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Is the Coronavirus Impact Hurting You Financially?
We’ve all seen the news of the millions of people now out of work or hours severely cut. If this is you, then you might be struggling financially and wondering what to do next. Here are some steps to take with your financial obligations:
For your mortgage, the best course of action is to call your lender immediately and ask for the forbearance option for up to 180 days. Thanks to the CARES Act recently passed by Congress, lenders cannot foreclose on federally-backed mortgages for 60 days after March 18, 2020.
List of federal agencies and entities:
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- U. S. Department of Agriculture
- Federal Housing Administration (FHA) (Includes reverse mortgages)
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- Fannie Mae
- Freddie Mac
If your mortgage is not federally-backed, your lender may have options. Plus, states are offering programs to assist homeowners. Check your state’s government website for details.
If you are renting from a landlord with a federally-backed mortgage, the CARES Act provides for a suspension or moratorium on evictions. If your landlord has a federally backed mortgage or multi-family mortgage, you cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent for 120 days beginning on March 27, 2020.
If the property you rent isn’t covered by the CARES Act, many states have suspended all evictions and foreclosures due to the pandemic. Check the websites of your state government, state court, or legal aid program for details and updates.
Call your credit card company right away. Ignoring this bill won’t make it go away. You don’t have to be behind in payments to call. Let them know if you’ve lost your job or had your work hours severely impacted. Consider credit counseling with a non-profit organization to help you get back on the right track.
Like the credit card situation, call your lender right away. There are several options your lender may work with you. Some are giving forbearance, like mortgage lenders, others are offering deferred payment options, reduced payment options, or refinancing.
If your student loan is held by the federal government, your loan payment is automatically postponed with no interest until September 30, 2020. If your student loan is owned by a private lender, you should call them and see what options are available to you. Some are offering forbearance and other options you may benefit from.
Watch out for Scammers
Scammers love to take advantage of people especially in times of trouble. Senior citizens are the most vulnerable. Watch out for questionable emails, suspicious phone calls, or fake letters in the mail. Advise your older family members to be aware of the way scammers strike. Video conferencing with family to discuss issues is a way to help protect from scams. Beware of anyone claiming to have a cure or being from the CDC. There is no cure at this time and any information from the CDC is on their website. If you come across any suspicious claims, report them to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.