We are coming up on two years of the COVID-19 pandemic – clearly, no one thought it would last this long. Many Dallas-area residents have had to take significant pay cuts or have even lost their jobs. Our firm has helped hundreds of DFW residents get a fresh start after COVID-related problems caused unmanageable debt, but many other people in the area are still struggling.
Most of the foreclosure and eviction moratoriums have ended recently, so many Dallas residents are wondering how they’re going to keep their homes. Rubin & Associates is here to help! We have put together this blog post to help answer some of the common questions we’re hearing about the end of mortgage forbearance.
How did the foreclosure moratorium work?
The government enacted a foreclosure moratorium when it was clear that the COVID pandemic would cause a massive disruption in the economy. The moratorium was a government directive to stop any current foreclosures – and not to start any new foreclosure proceedings until the end of the moratorium. The moratorium applied to certain types of loans issued by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, HUD, and USDA. Other banks and lenders voluntarily joined the moratorium by offering forbearance programs that allowed homeowners to defer their mortgage payments for a certain number of months.
When did the foreclosure moratorium end?
The federal foreclosure moratorium (which applied to all government-backed loans) ended on July 31, 2021, and the forbearance enrollment window was extended through the end of September. Certain borrowers were allowed up to three months of additional forbearance.
There are still federal, state, and local CARES Act funds available, but not everyone is eligible to receive those funds. If you have already missed the deadline to apply for forbearance, there may be additional resources available if you are still struggling with your financed due to the COVID pandemic.
What happens now that the moratorium is over?
Now that the grace period is over, your lender is allowed to proceed with foreclosures. Luckily, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has enacted a new rule that requires most lenders to help anyone in mortgage forbearance find options for paying their mortgages. Because of this rule, most lenders won’t be able to start the foreclosure process until January 1, 2022. If you received forbearance from your lender, contact them as soon as possible to find out if you are eligible for an extension.
How can you avoid foreclosure?
The most important step in keeping your home is to speak to your lender as soon as possible. As we’ve mentioned in past blog posts, if you do not maintain regular communication with your lender, foreclosure proceedings will happen much sooner.
If you’ve spoken to your financial institution and have no other options, declaring bankruptcy can help you delay or prevent foreclosure. If you are struggling with other bills as well, such as credit card bills, medical bills, or vehicle loans, a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will let you keep your home and force all debt collection actions to stop immediately.
Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are quite different, so it is important to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney to understand the differences and choose the right option for your situation. Call us any time at 214-760-7777 and schedule a free consultation. We will listen to the details of your situation and explain all of your options so you are able to make the best choice for your future. We will not force you to file for bankruptcy – sometimes modifying your mortgage loan, negotiating debt settlement amounts, or even debt consolidation might be a better option.
Call us today for a free debt consultation
If you are struggling with growing debt and worried that you might face foreclosure, call us at 214-760-7777 to set up your free consultation with us today. Unfortunately, bad things happen to good people all of the time – but we are here to help you get a fresh start!