Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus Mortgage Relief Programs for Real Estate Investors

Expertise: Flipping Houses, Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Development, Real Estate Investing Basics
44 Articles Written
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Is the coronavirus crisis impacting your home and rental property? Are you having second thoughts about investing in real estate due to the possibility of not being able to make the payment? You're not alone—Americans nationwide are struggling.

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Whether your tenants can't afford rent or you are having difficulties paying your own mortgage, there are options available to keep both landlords and renters from falling into debt. Both governments and lenders have announced ways they're helping mortgage holders affected by COVID-19.

But first, let’s define mortgage relief and understand how it works.

What Is Mortgage Relief?

Mortgage relief is the suspension of payments on a mortgage loan, often due to financial hardship experienced by a loan holder. In most cases, this relief is temporary. The debt doesn't go away. Instead, the lender doesn't collect loan payments during what's called a forbearance period.

You still owe the skipped payments—just at a future date. The lender won't report you to a credit bureau, but typically they will continue charging interest on your unpaid debt.

Let’s say you’re unable to make your upcoming $1,000 payment. You contact your lender and explain the situation, and they agree to let you skip your next three monthly payments, totaling $3,000. These three months are your forbearance period.

LEARN MORE: Are Your Tenants Unable to Pay Rent Due to Coronavirus? Here’s What to Do

Your mortgage debt’s still earning interest during the forbearance period, but you don’t have to pay for three months. You won’t lose your property and your credit score won’t go down.

This helps borrowers by allowing them to skip payments during times when they may not be working or are seeing their income decrease. It’s a short-term solution to a cash crunch. While this is a great tool to have available, it’s important to remember it’s not “free” money. You DO have to pay it back. The idea being you’ll pay it back when it’s more convenient for you.

Do I have a mortgage lender or a mortgage servicer?

It’s important to know the difference between a lender and a servicer. The lender is the institution that loaned you money to buy your property. A servicer is a company your lender hires to manage, or service, your loan. For instance, your lender might be Fannie Mae, but your servicer might be Flagstar Bank. Typically, you pay the servicer directly.

However, not all loans have a servicer. If your loan does have a servicer, you'll contact them to discuss mortgage help. If your lender services your loan, you'll reach out to your lender for assistance.

How Can You Apply for a Mortgage Relief Program?

Every lender or servicer is different—but the most important thing to know is that you should contact your lender when you think you need help. Do not wait until your payment is due or until you miss a mortgage payment.

Young women worried about bills and debr stacking up. Unable to pay credit cards and loans

Keep in mind that it may take more than one day for your lender to start your forbearance period. You may miss a payment if you wait until your due date to contact your lender—and missing a mortgage payment outside of your forbearance period can hurt your credit score. If you’re not in forbearance, your lender will report a missed payment to the credit bureaus.

No one wants a missed payment appearing in their credit history. But that’s especially true for real estate investors, who face stricter requirements when applying for loans to buy an investment property.

Many investors see the possibility of a recession as an opportunity to buy more real estate. A missed payment on a current mortgage can have an adverse effect on your ability to borrow more money for additional properties! Be smart, be responsible, and plan ahead.

Related: Coronavirus Content & Resources

What Mortgage Relief Options Are available?

Federal government mortgage relief programs

Starting on March 18, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) suspended evictions and foreclosures for 60 days. The moratorium applies only to people with mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The order not only prevents new foreclosure actions but also suspends all foreclosure actions currently in process.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not make loans. Instead, they buy loans from lenders and have servicers manage those loans. Even though you make payments to a different company—the servicer—Frannie and Freddie may own your loan. Their loan lookup tools can tell you the specifics:

Here are the relief options that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed Fannie and Freddie to offer borrowers:

  • You can’t be foreclosed on or evicted for 60 days.
  • You’re eligible for up to 12 months of mortgage forbearance—with no late fees.
  • Reporting of past-due payments to credit bureaus is suspended.
  • After your forbearance period, your servicer must work with you on a permanent plan to help maintain or reduce monthly payment amounts as necessary, including modifying your loan.

For more information, see:

Check out the BiggerPockets guide to coronavirus relief programs for more information on benefits programs, payment assistance, and bank programs.

Keep in mind, these special rules do not apply as a blanket measure across all mortgages. If your loan isn’t held by a government agency that is a part of the program, you may not be eligible for this form of relief.

State Government Mortgage Relief Programs

California

  • No evictions for renters and homeowners until May 31.
  • Tenants must still pay rent, and landlords can continue collecting rent that’s due. But landlords cannot evict individuals from their homes for nonpayment.
  • The state has asked utility companies to avoid shutoffs for people affected by COVID-19.

Delaware

  • No landlord and tenant proceedings until May 1. The halt includes evictions.

Indiana

  • No new foreclosures and evictions through May 5—but individuals still need to pay their rent or mortgage.
  • Essential utility companies (electric, water, gas, telecommunications, and wastewater services) cannot stop service during the coronavirus crisis.

Kansas

  • No evictions and foreclosures until May 1.

Kentucky

  • No eviction proceedings until April 10. This cancellation does not stop foreclosures that local sheriff’s offices are already executing.

Louisiana

  • No foreclosures and evictions.

Maryland

  • There are no evictions for the duration of Maryland’s state of emergency.
  • Utility companies cannot shut off service due to a lack of payment or charge late fees. The utility protections include water, gas, electric, sewage, phone, cable TV, and internet services.

New Hampshire

  • No foreclosures and evictions for the time being.

New Jersey

  • Stops evictions and foreclosures for up to two months after New Jersey’s state of emergency ends.

New York

  • As of March 19, no mortgage payments required for 90 days for those facing virus-related financial hardships.
  • Stops foreclosures and evictions until further notice.

North Carolina

  • No eviction and foreclosure hearings until April 16. Eviction orders already in process will continue unless a court order stops those proceedings.

Pennsylvania

  • Halts foreclosures and evictions through April 3.

Texas

  • Suspension of evictions and foreclosures for residents affected by the coronavirus who are part of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) programs. These programs include the Bootstrap Loan Program, Homebuyer Assistance Program, and the Homebuyer Rehabilitation Assistance Program.
  • Contact your lender if you took part in TDHCA’s My First Texas Home or My Choice Texas Home programs.

Virginia

  • Urged lenders to offer hardship forbearances to borrowers affected by the coronavirus.
  • The state’s also encouraged lenders to suspend reporting late payments to credit bureaus.

Mortgage Lender Relief Programs

Bank of America

Bank of America will defer payments for mortgages and home equity lines of credit upon request. Deferrals will be handled on a case-by-case basis with month-to-month extensions available. They've also promised:

  • No negative credit bureau reporting for up-to-date borrowers.
  • No foreclosure sales, evictions, and repossessions.

To discuss your mortgage relief options, contact Bank of America at 1-800-669-6607.

Caliber Home Loans

While Caliber doesn’t have any coronavirus-specific mortgage relief options, they do offer mortgage help for customers facing financial hardship. Borrowers who need help should contact Caliber Home Loans at 1-800-401-6587.

Flagstar Bank

Customers affected by COVID-19 may qualify for a mortgage forbearance period of three months. You should make a loan payment during that period, if possible. If you’re unable to make a payment during your forbearance period, Flagstar Bank will not assess a late fee. And they won’t make a negative report to the credit bureaus.

At the end of, or any time before, your forbearance period, you have the following options to resolve any past due amounts:

  • Bring your loan current by paying all past due amounts, including those not paid during the forbearance period.
  • Set up a repayment plan by contacting Flagstar Bank. A repayment plan adds a part of your past due amounts to your regular monthly payment until your account is current.
  • Apply for a more permanent loss-mitigation solution.

Request a forbearance form from Flagstar Bank or find more details on mortgage relief options.

Serious pensive office employee using smartphone, texting message, looking away. Young African American business woman standing isolated over white background. Communication concept

JPMorgan Chase

For information about options from JPMorgan Chase, visit their website. You can also contact Chase by phone at 1-888-356-0023.

Members of the military activated to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak may be eligible for more benefits.

loanDepot

You may be eligible for help if you’ve experienced any of the following as a result of the pandemic:

  • Illness
  • Quarantine
  • Layoffs or reduction of hours
  • Office or school closures

You can discuss your loanDepot mortgage relief options by calling 866-258-6572 or via email.

If your loan’s currently in process, or if you have recently closed your loan and have questions, you should contact loanDepot Customer Care via email.

Quicken Loans

You may be eligible for temporary forbearance if you're unable to make mortgage payments due to financial hardship from the coronavirus crisis. There's no impact on your credit score during your forbearance period if you have a conventional loan through Quicken Loans.

You’ll need to sign into your Rocket Mortgage account and complete a form to apply.

Learn more about Quicken Loans’ coronavirus options.

U.S. Bank

If you're affected by COVID-19, you should call U.S. Bank at 1-800-365-7900. When you call, you may need to provide:

  • A brief explanation of your situation.
  • A detailed list of your household expenses.
  • Proof of household income (recent pay stubs, tax returns, or profit-and-loss statements).

Learn more about U.S. Bank’s mortgage relief options or their crisis response.

United Wholesale Mortgage

United Wholesale Mortgage doesn’t specify options related to coronavirus. But they do provide support for customers facing financial hardship. Learn more about the options available to you.

Wells Fargo

If you're affected by the coronavirus crisis, you may be eligible for fee waivers, payment deferrals, and other mortgage help. Wells Fargo is also suspending residential property foreclosure sales and evictions.

To discuss your Wells Fargo mortgage relief options, call 1-800-219-9739.

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Do you know of any additional mortgage relief programs?

Tell us below. 

David Greene is a former police officer with over nine years of experience investing in real estate that includes single family, multifamily, and house flipping. David has bought, rehabbed, and man...
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    Barry H. Investor from Scottsdale, AZ
    Replied 7 months ago
    DAVID - This is good info. Ironically, I am a private lender who provides seller-financing on remodeled turn key tenant occupied homes which I sell to investors - mostly in Kansas City MO. I do use a loan servicing company. I have many asset-backed seller-financed loans out there right now and I suspect my Borrowers (investors) could be facing situations where tenants are not paying rent and they (borrowers) will be contacting me directly or through my Loan Servicer for solutions. Your article has given me some ideas as to how to handle forbearance. We are all in this together, but my received loan payments pay for my daily living needs, so I am hopeful this will not become a "non-payment" epidemic.
    Dan White Investor from Fox Island, Washington
    Replied 7 months ago
    You better be desperate to pursue any mortgage relief, this will show up on your credit report and noticed by future lenders. Don't do this lightly as you are now a "shaky business" not a well off no risk savvy investor who always has large reserves and honors his/her obligations.
    James Martin from Metairie, Louisiana
    Replied 7 months ago
    They are publishing that credit reporting for these conditions are being suspended.
    Joe Wimberly
    Replied 7 months ago
    James, they won't report late payments. As James said, it WILL be a negative on your credit. Lenders want you to restructure your loan after the forbearance period. This cam keep you from getting loans and/or refi loans in the future.
    Rick Grubbs Rental Property Investor from Salisbury, NC
    Replied 7 months ago
    Just imagine how long it is going to to take to get it straightened out when they make a mistake and it DOES show up on your report. I would not do it unless I had no other options. Spending 5 hours on hold with Bank of America isn't how I want to spend my day!
    Matt Rachow Investor
    Replied 7 months ago
    I thought I would at least look into what Chase had to offer by calling them. I received an automated message stating, "hold time will be within 10.5- 15 hours". Sounds like they're overwhelmed.
    Cindy Larsen Rental Property Investor from Lakewood, WA
    Replied 7 months ago
    A word of caution about mortgage relief programs: Deferring payment on your loan does not defer interest accruing on your loan. That unpaid interest (And the interest on the unpaid interest?) will have to be paid off within a year. So, for example if you defer making payments for three months and 90% of your normal mortgage payment is interest you’ll end up substantially increasing your payments for the rest of the year. Example $250,000 loan amount $1000 mortgage payment: $900 interest, $100 to principal. Deferred for three months. This means you owe the bank $3000 in addition to your principal balance. So, you now owe $253,000, and in month 4 you have to make your normal mortgage payment of $1000 + $3000/12 = $1250/month for the next 12 months. Can your rental break even with that added expense? In addition your equity will, at best, not continue to increase. Depending on how the mortgage relief program is structured your unpaid interest might actually increase your principal balance owed, and/or, all subsequent payments might be entirely interest payments until all of the unpaid interest is caught up with. You could end up extending your loan payoff date by years. Hopefully not, but I’d read the fine print very carefully, and look at the impact on your amortization schedule. Mortgage relief programs may be created by well meaning people, but how the details are defined and implemented will be determined by the banks, and they are in business to make money. For my money, these programs should be a last resort when you have explored all other options.
    Jose L. Rental Property Investor from CO SPRINGS
    Replied 7 months ago
    Beware that some lenders although they will not report negative information to your credit account i.e late payments or delinquency, they still DO report that you are under the current forbearance plan. I already spoked to a mortgage broker who said some lenders won’t lend to individuals who are under the forbearance plan. Who knows how else this might negatively affect investors and their ability to borrow in the future. If you can continue making payments from your reserves, I’d recommend taking that route until more of this is clear. This moving target will be tricky to follow!
    Alvaro Marquez
    Replied 7 months ago
    I’m in Florida hurricane passed by and said hello. Investment Property was in Oregon. Because of state of emergency in Florida due to hurricane we qualified for same program forbearance 3 months no payment blah blah blah. Sold the property a year later. Purchased more investment properties with no issues nothing bad on credit nor anything saying we used the program.
    Aaron T. Developer from Tampa, FL
    Replied 7 months ago
    This is something we are weighing whether to do or not. We have a refi and a closing of a new BNB. We are weighing if start to go cash poor or put our other 7 BNBs on forbearance until the economy is no longer under lock down. we can't get any real answers from mortgage lenders or underwriters on how this will truly affect us.
    Bernard S. Investor from Raleigh, North Carolina
    Replied 6 months ago
    How did it work out for you? (im in similar situation)