Make Ends Meet: Manage your mortgage payments during COVID-19 crisis

Make Ends Meet: Manage your mortgage payments during COVID-19 crisis

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Homeowners who have lost income because of the coronavirus crisis now fear they may also lose their homes.

April 1 brought along with it fear for many who for the first time may not be able to pay their mortgage.

Two of the nation’s largest home lenders, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, say they are working to help borrowers who have been hurt financially by the coronavirus outbreak. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also are telling lenders to halt foreclosure. As a homeowner, you must also do your part. You cannot just stop paying your mortgage even if you are unemployed or bringing in less money. It is a hard conversation to have, but you must contact your lender.

The worst thing you can do is to not contact your mortgage company. That is the company you send that check to every month. If you have some income coming in, ask your lender if your payments can be lowered to an affordable level on a temporary basis during this hardship. Under forbearance, your loan payments are postponed or reduced, but interest continues to accrue during the period of forbearance. If you do not pay the interest during that period, the interest may be “capitalized,” which means it is added to your principal balance.

Be prepared at some point to repay what you owe. It is important to note that mortgage forbearance is not mortgage forgiveness, meaning you still must pay back what you owe. Decide how you will repay the suspended amount when your forbearance ends. If you try to make a budget now, it could save you stress later. Your lender may allow your missed payments to be divided up over a few months and added to future payments when you are back on your feet. Alternatively, you can ask your bank if the term of the loan can be extended.

Also, workers whose jobs were halted because of COVID-19 are likely to be eligible for unemployment benefits. Make sure you file as soon as possible to get some income flowing in.

Below you will find a list of lenders along with their phone numbers:

Ally Bank: 1-866-401-4742

Bank of America Mortgage Customer Care: 1-800-669-6607

BBVA USA: 844-BBVA-USA (844-228-2872)

Chase: 800-848-9380

Citi: 1-855-839-6253

Comerica Bank: 888-444-9876

TD Bank: 1-800-742-2651 or 1-888-751-9000.

Union Bank: 800-237-0561.

Wells Fargo: 1-800-219-9739

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