Know Your Options During the Pandemic!

In uncertain times, there is hope and resources to make it through.

During the recent times of an outbreak that we haven’t experienced in our country, there are many people who are experiencing losses. New Avenue Realty is here to help guide those who will need assistance during this time. If your daily living has been affected in terms of income loss, here are options to get ahead of things.

Mortgage help needs

Contact your mortgage servicer (current company you pay your mortgage payments to) ASAP to know what options are. Below are a list of help currently being offered :

Fannie Mae Backed Loans

If coronavirus has caused job loss, income reduction, sickness, or other issues that impact your ability to make your monthly mortgage payment, relief options are available.

  • Homeowners impacted by this national emergency are eligible for a forbearance plan to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months
  • Homeowners in a forbearance plan will not incur late fees
  • 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
  • After forbearance, a servicer must work with the borrower on a permanent workout option to help maintain or reduce monthly payment amounts as necessary, including a loan modification
  • Foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers are suspended for 60 days

Check to see if you have a Fannie Mae backed loan.

Freddie Mac is issuing a very similar policy during this time as well.

We are taking action to help make sure homeowners with Freddie Mac-owned mortgages who are directly or indirectly impacted by COVID–19 are able to stay in their homes during this challenging time. This includes offering the following mortgage relief options for those who are unable to make their mortgage payments due to a decline in income:

  • Providing mortgage forbearance for up to 12 months,
  • Waiving assessments of penalties and late fees,
  • Halting all foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers living in Freddie Mac-owned homes until at least May 17, 2020,
  • Suspending reporting to credit bureaus of delinquency related to forbearance,
  • Offering loan modification options that lower payments or keep payments the same after the forbearance period.

Check to see if you have a Freddie Mac backed loan. There is help for those who have conventional borrowed loans for investment properties too. Your tenants may be affected and their late rent may cause a negative factor for your mortgage on the home.

FHA Backed Loans

If you have a FHA backed loan, the options above are geared more to conventional loan borrowers, here is information obtained on the HUD website to help assist:

The guidance issued today applies to homeowners with FHA-insured Title II Single Family forward and Home Equity Conversion (reverse) mortgages, and directs mortgage servicers to:

  • Halt all new foreclosure actions and suspend all foreclosure actions currently in process; and
  • Cease all evictions of persons from FHA-insured single-family properties.

“This is an uncertain time for many Americans, particularly those who could experience a loss of income. As such, we want to provide FHA borrower households with some immediate relief given the current circumstances,” said Federal Housing Commissioner Brian Montgomery. “Our actions today make it clear where the priority needs to be.”

FHA continues to encourage servicers to offer its suite of loss mitigation options to distressed borrowers – including those that could be impacted by the Coronavirus – to help prevent them from going into foreclosure. These include short and long-term forbearance options, mortgage modifications, and other mortgage payment relief options available based on the borrower’s individual circumstances.

Now is the time to be on the phones and contact your loan servicers if you’ve been affected by COVID-19. Check options to hold mortgage payments or even refinance your loan home. There are options and it is best to get ahead of it than to wait.

For refinance options, check out Keller Mortgage. Save on origination fees and even receive a $1000 credit on closing.

Nationwide banks are also stepping in to offer some assistance to waive fees for those affected by COVID-19. If you bank with a local bank as I do, check their website to see how they are helping those with financial difficulty during COVID-19 outbreak.

List of Banks Offering Assistance

Unemployment

If you’ve had a loss of income and are suddenly unemployed, here is information from the State of Texas to help you during this time as well.

According to their website, If your employment has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), apply for benefits either online at any time using Unemployment Benefits Services or by calling TWC’s Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday.

Renters

If you are currently renting an apartment or home, there are resources for you as well from the Texas Apartment Association.

  1. Contact your property manager. The most important thing that you can do is communicate your situation with your Property Manager. Providing documentation from an employer or other documentation that shows how you have been impacted by this crisis will improve your chances for getting the help you need.
    Ignoring notices and requests to contact your Property Manager is not advised. Frequent and timely communication is the best course of action. The Texas Apartment Association has encouraged rental property owners to waive late fees and set up
    payment arrangements for residents impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Please remember that they can’t help you if you do not communicate your situation with them. When court proceedings resume you will still owe any amounts due and may be subject to eviction; therefore, trying to work with your property to make payment arrangements is your best course of action.

Check out more resources here for renters in apartments.

Wifi Services

Frisco ISD is offering WiFi drive up services for those who need access to Wifi at this time.

The District has installed additional wireless access points in 14 schools to expand the wifi signal to driveways and parking lots. 

District-owned devices will automatically hook up to the “Frisco-ISD” wifi but personal devices can find “FriscoISD-Guest” as a new, expanded option. Students can reference this set of instructions for additional information or reach out to their campus digital learning coach.

This drive-up approach allows families to access wifi 24/7 from the comfort of their vehicle if their wireless should go out at home. The wireless can reach out to the front driveway of the campus, including that parking lot unless otherwise noted. Find locations on the website.

Meals

Local school districts are providing meals (some are even delivering them on bus routes to communities) to students Monday-Friday to help students and families with meals.

Denton ISD

Frisco ISD

Little Elm ISD

Aubrey ISD

Prosper ISD

Prosper ISD food services will offer grab and go lunch pickup at Baker, Furr, Rucker, and Windsong Elementary campuses Monday – Friday from 11:00 am – 12:30pm beginning Wednesday, March 18th for the duration of the district facilities closure. Parents may drive through the front car loop to pick up meals from a staff member for their children. Please remain in your car if coming to pick up meals to help us continue the practice of social distancing. Meals will be provided in the same location for anyone walking up. In addition, many of our local community organizations have stepped up to provide food to those in need.

Here are a list of nearby food pantries in the North Texas too:

Minnie’s Food Pantry

North Texas Food Bank

Neighbors Nourishing Neighbors

Frisco Family Services Food Pantry

Little Elm Area Food Bank

Denton Community Food Center

As Texans, we will make it through this pandemic. Here is the time to get to know what options we have and help a fellow neighbor or two. The pandemic is new to everyone and with everyone doing their part with stay at home orders, essential workers (praise to our healthcare workers and others) making sure we have some sort of normalcy. We will push through and in due time, this too shall pass.

If you have any questions or need more information on which direction to go, feel free to contact me at 972-813-9788 or atfowler@kw.com. If you know of an assistance program I can add to the list, email me to add to the list.

Texans can call 2-1-1 and select option 6 for questions about symptoms, travel concerns, unemployment insurance, emergency food assistance, city and state orders, and more.

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