Need Help Paying Your Mortgage in Maryland?
COVID-19 has caused companies across the U.S. to close temporarily and furlough or lay off employees. Even with unemployment benefits and direct payments from the government, many Maryland homeowners may still struggle to make ends meet. That means those same Maryland homeowners know they won’t be able to pay their mortgages and are wondering what to do. If you can’t afford the mortgage on your house in Maryland, and think you might need help with your mortgage, what should you do?
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Mortgages
If You Have a Loan on a House in Maryland That’s Backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, What Should You Do?
Forbearance lets Maryland homeowners defer mortgage payments for a period of time without paying a penalty. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are offering homeowners, who have mortgages backed by them, up to 12 months of forbearance if they have lost their jobs or if their income has been reduced due to the coronavirus. Borrowers won’t be charged penalties or late fees, late payments won’t be reported to credit bureaus and foreclosures will be suspended for at least 60 days. Borrowers and loan servicers will work out payment plans after forbearance has ended. So, if this applies to you, don’t just stop paying. Instead call your loan servicer immediately.
Mortgages Through Other Lenders
If You Have a Mortgage in Maryland Through Another Lender, What Should You Do?
If you have a loan that’s not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, contact your lender or loan servicer to find out what options are being offered. If you qualify for a forbearance…in most cases, interest will continue to accrue while you aren’t making payments. Once the forbearance period has ended, your lender may expect a lump sum payment or may offer you other options if you still can’t afford your mortgage. So if this applies to you, call your lender or loan servicer immediately.
Changes to Your Current Loan May be Possible
A loan modification on your current mortgage will allow you to skip payments for a period of time and give you several options to pay later. You might be able to spread out your missed payments and make larger-than-usual monthly payments after you resume paying your mortgage, or you might be able to tack the missed payments onto the end of your mortgage.
Contact Your Lender for Guidance
Get in Touch With Your Lender ASAP
Don’t simply stop paying your mortgage or your other bills—that could lead to penalties, late fees and damage to your credit score. If you won’t be able to pay your mortgage, or think you might not be able to, contact your lender, explain your situation and ask what options are available. Eligibility for forbearance and loan modification depends on each borrower’s specific circumstances.
Plan to be Patient
It Might Take Some Time to Get Answers
Many companies have reduced their staffing levels. Companies also have employees staying home because they are ill, need to take care of family members, or are working remotely. As a result, you may experience long wait times when you call, so be prepared to be patient. If possible, contact the company online to learn about your options and to supply any necessary information.
Se Sure to Follow the Latest Developments
The coronavirus is having major impacts on all areas of life. Citizens, businesses and governments are in the process of figuring out how to deal with those changes. Monitor the news to find out what steps the federal government and Maryland government are taking to help homeowners, and look for letters and emails from your loan servicer explaining your options.
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