CT Mortgage Relief: What You Need To Know

The State of Connecticut Department of Banking has announced Mortgage Relief During COVID-19 Pandemic:

"Governor Ned Lamont has reached an agreement with over 50 credit unions and banks in Connecticut to offer mortgage relief to the state’s residents and businesses who continue to face hardship caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Under the agreement, the following relief policies are being offered by participating financial institutions:

  • 90-day grace period for all mortgage payments: Participating financial institutions are now offering mortgage-payment forbearances of up to 90 days, which will allow homeowners to reduce or delay monthly mortgage payments. In addition, the institutions will:
    • Provide a streamlined process for requesting forbearance for COVID-19-related reasons, supported with available documentation;
    • Confirm approval and terms of forbearance program; and
    • Provide the opportunity to extend forbearance agreements if faced with continued hardship resulting from COVID-19.
  • Relief from fees and charges for 90 days: For at least 90 days, participating financial institutions will waive or refund mortgage-related late fees and other fees including early CD withdrawals.
  • No new foreclosures for 60 days: Financial institutions will not start any foreclosure sales or evictions.
  • No credit score changes for accessing relief: For those taking advantage of this COVID-19-related relief, late or missed payments will not be shared with credit reporting agencies.

Participating Financial Institutions

Banks

Bank of America
Berkshire Bank
Chelsea Groton Bank
Citizens Bank
Collinsville Bank
Dime Bank
Eastern Connecticut Savings Bank
Essex Savings Bank
Fairfield County Bank
Fieldpoint Private Bank & Trust
First County Bank
Guilford Savings Bank
Ion Bank
Jewett City Savings Bank
JP Morgan Chase Bank
Liberty Bank
Litchfield Bancorp
Milford Bank
New Haven Bank
Newtown Savings Bank
Northwest Community Bank
PeoplesBank (Mass)
People's United Bank
Salisbury Bank and Trust Company
Stafford Savings Bank
Thomaston Savings Bank
Torrington Savings Bank
Union Savings Bank
Webster Bank
Westfield Bank
Windsor Federal Savings

Credit Unions:

American Eagle Financial Credit Union
Bridgeport City Employees Federal Credit Union
Cencap Federal Credit Union 
Charter Oak Federal Credit Union 
Community Credit Union of Milford  
Connex Credit Union
Consolidated Controls Corporation Federal Credit Union 
CorePlus Federal Credit Union 
Crosspoint Federal Credit Union
Connecticut State Employees Credit Union
CSP Employees Federal Credit Union
Dutch Point Credit Union
Enfield Community Federal Credit Union 
First Bristol Federal Credit Union 
General Electric Employees Federal Credit Union
Greater Hartford Police Federal Credit Union 
Greater Waterbury Healthcare Federal Credit Union 
Greenwich Municipal Employees Federal Credit Union
Groton Municipal Employees Federal Credit Union
Hartford Federal Credit Union
Healthcare Financial Credit Union
Members Credit Union 
MembersFirst CT Federal Credit Union
Metropolitan District Employees Credit Union
Mutual Security Credit Union
New Haven County Credit Union
Northeast Family Federal Credit Union
Northwest Hills Credit Union
Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union
Seasons Federal Credit Union
Sikorsky Financial Credit Union 
Skyline Financial CU
SoundView Financial Credit Union
St. Vincent's Medical Center Federal Credit Union
Tri-Town Teachers Federal Credit Union
Waterbury Postal Employees Federal Credit Union
Western Connecticut Federal Credit Union 

Questions and Answers on Connecticut’s COVID-19 Mortgage Relief Agreement

How do I get mortgage relief and/or forbearance?

You should contact and work directly with your mortgage servicer to learn about and apply for available relief. Please note that financial institutions and their servicers are experiencing high volumes of inquiries.

How long will the forbearance last?

Participating financial institutions are now offering mortgage-payment forbearances of up to 90 days, which will allow homeowners to reduce or delay monthly mortgage payments.

What effect will this have on my credit report?

Financial institutions will not report derogatory information (e.g., late payments) to credit reporting agencies but may report a forbearance, which typically does not alone negatively affect a credit score.

How long will these programs last?

It is still unclear how severe or how long the COVID-19 impacts will be. Financial institutions have committed to necessary relief and will be assessing the ongoing conditions and necessity of continuing relief.

What if my financial institution isn’t offering this relief?

At this time, Webster Bank, American Eagle Financial Credit Union, Liberty Bank, Charter Oak Federal Credit Union, Bank of America, Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union, and Peoples United Bank, in addition to over 50 other federal and state-chartered banks, credit unions, and servicers are supporting these commitments. The state will welcome any other institution that would like to meet the moment and provide much-needed financial relief to Connecticut residents. The Department of Banking will publish a list of participating financial institutions on its website in the coming days.

What if I already made a payment or was hit with a fee because of COVID-19?

These measures go into effect as of March 31, 2020.

Is the mortgage relief available to businesses?

The relief is currently only available for residential mortgages.

What if my mortgage servicer is not communicative or cooperative?

You can file a complaint with the Department of Banking through the complaint form on the department website or by contacting the department at 860-240-8299 or 1-800-831-7225 (9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST Monday through Friday).

What impact does the CARES Act have?

The CARES Act has important protections for renters and homeowners. In particular, homeowners with mortgage loans that are backed by the federal government through the FHA, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, or other agencies can receive significant forbearance.

How about commercial loans and commercial mortgages?

Commercial loan or commercial mortgage customers should know that all financial institutions are working proactively with each commercial borrower experiencing challenges. Any bank or credit union commercial customer having financial difficulty, whether for-profit or nonprofit, should call their financial institution as soon as possible. Several important governmental actions have and will provide relief to businesses.

The Lamont administration’s quick actions resulted in Connecticut being one of the first states where businesses can access the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) economic injury disaster loan program for up to $2 million dollars. In addition, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development quickly created the Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan program, which will provide up to $50 million of loans to small businesses and nonprofits

Importantly, last week Congress passed the important CARES Act, which includes the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and will provide loans and grants of up to $10 million, for companies of up to 500 employees. A wide variety of businesses will be eligible for the PPP as soon as next week and they include but are not limited to: private and public businesses, self-employed and independent contractors, nonprofits, veterans’ organizations, and tribal business concerns. Additional information on the PPP should be available from the SBA early next week.

In addition to the PPP, banks and credit unions continue to work with their commercial customers on a case by case basis to address the financial needs of their impacted business. We encourage any impacted commercial customers to contact their financial institution."


Help for Homeowners

Lenders and companies that service mortgage loans are offering options to homeowners that are having trouble making loan payments due to the Coronavirus. You can find out about these options by calling your bank, credit union, or loan servicer that you make payments to, or by visiting their websites.

Many credit unions and banks do not sell their mortgages and choose to keep them local and on their own books. For these mortgages, please be sure to call your credit union or bank for more information.

The majority of mortgage loans in the state are owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or guaranteed by FHA, which are entities sponsored by the U.S. government. All these entities have options for homeowners impacted by the Coronavirus. To find out if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae, click HERE.
To find out if your loan is owned by Freddie Mac, click HERE. A borrower can find out if their loan is guaranteed by FHA by calling their lender.

Borrowers can find information on programs available from Fannie Mae’s website by clicking HERE.

Borrowers can find information on programs available from Freddie Mac’s website by clicking HERE.

If a borrower’s loan is guaranteed by FHA, information on how to find help can be found HERE.

Help for Renters

If you rent your home and your landlord has a loan from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you may be eligible for programs that provide relief to renters affected by Coronavirus. Find out more about Fannie Mae’s program for renters HERE and Freddie Mac’s program HERE. Ask your landlord if they participate in these programs. If not, ask your landlord if they participate in any other Coronavirus relief program for landlords and renters.

Protecting your Finances

Banks: To find out more about the safety of your deposits with a federally insured bank, you can visit the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s resource page for consumers HERE.

Credit Unions: To find out more about the safety of your credit union deposits, please visit the National Credit Union Administration HERE.

Both: You can also find a statement by Connecticut’s Banking Commissioner on the safety of Connecticut banks HERE.

For useful tips on protecting your finances during the Coronavirus pandemic visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau HERE.

Consumers should be on the lookout for potential scams related to the Coronavirus. You can learn how to identify and respond to possible scams from the Federal Trade Commissioner HERE.

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