Coronavirus Mortgage Payments: What You Should Do First
If your ability to pay your mortgage payments has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, this is what you should do first.
Be sure to check in with the Centers for Disease Control for the latest news and advice. You can find the most recent information as they update regularly.
Please ensure CIS has updated contact information for you, especially your cell phone number and email address. By calling one of our customer service representatives at 205-921-4814, or through our online account management. If at all possible, continue to make your monthly mortgage payments, or at least attempt to make partial payments This provides us the ability to help you and as many customers as possible impacted by this pandemic.
The First of the Month Is Due. Here’s What You Should Know.
Your mortgage payment is due on the first of the month, you have a grace period until the 16th of the month to make your payment without any late fees or reporting to the credit bureau. You can access our website, mobile app or the automated phone system to make a payment from anywhere, anytime.
If You Can’t Make a Mortgage Payment
If the pandemic has caused a significant loss of income that will prevent you from paying your mortgage, please contact us immediately for assistance information. These programs are subject to change. In the event, the insurer or investor of your loan changes their guidance, those updates will be posted here.
Short-term relief available. If you are experiencing a hardship due to COVID-19, you have the option to forbear your payments. This will not impact your credit. A forbearance is where you are paying a reduced amount for a limited time. While the forbearance is an option to help you through this pandemic, please note that the difference in your mortgage payment and forbearance payment will have to be repaid. Our team will work with you to find a solution. If no Loss Mitigation solution is viable, you will be responsible to pay the past due balance.
Is a forbearance right for you? Forbearance due to the COVID-19 is available to you if the following apply:
- You have lost work due to the COVID – 19.
- You are sick and are unable to work.
- You are caring for a sick family member and are unable to work.
- You have experienced a decline in income due to the pandemic.
If you qualify for a forbearance, you’ll be able to reduce your mortgage payments for an initial period of three months. Your forbearance plan will be evaluated monthly. At the end of the plan, we will work with you to find a reinstatement solution or possible forbearance extension. Again, if a Loss Mitigation solution is not viable, you will be responsible for paying the past due balance.
For more information on the topic of forbearance, read our blog: What is a forbearance?
What happens after a forbearance? At the end of your forbearance period, all payments not made during the forbearance period will have to be paid.
- Repayment plan — Over a set number of months, an extra amount will be added to your regular mortgage payment to cover the amount you owe from the forbearance.
- Pay entire amount due —The best option is to pay back the amount owed.
- Loan modification — If you are unable to pay total due or enter into a repayment plan, a loan modification could be available. This may include an extension to the end of your loan and a possible change in your interest rate.
Don’t stop making your mortgage payments until you’ve been approved for a forbearance plan. This program is not payment forgiveness programs. They’ll require any paused payments to be repaid.
Why Forbearance and Not Payment Forgiveness or Deferment
We know that some announcements in the news may have led you to believe that your mortgage company can waive your upcoming payments or defer your payments.
As a mortgage servicer, CIS Home Loans collects payments on behalf of mortgage investors Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, USDA, and others. During this pandemic, the major mortgage investors are offering forbearance as an immediate relief option for homeowners who need assistance. However, we are obligated to continue making payments to these investors, even if homeowners are unable to pay their mortgage.