By Anthony O. Kellum,
We are living in unprecedented times and if it seems like no matter where you turn your not getting the answers you need. In fact, the more you hear about mortgage relief, the more confused you become…well do not fret because you are not alone! I get calls almost daily with people from all walks of life wondering “…where do I go from here?”
April 1st has come and gone and meeting routine financial obligations such as mortgage/rent, student loans and utility bills are becoming challenging for millions of Americans who find themselves without a paycheck due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Not sure which way to turn? Scared? Overwhelmed? First start out by making a list and at the top of your list should be the things you need most, according to experts.
Typically, your mortgage and rent are at the top of your list. But nothing is typical these days. In some states for instance in California and New York a moratorium on evictions has been enacted. So, in New York, no eviction warrants will be issued for 90 days. Foreclosures are also on pause.
In the state of Michigan, eviction actions have been suspended. What this means is: Governor Whitmer’s order suspends eviction unless the tenant poses a “risk to another person or an imminent and severe risk to property.”
Columbia University’s law clinic compiled a spreadsheet of eviction policies by city and state. View this link for details.https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/1/d/e/2PACX-1vTH8dUIbfnt3X52TrY3dEHQCAm60e5nqo0Rn1rNCf15dPGeXxM9QN9UdxUfEjxwvfTKzbCbZxJMdR7X/pubhtml?urp=gmail_link
The rules differ from state-to-state, and it is beneficial to determine which rules apply to you and your situation and then have a discussion with your lender or landlord.
As you probably know in late March Congress passed a stimulus package providing a moratorium on federally backed mortgage loans depending on your situation for 60 or 180 days. View this link for detailed information.
There is help out there…but it won’t come to you.
If you are unsure about if you can pay your mortgage, you should call your lender and explain your situation. Once you make that call, there are a number of options available on a bank-by-bank basis; the options range from grace periods, delaying payments or making late payments. But if you are able ~ you should keep up with your bills.
The recent stimulus passed by Congress also provides for a $1200 check for individuals and $2400 for married couples. The amount you will receive is based on your marital status and your adjusted gross income. For an in-depth look at who qualifies and the requirements, check out this link: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/25/congress-to-send-taxpayers-1200-checks-in-the-wake-of-coronavirus.html
Utility companies are offering relief and even Comcast said they will not disconnect your internet during this time of uncertainty. Also, many cell phone companies such as Verizon announced they will not suspend service and will do away with late fees for customers who are suffering due to the global crisis.
Again, reach out to your various creditors and inquire, most companies are empathetic and want to lessen your stress levels, the main thing is to determine who is offering leniency during this time of necessity. Being proactive is a great way to determine who should be at the top of your list of what needs to be paid now.
If you have federal student loans, there is not a downside to taking the coronavirus forbearance since interest will not accrue on your debt due to the pandemic which unfortunately has led to job loss and economic turmoil nationwide. As part of the bill passed by Congress, lenders must stop all payments for federally held student loans. For more information on this see the below link.
Above all else, be certain to have money for groceries, medication and other necessities before you spend money you are unable to get back.
“We tend to be quick to forget how great we are at overcoming difficulties in our lives”
If you have any question just give me a call personally! Interest rates are historically low. Now is the perfect time to do a cash out refinance for debts consolidation etc.