Homeownership Guidance, Advice and Blogs

As the Director of Affiliate Relations at HomeFree-USA, I’ve always been fascinated with how people handle their money. Like everyone else, I’ve had my financial ups and downs. In fact, it took me 32 months to pay off $32,000 in credit card bills and build up a six-month emergency fund. While that was a very difficult period, I am grateful – and wiser -- for the experience.

Through my personal experiences and working at HomeFree-USA, I’ve gained a ton of insight that I feel compelled to share. You’ll find those lessons here. Feel free to take the thoughts and ideas that resonate with you most and put aside the rest for later. I look forward to sharing my journey.

Your Forbearance is Up, Now What

Forbearance may have helped you get through this pandemic. However, it won’t last forever. At a point forbearance will come to an end and you will have to begin making mortgage payments again. If your forbearance period is about to expire, consider these tips from HomeFree-USA.

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law in March, some homeowners who were impacted by the pandemic were able to request forbearance -- the temporary suspension of their monthly mortgage payments.

In doing so, homeowners could defer a few payments while they got back on stable financial footing.

However, forbearance doesn’t last forever. At a point it will come to an end and you will have to begin making payments again. If your forbearance period is about to expire, consider these tips from Gary Plummer, senior homeownership advisor for HomeFree-USA.

Make sure it can’t be extended.  If you’ve requested a forbearance because of a COVID-19- related issue and you have a federally-backed loan such as an FHA, VA or USDA loan, or one backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, The CARES Act extends to the end of the year, Plummer points out. If you are still struggling financially, don’t be afraid to ask for more time.

Get written confirmation of any changes. If you find out that you can extend your forbearance and choose to do so, make sure your servicer sends you a letter confirming that your forbearance will be ongoing. “If you don't get that letter of confirmation, when you don’t pay, they may assume that you've missed your first payment,” Plummer says.

Find out your next steps. Your servicer will be able to let you know what happens after you come out of forbearance. You may be able to choose from a number of options, including spreading out missed payments in a repayment plan, deferring the missed payments to the end of the loan and getting a loan modification. The choice you make will depend on what works best for your financial situation. 

Get HomeFree-USA involved. Why should you deal with all those questions about forbearance alone when you don’t have to? HomeFree-USA can look at your unique situation and help you figure out the best steps you can take to make sure you get your mortgage situation back on track and move past this financial crisis.

The Year 2020 ushered in a once-in-a-lifetime crisis. HomeFree-USA can help you move on to better days.