In support of National Consumer Protection Week 2021, the Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) provides the following information. Additional information on this topic and more is available online from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Visit RMAI’s webpage for Consumers for more National Consumer Protection Week articles — like finding help for rent payments.
The COVID–19 pandemic has upended the lives of millions of Americans. From the loss of life to the loss of jobs, the virus has caused unimaginable personal and financial injury, and for many the loss of their home. If you are struggling to make payments on a mortgage or pay your rent, you have options available to you.
Keeping Up with Your Mortgage Payments:
Most mortgages are managed by companies called servicers. Servicers are the companies that send you coupon books, collect your payments and charge late payment fees if you do not pay your mortgage on time. They are also the people you should call if you are having a hard time keeping up with your mortgage payments.
If your loan is backed by HUD/FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac, you only need to explain that you have a COVID-related financial hardship, directly or indirectly related to the pandemic. Even for those loans not backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or the federal government, mortgage servicers are generally required to discuss relief options with you.
If you are facing financial hardships and need forbearance, you should ask for forbearance immediately.
If your loan is backed by HUD/FHA, USDA, or VA, the deadline for requesting an initial forbearance is June 30, 2021. If your loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, there is not currently a deadline for requesting an initial forbearance.
If you already have a forbearance plan and need more time, you can request an extension. If your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or the federal government, you are entitled to a 180-day extension of your COVID hardship forbearance if you request it.
- If your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac: You may request up to two additional three-month extensions, up to a maximum of 18 months of total forbearance. But to qualify, you must be in a COVID hardship forbearance plan as of February 28, 2021.
- If your mortgage is backed by FHA, USDA, or VA: You may request up to two additional three-month extensions, for up to a maximum of 18 months of total forbearance. But to qualify, you must have started a forbearance plan on or before June 30, 2020. Not all borrowers will qualify for the maximum. Check with your servicer about the options available.
For more information about your rights and your options visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website and check out the following resources.:
- Help for homeowners and renters during the coronavirus national emergency
- Find out which relief you may qualify for
Federal Coronavirus Resources
About the Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.
About Receivables Management Association International:
Receivables Management Association International (RMAI) is a nonprofit trade association representing more than 550 companies that purchase or support the purchase of performing and nonperforming receivables on the secondary market. The Receivables Management Certification Program and Code of Ethics set the global standard within the receivables industry due to the rigorous uniform standards of best practice which focus on the protecting consumers. More information about RMAI is available at www.rmaintl.org.