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Item Description – The last couple of months have been a whirlwind of uncertainty for people around the world. In the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has created controversy and hardship. Job losses are on the rise as many businesses lay off workers or close permanently. There seems to be no end in sight with an influx of bankruptcy filings on the horizon.Another 3.8 million U.S. workers lost their jobs last week. While the layoff numbers are starting to slow down, it’s still a worrying situation. In a mere six weeks, 30 million people in America have applied for unemployment benefits. That number is still growing.The U.S. labor department released a report that showed the fourth consecutive week of declining unemployment claims. That’s a good thing, but it doesn’t help the millions who are out of work. The current figures do not count everyone, as some states struggle to catch up on a backlog of claims after being overwhelmed by a wave of unemployment applications. If you are one of those American workers trying to find a way to get by with little to no income, you need to know your rights and what lenders can and cannot do. The situation has changed, and so have some of the rules and regulations that govern rent and mortgage payments.HUD Suspends Evictions and Foreclosures for 60 DaysThe government has acknowledged the recent COVID-19 related hardships hitting the country and have taken some steps to provide relief. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) along with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Coronavirus Task Force announced on March 18th, 2020 that an immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium was in effect immediately for the next 60 days.The moratorium applies to single-family homes with FHA-insured mortgages. It includes FHA-insured Title II Single Family forward and Home Equity Conversion (reverse) mortgages. Lenders are directed to halt all new foreclosure action and suspend actions that are in progress. All evictions of people living in an FHA-insured single-family property are also ordered to stop until the moratorium is lifted.The order would last through mid-May. There has been no word on whether it will be extended beyond that at this time. What Should I Do If I Can’t Afford to Pay My Mortgage?Even once social distancing requirements are lifted, people will have a hard time financially. Income won’t appear overnight, and many people are stuck searching for new jobs that may be scarce for a while.What can you do if you cannot afford to pay your mortgage because of the coronavirus pandemic? If you were current on payments when the shutdown started, then you may have several options.If your mortgage was guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, then you should contact your loan provider. Let them know about your recent hardships caused by COVID-19 and request repayment options. Most are being flexible by accepting a forbearance or other options. Some states offer additional solutions for tenants and homeowners. For example, California has enacted a 90-day grace period for residents. Governor Newsome and five federally charted banks that handle home loans as well as over 200 smaller banks and credit unions have agreed to waive mortgage payments for the next three months, regardless of income level. No fees or penalties will be applied, and credit scores will not be affected.Planning for the Future After COVID-19Eventually, people should be able to return to work. That means financial obligations will be reinstated and you will have to continue paying your debts. You should be aware of how much you will be expected to pay and when those amounts will be due. In some cases, you may have to repay the difference if your mortgage was reduced or suspended. This may be done as a lump sum or added to monthly payments. Many people may still struggle if they have to find new employment after the pandemic.When that time nears, you should stay in contact with your mortgage lender and keep them apprised of your situation. They may be willing to provide options to allow you to catch up without falling further behind. Also, make sure you take advantage of unemployment benefits if you qualify. These may not cover everything, but they can help you pay off important bills and will make it easier to catch up when the moratorium is lifted. You will have to consult your state’s employment department to find out if you are eligible and how to apply.Protecting Your Assets After COVID-19You need to ensure that you are protected now and after the COVID-19 outbreak has ended. Make sure you gather information from reputable sources and are aware of your rights and obligations as a borrower. If you are struggling with debt or expect to face hardships in the future, a bankruptcy lawyer may be able to help. They can advise you on what could happen, and your options should you be unable to pay back debts. Visit now to find experienced bankruptcy attorneys in your area who are helping people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

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