If You Need Mortgage Relief, Time May Be Running Out
A program to help people struggling because of the pandemic may expire in a few weeks
Homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages because of COVID-19 should be aware of a fast-approaching deadline: Dec. 31 may be your last opportunity to postpone monthly payments under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
The relief package, passed in late March 2020, requires servicers of federally backed mortgages to grant what is called a forbearance—the option to postpone mortgage payments—to homeowners who request it.
Servicers must, on request, let you skip mortgage payments for up to 180 days and must later grant requests to extend the forbearance for up to another 180 days. But the deadline for requesting an initial forbearance on some federally insured loans—those backed by the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Agriculture—is Dec. 31. Department of Veterans Affairs loans have an April 1, 2021, deadline; those backed by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) currently have no formal deadline.