Many homeowners have faced their own financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, there was an opportunity for those who found it difficult to make mortgage payments – patience…
Under the CARES Act, a massive coronavirus relief bill that was signed at the start of the pandemic, any homeowner struggling financially can be patient. With a deferral, payments on a home loan were allowed to be suspended for up to 18 months.
Because many homeowners put their mortgage on abstinence in the spring of 2020, in the coming months, many of these loans will have to waive the grace period. If your mortgage falls into this category, there are three important steps you need to take.
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1. Find out if you can start making monthly payments
Your personal finance may have improved over the past 15 months. Or maybe not. Either way, take a look at your budget and see if you can change your mortgage payments after the abstinence period comes to an end. It is better to know this information now than to wait until the due date and then realizing that you cannot do them.
2. Ask your loan officer to change your mortgage.
Are you worried that you won’t be able to handle your mortgage after the grace period expires? If so, perhaps now is the best time to speak with your loan agent about mortgage change, which implies a change in the terms of the mortgage loan.
Your loan officer may agree to extend the repayment period so you have more time to pay off your home, thereby making each monthly payment smaller and easier to manage. Or there might be another arrangement that your loan agent might decide, so it’s worth talking about.
3. See if it’s worth moving
Home values have grown significantly nationally and your home can now be worth a lot more than it did when you started patience. You may have the opportunity to sell your home for a profit or break even and get away with a clean slate. At this point, you can rent a house for a while or buy a house cheaper.
Remember your credit rating will not be affected by the sale of the house. However, it will fall if you short sell (where is your mortgage lender takes a sale price for your home that does not cover the entire balance of your mortgage), or you will be in foreclosure. So before you decide to leave your home, take a look at what its market value looks like and compare it to what you owe on a mortgage.
This fall, many borrowers will not have enough time to defer. If you are one of them, now is the time to get ahead of this situation and make sure that you are ready to deal with it. And if you don’t think you can start paying off your mortgage again, be sure to explore your options sooner rather than later.