In these difficult times, many Florida homeowners are worried about how they will be able to make their mortgage payments. Fortunately, the federal government has offered some relief.
One important aspect of the massive Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress is its mortgage relief for homeowners.
The provisions apply to homeowners who have federally-backed mortgages. These include mortgages backed by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, FHA and USDA. More than 50% of the residential mortgages in the country fall into this category.
Qualifying borrowers can apply for 180 days of mortgage deferral, followed by another 180 of forbearance. meaning they have extra time to make their payments without fearing foreclosure.
The CARES Act does not set the same requirements for private mortgage lenders. However, private lenders are encouraged to cut residential mortgage borrowers some slack during the current crisis. In fact, many private lenders may be open to the possibility of renegotiating residential mortgage terms during these uncertain times.
Homeowners who are concerned about their ability to make their mortgage payments and worry that they will face foreclosure can talk to an attorney with experience in debt relief. An experienced attorney can deliver sound advice to clients, guide them through the bureaucracy and paperwork involved, represent homeowners in negotiations with lenders and help them in legal matters.
For some borrowers, personal bankruptcy may offer the best protection from creditors and can even help them stop foreclosure. The CARES Act gives homeowners a little more time to work out the details, but concerned borrowers should speak to an attorney as soon as they can to begin the work of protecting themselves and their homes.