For most people, the largest investment they’ll ever make is purchasing a home. And even though we try to plan for the unexpected, people certainly didn’t know the impact that COVID-19 would have on every aspect of their daily lives. With that in mind, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) has compiled a list of actions for homeowners to take to help protect their investment in during this uncertain time.
Talk to Your Lender. Talking to the lender or “loan servicer” that collects the payments should be one of your first steps. Here are some options you should discuss.
Forbearance. Lenders may let you make a partial payment or skip payments. However, you’ll have to repay any missed or reduced payments in the future. Forbearance does not erase what you owe, it’s important to remember this.
Reinstatement. Reinstatement refers to making a payment that covers all your late payments, usually at the end of a forbearance period.
Repayment Plan. If you can’t afford reinstatement, but can start making payments to catch up, the lender may let you pay an additional amount each month until you are caught up.
Loan Modification. Your lender may agree to amend your mortgage. One of the options is your lender might offer is adding all the missed payments to the loan amount & increasing the monthly payment to cover the larger loan. Perhaps they will give you more years to pay off the loan, lowering the interest rate, and/or forgiving part of the loan, to lower your monthly payment. Lenders might have you switch from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate mortgage, so you aren’t exposed to increases in your monthly payment.
For additional guidance and resources, download the full “Protecting Your Investment” brochure at gcar.net/covid-19. In addition, there you will find other resources related to COVID-19. Utilizing a Realtor can help you during this time to protect your current and future investments. That’s Who We R®.