Monday, February 22, 2021

Extended Foreclosure Moratorium Will Help Homeowners

While one of President Biden’s first executive orders was to extend the foreclosure moratorium until the end of March, it is important for homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure to know that the moratorium has been further extended. According to a recent CNBC report, government mortgage forbearance programs have been extended for at least “an additional six months” along with foreclosure relief programs. According to the report, the extension will cover approximately 70% of mortgages for single-family homes across the country. If you have lost your job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and you are concerned about the possibility of foreclosure, it is critical to learn about your current options under the federal programs and to seek long-term advice from an Oak Park foreclosure defense attorney about options to help you stay in your home.

Details of the Extended Foreclosure Relief Measures

Recognizing that homeowners throughout the U.S. are struggling to pay their bills, including their mortgages, as a result of the pandemic-related economic downturn, President Biden extended foreclosure relief measures to help homeowners who cannot pay their mortgages and may be at risk of foreclosure. According to the report, President Biden directed federal housing regulators—including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Agriculture—to do the following:
  • Extend the existing foreclosure ban (also known as a foreclosure moratorium) through June 2021;
  • Allow homeowners to enroll in available mortgage payment forbearance programs through June 2021; and
  • Extend existing mortgage forbearance programs for homeowners for six more months for those homeowners who entered into a mortgage forbearance program prior to June 30, 2020, but those homeowners will need to “request the additional extension every three months,” according to the report.
Matthew Ammon, the acting HUD secretary, explained how these steps “will provide both immediate relief to those in desperate need of assistance and help more homeowners keep their homes and resume their payments when the pandemic subsides.”

Who Owns Your Mortgage?

It is important to know that the relief options are only applicable to federally owned and federally backed mortgages. As such, if you want to take advantage of any of the relief options, you will need to know who owns your mortgage. Given that mortgages are often sold and resold with some regularity, it can be difficult to know if you are eligible for any of the programs mentioned above. How can you find out who owns your mortgage?

You can use a loan lookup tool offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to determine if either owns your loan, and you can also contact your mortgage servicer to inquire. As of February 2021, approximately 2.7 million homeowners are currently taking advantage of a mortgage forbearance plan, whether it is through the federal government or through a specific mortgage servicer or lender.

Seek Advice From an Oak Park Foreclosure Defense Attorney

If you need help with your options to avoid foreclosure, one of our experienced Oak Park foreclosure defense attorneys can speak with you today. From available foreclosure moratorium options to the possibility of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, our firm can discuss options for stopping foreclosure and remaining in your home. Contact the Emerson Law Firm to learn more.

See Related Blog Posts:

Foreclosure Ban Extended

Cook County Anticipates Wave of Foreclosures and Evictions

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Foreclosure Ban Extended

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in substantial hardships for many families in Oak Park and throughout the country, including difficulties paying rent or paying the mortgage. Early on in the pandemic, many homeowners who were at risk of losing their homes were able to avoid foreclosure through a foreclosure ban. While mortgages that are not federally backed have required homeowners to attempt to work out mortgage modifications or other arrangements with lenders to prevent foreclosure, President Biden recently signed an executive order that will extend a ban on foreclosures and evictions at least through the end of March.

What does the extension on the foreclosure ban mean for you? If you are not covered by the extended foreclosure ban or need assistance with foreclosure avoidance after March, what can you do?

Getting More Information About President Biden’s Foreclosure Actions

The most recent stimulus bill extended protections through the end of January, according to a recent article in CNN Business, and President Biden’s executive order will extend those protections for federally backed mortgages until March 31. In addition, according to the article, President Biden asked the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to “accept applications for forbearance for federally guaranteed mortgages until that time as well.”

For anyone with a federally backed or federally guaranteed mortgage, the recent actions taken by the president could provide more temporary relief. Yet as the article points out, some “administration officials say the bans on evictions and foreclosures are not enough.” Moreover, as we pointed out, homeowners who do not have federally backed or federally guaranteed mortgages are not covered. Approximately 70% of all U.S. mortgages are federally backed, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. Illinois protections have also been able to help homeowners with private mortgages. That article reports that about 1.28 million Illinois households say that they are unable to pay their mortgages, which is approximately one-third of all Illinois residents who have mortgages.

What You Should Do if You Cannot Pay Your Mortgage

If your mortgage is not covered by an existing foreclosure ban and you could be at risk of foreclosure due to the inability to make mortgage payments, you should find out about options by speaking with an Oak Park foreclosure defense attorney. You may be able to prevent foreclosure with actions such as:
  • Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy;
  • Seeking a mortgage loan modification;
  • Requesting a forbearance from the lender; or
  • Refinance your mortgage if you are not already significantly behind on payments.
Contact an Oak Park Foreclosure Defense Lawyer

Being unable to make your mortgage payments can be incredibly stressful, especially when you are concerned that you may be at risk of foreclosure. There are many different options that may be available to you to avoid foreclosure, even if your mortgage is not one of the federally backed mortgages included in the recent extension of the foreclosure ban. Do you have questions about avoiding foreclosure in Illinois? One of the experienced Oak Park foreclosure defense attorneys at our firm can help you. Contact the Emerson Law Firm to learn more about the services we provide to homeowners and other consumers in and around Oak Park.

See Related Blog Posts:
Cook County Anticipates Wave of Foreclosures and Evictions
What Can I Do to Avoid Foreclosure During the COVID-19 Pandemic?