fair Housing Act and to ensuring that people are not discriminated against when they seek housing or housing-related services. If you need assistance in determining your rights under the Fair Housing Act or applicable laws, or believe you have been a victim of housing discrimination and need assistance, we encourage you to review the information on HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity webpage.
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How Homeowner Assistance Funding Works
Treasury is authorized under the American Rescue Plan to provide a HAF award to:
- Tribes or their TDHEs
- Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
HAF programs distribute assistance to eligible homeowners to cover qualified expenses related to mortgages and housing.
Depending on the program, homeowners may use the HAF assistance for expenses such as, mortgage payments , property taxes, homeowners insurance, homeowners association fees, utilities , internet service, and certain home repairs.
Find out more information about how HAF programs work on the interagency housing portal hosted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau .
Avoiding Scams And Bad Actors
Beware of coronavirus-related scams
Submit a complaint
If you have a problem with a consumer financial product or service, you can try reaching out to the company first. Companies can usually answer questions unique to your situation and more specific to the products and services they offer. We can also help you connect with the company if you have a complaint. You can submit to the CFPB online or by calling .
For renters: See more about filing a complaint about discrimination or against a landlord
Federal laws prohibit housing discrimination. The protections they offer differ somewhat depending on whether you own or rent your home.
If you own your home, lenders and servicers may not discriminate against you for mortgage servicing practices such as forbearance and loan modifications based on your race, color, religion, national origin, sex , marital status, age, family status , disability, whether you are receiving money from a public assistance program, or whether you are exercising your rights under certain consumer protection and fair housing laws. If you believe a lender or mortgage servicer has discriminated against you, you generally can submit a complaint with the CFPB or file a fair housing complaint with HUD. More information on fair lending and protections against discrimination can be found on the and HUDs websites.
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Health Insurance Through The Health Insurance Marketplace
What help is available?
HealthCare.gov helps you find insurance options, compare care, learn about preventive services, and more. If your employer does not offer insurance, you’re self-employed, or you want to buy your own insurance, you can get it through the Marketplace. The Health Insurance Marketplace offers health, vision, and dental insurance for you and your family.
Am I eligible?
Everyone is eligible for health insurance through the Marketplace. You may also qualify for subsidies to help pay your premiums. If youve experienced a life change like childbirth or loss of a job, you may be able to make changes to your insurance in a special enrollment period.
How do I apply?
How you apply for a plan in the Health Insurance Marketplace depends on what plan you choose. Learn more about applying.
How do I complain or where do I call for extra help?
Visit the Health Insurance Marketplace’s top questions section for more help with finding or applying for health care. To file a complaint, call .
Is there anything else I need to know?
If you need more help getting or paying for medical care, try these resources:
You may qualify for financial assistance programs to help with eye exams, surgery, prescriptions, or glasses.
If you are uninsured or underinsured and must seek emergency medical treatment:
What Are Home Improvement/retrofit Grants And Loans
Home improvement and retrofit grants are a way to incentivize Canadians to decrease the carbon emission of their home by increasing their energy efficiency.
The built environment, which includes our homes, office buildings and urban spaces, accounts for nearly 20% of Canadas greenhouse gas emissions .
This is certainly not a small amount that can be ignored, especially in the move towards Canadas goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 while creating sound jobs in every region of the country.
Home improvement can be a crucial aspect of moving toward a society that has a lighter footprint on planet Earth.
In addition to its climate benefits, an energy-efficient home has the potential to save its inhabiting household hundreds or thousands of dollars per year in energy bills, improve their homes resale value and provide a more comfortable home environment .
In Canada, there exists one main federal grant program that was launched in 2021 , along with smaller provincial programs across the country.
Some home improvement programs are available exclusively to seniors in Canada to increase their safety and independence in their respective homes.
Lets go through the various home improvement grants to see which ones you could take advantage of as a Canadian.
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Federal Home Improvement Grants
The Canada Greener Homes Grant was launched in early-mid 2021 to help Canadians make their homes more energy-efficient.
Through achieving this energy efficiency, the government aims to achieve multiple things: assist Canada in lowering its GHG emissions to net-zero by 2050, make Canadian homes are more comfortable and affordable to maintain and create more green jobs that are a part of Canadas just and green economy.
Free Grants And Grant Scams
If you receive information stating you qualify for a “free grant,” it’s probably a scam. Get information from the Federal Trade Commission so you can better recognize and avoid grant scams. If you have been a victim of a grant scam, you can file a complaint with the FTC.
Contact your state consumer protection office if you have purchased a book or paid a fee to get grant information and are not satisfied.
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What Does It Cover
For qualified homeowners who are past due on mortgage and housing-related payments by at least 30 days, the fund offers:
- Housing payment assistance for primary residence in North Carolina .
- Assistance for mortgage reinstatement to catch up on late payments or other housing-related costs due to a period of forbearance, delinquency or default.
- Assistance covering other housing-related costs such as homeowners insurance, flood insurance, mortgage insurance, homeowners association dues/fees or delinquent property taxes to prevent foreclosure.
There is no cost required to participate in the NC Homeowner Assistance Fund.
Can The Homeowner Assistance Fund Help Me
You may be eligible for financial assistance from the federal government through the Homeowner Assistance Fund. Homeowners facing financial challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for part of the Funds more than $9 billion available via mortgage assistance programs administered by state and local entities. Learn more about state-level programs at ncsha.org/homeowner-assistance-fund/
Contact your mortgage servicer to discuss your situation, make them aware of your plans to request assistance, and ensure you are taking advantage of other mortgage relief options such as forbearance and payment deferrals.
Learn more about the Homeowner Assistance Fund from the HUD-approved housing counselors at Fannie Maes Disaster Response Network at 877-542-9723.
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Understanding How To Structure Refinancing Options
The shared appreciation approach has several benefits. First, it allows families to stay in their homes at a monthly payment they can afford. Second, it provides a means for reimbursing the government or the lender for the costs associated with providing the second mortgage. Third, it preserves the incentives for the family to keep up the property and realize as high as possible a sales price. Finally, since the repayment of the second mortgage is based on a share of the sales proceeds rather than a set interest rate, it avoids the problem of the family owing more than the value of the home.
Under a shared appreciation approach to foreclosure prevention, a mortgage held by an at-risk borrower is split into two mortgages. The first is a standard 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with payments at a level the family can afford. The balance of the original mortgage is converted into a silent second mortgage in which no payments are due until the home is resold . Upon sale of the home, the buyer repays the primary mortgage , plus a share of the remaining proceeds, which goes to satisfy the silent second mortgage.
Who Do I Contact For Extra Help With Lifeline
Your local phone company has the responsibility of helping you apply for Lifeline. They can also help you resolve any issues with your Lifeline service. To call them, look up your company’s contact information.
If you need more help or your company isnt responding, contact the Lifeline Support Center.
- Find companies that offer Lifeline-supported service
- Look up which company you are using
- Help if your company refuses to help you or is unresponsive
- Answer questions about how the program works
- Replace lost or broken handsets
- Help you get specific information about your service plan
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