Deadline Extended – Forbearance Help for Homeowners CARES Act Deadline: March 31
Help for Our Homeowners
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress earlier this year included providing assistance for homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 financial hardships. The CARES Act required federal agencies to allow homeowners with federally-backed loans to delay making mortgage payments, without penalty or interest, for 6 to 12 months, if the homeowners demonstrated their ability to pay had been impacted by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
If you are behind on your home mortgage payment due to the coronavirus, you may be eligible under the CARES Act to request a forbearance for up to 180 days. The deadline to apply for an initial forbearance for some mortgages is March 31, 2021, so you must act NOW.
Loan types that are federally backed and therefore are required to be provided relief include:
- Conventional loans purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
- Federal Housing Administration (FHA), including Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)
- U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) loans, including direct and guaranteed loans
- Contact your lender or servicer to find out if you have a loan type that is eligible under the CARES Act. Click here to determine who owns and services your mortgage.
- Ask them what type of loan you have, whether it is a federal or GSE-backed mortgage eligible under the CARES Act. If it is, request an initial 180-day forbearance.
- Note: Once approved, if you continue to experience a financial hardship as you approach the end of your initial 180-day forbearance, you can request an additional 180-day forbearance, however you MUST contact your loan servicer once again to request this additional 180 days.
- Note: not all federally backed loans are currently subject to the stated deadline of March 31, 2021.
- If your mortgage is not a federal or GSE-backed mortgage, talk to your lender or servicer to understand options available to you.
- To find out more about protections for current homeowners or learn more about forbearance, visit Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
What is forbearance?
- Forbearance is when your mortgage servicer or lender allows you to pause or reduce your mortgage payments for a limited period of time. Forbearance doesn’t erase what you owe. You are still required to repay any missed/reduced payments in the future. The CARES Act does not specify how each lender chooses to incorporate their forbearance policy, so struggling homeowners should reach out to their servicer or lender.
Find a foreclosure prevention advisor who can help you navigate your situation for free
- The Minnesota Homeownership Center oversees a network of professional foreclosure advisors who offer unbiased, confidential services to struggling homeowners free of charge.
- They can help you work with your lender or loan servicer, review your finances and much more. Remember, it’s always important to act early as waiting can severely limit your options!
Find a foreclosure advisor by going to hocmn.org/search-help or by calling 651-659-9336.
Help for Our Renters
Good news for Minnesotans seeking rent relief: The new program will be available soon.
We recognize that many people have been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn and are in great need of assistance. We are working hard to build a program that will make it easy for individuals to apply and relatively quick to process payments.
The new program is called COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance and it will help eligible renters with overdue rent since March 2020, up to three months of upcoming rent at a time, and related utility payments. The program will be open for applications in a matter of weeks, with an anticipated launch in late March.
Eligible renters will include households that earned 80% or less of area median income in 2020 or in the most recent month. Landlords will be able to apply on behalf of their eligible tenants as well. Detailed guidance will be published on this webpage as it becomes available.
Be sure to sign up for updates on the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance program to receive email updates about when the program will open and how to apply. Please note: the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance eNews sign-up link doesn’t work in Internet Explorer. Please use Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Firefox.
Other Helpful Resources
- United Way’s 211 provides free and confidential health and human service information for people in Minnesota, including connections to local housing services where available.
- Free legal help and resources for renters are available at homelinemn.org.
- For tenant and landlord disputes, visit the Attorney General’s website.
Legal advice and information for renters
- HOME Line
For English, call 612-728-5767
Para Español, llame al 612-255-8870.
Af- Soomaali wac 612-255-8860.
Hais lus Hmoob, Hu 612-255-7104.
- Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid
- Law Help MN’s coronavirus page
Housing questions hotline
- Call Minnesota Housing at:
651-296-8215 for single-family housing
651-297-4455 for multi-family buildings
The Tenant Resource Center
- Eviction and homelessness prevention
- Emergency assistance
- Legal assistance
- Call 612-302-3180 and leave a message on the voicemail.
- See this housing resource page from Minnesota Housing
Governor Walz has issued Executive Order 20-14 to temporarily suspend evictions (except in cases of illegal activity or when a tenant is endangering the safety of other tenants) and request that financial institutions place a moratorium on pending and future foreclosures.
The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority says it will not file any unlawful detainers or move forward with any eviction hearings until further notice.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has released information on suspension of evictions and foreclosures with loans held by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. Check details for eligibility: evictions and foreclosures.
If you are experiencing homelessness, St. Stephens offers support.