Partially edited info from the National Association of Realtors®, March 20, 2020.
The following resources provide property owners and those with student loans information and assistance during the COVID-19 crisis:
County Record Office Closures: Real-time database of offices that are closing or reducing operations as a result of the coronavirus.
Visitor Health Screening Questionnaires: The NNA has developed health screening forms for the signing agent and borrower in order to protect all parties during a closing.
Having a business continuity plan is essential to keeping an operation going following any type of disaster or crisis.
Bank Regulators have also instructed banks and servicers to be proactive in extending help to homeowners.
Banks have posted their own policies and ways for consumers to contact them for assistance: Bank of America
Mortgage Insurers are also providing information on how servicers can help consumers: Genworth
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
Protect Your Credit: The CFPB is urging consumers to protect their credit during this pandemic.
Protect Yourself Financially: The CFPB has a number of resources focused on financial protection, both short and long term, such as paying bills, income loss, and scam targeting. Resources include contacts for housing and credit counselors, debt collectors, and state unemployment services.CFPB Director Kraninger Statement on Joint HUD-FHFA Announcement on Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual. EPA has provided important information about COVID-19 as it relates to drinking water and wastewater to provide clarity to the public. The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Immediate Foreclosure and Evictions Relief for Homeowners for the Next 60 Days The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has authorized the FHA to implement an immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for the next 60 days.
FHA continues to run single family business operations. FHA has created a Q&A form available on their website to keep interested parties updated on their procedures during the COVID-19 crisis. Please refer to https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh for the most current information.
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) FHFA has instructed Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their servicers to be proactive in providing assistance to homeowners including forbearance. In addition, FHFA imposed a moratorium on eviction and foreclosures on mortgages backed by the GSEs: Statement from FHFA Director Mark Calabria on Coronavirus
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have issued similar guidance: Homeowners who are adversely impacted by this national emergency may request mortgage assistance by contacting their mortgage servicer. Foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers are suspended for 60 days. Homeowners impacted by this national emergency are eligible for a forbearance plan to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months. Credit bureau reporting of past due payments of borrowers in a forbearance plan as a result of hardships attributable to this national emergency is suspended. Homeowners in a forbearance plan will not incur late fees. After forbearance, a servicer must work with the borrower on a permanent plan to help maintain or reduce monthly payment amounts as necessary, including a loan modification. Fannie and Freddie have also created pages with additional information:
VA Home Loan Program The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is providing information to keep Veterans and stakeholders safe while continuing the mission of the VA Home Loan Program.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) The IRS has also created a Coronavirus Tax Relief section on their website with updated information for taxpayers and businesses (these resources are for businesses and not specifically for consumers).
Tax Time Guide to Guard Personal, Financial, and Tax Information Year-Round (these resources are for businesses and not specifically for consumers).Income Tax PAYMENT Deadline Extended: In light of COVID-19 crisis, the IRS has extended the income tax payment deadline for individual returns (as well as all entities other than C-Corps) until July 15, 2020.
Individuals and businesses must still file 2019 returns by April 15, 2020. Additional forms do not need to be filed to qualify for this extension.Rural Development — U.S. Department of Agriculture (RD)
The USDA has informed lenders of a foreclosure and eviction moratorium for all USDA Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loans Program (SFHGLP) loans for a period of 60 days, in connection with the Presidentially declared COVID-19 National Emergency.RD will continue to provide loans and grants to rural communities across all of their programs.ReConnect applications will continue to be accepted with a March 31st deadline, and RD will then begin the review and award process.RD has granted authority to lenders that participate in their Single-Family Housing Guaranteed program so that these lenders can work with borrowers to ensure that homeowners will stay in their houses if they are having difficulty making payments.RD will issue guidance to their Single-Family Housing Direct borrowers to ensure they can also seek payment assistance if needed.Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA has provided guidance and resources for businesses and employers to respond to COVID-19, including information regarding the economic injury disaster loans, local assistance, and SBA products & resources (these resources are for businesses and not for consumers specifically).SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
The EIDL program supports small businesses facing temporary loss of revenue as well as working capital. They can be used to pay debts, including payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid due to a disaster. View the program summary and SBA Response to COVID-19.
Student Debt The Department of Education announced that it will allow forbearance on federally-backed student loans for sixty days beginning on March 13, 2020. Likewise, the Administration has also waived all interest on student loans for this period. You must contact your loan servicer to being a forbearance. Servicers are sharing information how borrowers can seek remedies.
Additional Info Regarding Student Loans
There have been changes to the federal student loan program as a part of the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill that passed in Congress on 3/27/2020 to help those affected by the Coronavirus.
Until 9/30/2020, no interest will accrue on federal student loans—effectively setting the interest rate at 0%. Borrowers also have the option to suspend payments without penalty, if needed. Payments made during this time will first apply to unpaid interest accrued from before 3/13/2020, then directly towards the principal balance.
Learn more about other changes on this federal student loans page.
Check out Lendedu for current student loan interest rates on federal student loans, private student loans, and student loan refinancing