The largest investment most people will ever make is purchasing a home. And though we try to plan for the unexpected, people certainly didn’t know the impact COVID-19 would have on every aspect of their daily lives.
With that in mind, the National Association of Realtors has compiled a list of actions for homeowners to take to help protect their investment in during this uncertain time.
Talking to the lender, or loan servicer, who collects the payments should be one of your first steps. Here are some options you should discuss:
Lenders might let you make a partial payment or skip payments. However, you’ll have to repay any missed or reduced payments in the future. It’s important to remember that forbearance does not erase what you owe.
Reinstatement refers to making a payment that covers all your late payments, usually at the end of a forbearance period.
If you can’t afford reinstatement but can start making payments to catch up, the lender might let you pay an additional amount each month until you’re caught up.
Your lender might agree to amend your mortgage. One of the options your lender might offer is adding all the missed payments to the loan amount and increasing the monthly payment to cover the larger loan.
Perhaps they will give you more years to pay off the loan, lowering the interest rate, or forgiving part of the loan to lower your monthly payment.
Lenders also might have you switch from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate mortgage so you aren’t exposed to increases in your monthly payment.
For additional guidance and resources, download the “Protecting Your Investment” brochure at gcar.net/covid-19. You’ll find other resources related to COVID-19 there, as well.
Utilizing a Realtor can help you during this time to protect your current and future investments. That’s Who We R.
Greater Chattanooga Realtors is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of 300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423 698-8001.