coronavirus

Homeowners Facing Difficulty Getting Mortgage Relief Amid Coronavirus

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Tammy McCullough and her husband have lived in the Lake Worth area for 13 years.

But with a mortgage payment due in just days, she’s living with hopelessness too.

“I scheduled a meeting with a banker, and this was a virtual meeting, but I was told I couldn’t talk to him till April 14. My mortgage is due on April 15,” said homeowner Tammy McCullough.

Multiple surgeries from a back condition have left her unable to work.

Her husband works in the grocery industry, and budgeting is hard.

“We’re fine probably through April and possibly through May. But unless the overall financial situation changes, we’re all in jeopardy of losing our homes. I can’t even fathom how awful that would be,” said McCullough.

Melissa Rutledge oversees Mortgage Operations at Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity and suggests homeowners first talk with their bank.

“That is the best first approach. Let them know you will not be able to do that. I feel very confident that banks are going to work with borrowers and extend that term,” said Rutledge.

She explained the primary protections provide by the CARES act, which provides relief for federally-backed mortgages.

“The most important feature is it provides for forbearance, which temporarily suspends the payments, and that initial request can be up to 180 days. What I’m seeing is they’re offering 90 days. And you do have the option to request for an additional 180 days if your financial hardship continues,” said Rutledge.

Tammy McCullough’s main concern is getting hit with a bunch of added charges after she puts her mortgage on hold.

“How do they expect us to pay that back? Because if they want the lump sum as they’re indicating, I don’t see how it makes sense that I can’t pay now, but I can pay in three months, an even bigger amount?” said homeowner McCullough.

She hopes her virtual meeting with her Chase Mortgage Banker offers up some answers and reasonable options.

Another tip: make sure you understand the language in your terms of agreement.

If you don’t understand it, reach out to a HUD Certified Counseling Agency.

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