If it feels like mortgage and renter’s relief extensions are a “moving target” it’s because that’s the reality we’ve been experiencing for a year and a half.
COVID-era programs have been ongoing to help consumers with rental relief through the Emergency Rental Assistance and now homeowners via the Homeowner Assistance Funds, as well as forbearance/and often deferment for government-backed mortgages.
Even with the uncertainties related to extensions of some programs, it’s important to remember that the programs offer temporary relief and do not provide forgiveness. Once programs expire and assistance ends, if an initial COVID-related hardship is not resolved or if your income hasn’t recovered, you may face stress and uncertainty when it comes to staying in your home.
Getting on Solid Ground
Getting a handle on a household’s monthly budget will be critical as relief programs end and payments start back up again. That means tracking expenses and income each month and understanding how to budget for the start of payments.
A first stop to reduce stress is to contact the 995 HOPE Hotline for free housing counseling to develop a game-plan for the unique mortgage or rent situation each person faces.
Our counselors can help guide you to explore assistance options such as loan modifications /forbearance/repayment plans with loan servicers or other options to work with a landlord.
In addition, we can assist people with information on the process they need to follow, and if appropriate, we can initiate a tri-party call with the servicer to initiate a workout request and get people on a path toward repayment.
Counselors can also provide you with access to community organizations as well as state or federal programs that may be available for help.
For a further look at steps to take now, check out the article “Now’s the Time to Be Proactive.”
Resources for Homeowners
Even if there is further news of extended debt relief, take this opportunity to be proactive, learn more about your finances, put a plan in place, and access resources for the future.
- Use this forbearance plan to manage expenses, finances, and prepare for when the temporary pause ends.
- 995 HOPE counselors are ready to explore options to help your situation, like repaying any amount not paid during forbearance, avoiding foreclosure, and maintaining your reverse mortgage.
- States have already rolled out rental relief/payment assistance programs with funds received from the Homeowner Assistance Fund.
- See the www.consumerfinance.gov website under the consumer education section. This is a one-stop resource that lists out mortgage assistance programs by location.
- Consumers can also check out the National Council of State Housing Agencies website www.nchfa.org for more details on mortgage assistance programs.
Resources for Renters
State and local organizations are distributing federal rental assistance in their communities. The money can help renters who are struggling to keep up with rent and other bills.
- Visit this website provided by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau to find your local program. If you find more than one program, start with the closest one to your home.
- Check out our list of additional articles and resources for renters.
HOPE in the Face of Uncertainty
With uncertainty about mortgage forbearance and rental extensions, now is the time to put a plan in place to secure your home and your future.
Everyone impacted by the end of relief programs needs a plan before they’re forced to make decisions.
995Hope offers resources to help improve your financial health and keep you on a productive path, regardless of the challenges you might face.
Working one-on-one with homeowners and renters, you receive free, confidential and comprehensive financial and foreclosure prevention education through our national Homeowner’s HOPE™ hotline – 1-888-995-HOPE™ (4673).