Friday, April 3, 2020

Avoiding Foreclosure During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Illinois residents and Americans across the country have lost their jobs—and are continuing to lose their jobs—as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a recent article in The New York Times, job-loss rates are likely to significantly exceed the rate of job loss during the foreclosure crisis of 2008 and the recession. Given that so many Americans are out of work and so quickly, many are unlikely to be able to pay their mortgage payments this month or in the coming months. What can you do to avoid foreclosure?

Federal Freezes on Certain Foreclosures, Mortgage Payment Moratoriums, and Forbearances
As we have already discussed, Trump ordered a freeze on foreclosures and evictions for 60 days last month. According to an article in Bankrate, all of the following government agencies announced foreclosure freezes and eviction freezes, along with some option for forbearance:
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA);
  • Housing and Urban Development (HUD);
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); and
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
For borrowers through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, there are forbearance options that can allow homeowners to have their mortgage payments suspended for up to 12 months if they have experienced economic hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac currently own approximately 50% of mortgages in the U.S. As an article in MarketWatch highlights, however, borrowers will likely need to contact their mortgage servicers in order to be eligible for such a forbearance. Although there are many other issues on most homeowners’ minds right now, it is important to take the time to make the phone call—and likely to wait on hold—to get this relief.

Banks are Also Promising Foreclosure Suspensions and Relief
As the Bankrate article clarifies, specific banks and mortgage servicers have also announced freezes and mortgage payment moratoriums. Ally Bank is issuing a 120-day mortgage payment moratorium, and Bank of America indicated that it planned to offer a suspension of mortgage payments “for eligible borrowers,” although it did not indicate the amount of time for which mortgages would be suspended.

Indeed, a recent report in Forbes also provides a list of banks that are suspending foreclosure activity, typically for a period of 30 to 90 days, during the pandemic. Those banks include:
  • Ally Bank (until July 30);
  • Associated Bank (60 days);
  • Bank of America (90 days);
  • Citizens Bank (60 days);
  • Fifth Third Bank (60 days);
  • First National Bank;
  • Flagstar Bank (through the end of May);
  • Huntington National Bank (through the end of May);
  • KeyBank;
  • Regions Bank (30 days);
  • Santander;
  • TCF Bank (through the end of April);
  • Webster Bank (90 days); and
  • Wells Fargo.
Contact a Foreclosure Defense Lawyer in Oak Park
If you have questions about avoiding foreclosure during this difficult time, an Oak Park foreclosure defense attorney can help. While you are struggling to keep your family healthy and with necessities, you should not have to worry about losing your home. Contact the Emerson Law Firm today to learn more about steps you can take to avoid foreclosure in Oak Park and elsewhere in Chicagoland.

See Related Blog Posts:

Foreclosures Suspended Due to Coronavirus

Five Things to Know About Foreclosure in Illinois


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  2. Thank you for sharing this explanatory information with us.
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