A key part of COVID-era financial relief is due to come to an end on June 30, 2021. The COVID-19 mortgage forbearance and freeze on foreclosures designed to keep financially struggling homeowners from losing their homes during the pandemic will expire at the end of this month. If you’re a Southern California homeowner unable to make your current mortgage payments, now is the time to act to preserve your options. Sternberg Law Group can help you determine your best course of action, and may be able to help you avoid foreclosure altogether.
Starting with the CARES Act in March 2020, the federal government extended protections to homeowners with federally backed mortgage loans. The first, mortgage forbearance, allowed homeowners to defer payments due to financial hardship. The second declared a moratorium on foreclosures. This restricted lenders from throwing families out of their homes while the pandemic was raging, putting vast numbers of people out of work as businesses shut down or scaled back their operations. These protections, originally set to expire at the end of December 2020, were extended by the Biden administration until the end of June 2021, with additional opportunities for homeowners to request forbearance.
Now, with businesses reopening and more people going back to work, homeowners shouldn’t depend on these protections being extended further through federal action. While some major lenders have indicated that they intend to continue to help mortgage customers in financial distress, either voluntarily extending foreclosure protections or working with them on forbearances, not all have. Unless you already have a plan in place with your lender, it is not safe to assume that your mortgage company will continue to delay foreclosure actions once the moratorium expires.
It’s also important to note that privately held mortgages were not bound by these rules—although many such companies devised their own COVID relief strategies, they have not been restricted from pursuing foreclosure.
If you’re struggling to keep up with your mortgage, you’re not alone. CNBC reports that about 2.1 million Americans are in forbearance plans right now, and 1.8 million are at least 90 days delinquent on payments but not in forbearance. Falling behind on your payments is stressful, especially if you’re still unemployed or underemployed, and it may be hard to decide your best course of action. This is why it is imperative to consult experts who can assess the state of your finances, know the laws, and are familiar with the range of possible options you can take.
At Sternberg Law Group, we have the expertise to guide you—we have the experience and knowledge to pursue every avenue to keep you in your home. The earlier you contact us, the better; as debt accrues, it may become more difficult to negotiate forbearance, a payment plan, or a loan modification with your lender. Having an attorney at your side can also streamline the process of working with your lender, saving the costs and anxieties of drawn-out negotiations.
Since 2009, when thousands of California homeowners faced foreclosure after the financial crisis, Sternberg Law Group has been helping families stay in their homes. We will help you frankly assess your situation and determine an individualized course of action designed to produce the best possible outcome for your case. Our experience in the range of choices available to homeowners in financial distress, from loan modifications to strategic foreclosures and bankruptcy, ensures that we can advise you on the pros and cons of each approach. We’ve worked out agreements on all kinds of loans, including private loans held by aggressive lenders—if you’re already receiving threatening notices, we can help.
Sternberg Law Group offers a free initial consultation to anyone seeking to learn more about their options. We speak both English and Spanish, and we put a high priority on clear, effective communication with our clients. To find out more about our services, or to schedule your free consultation, contact us here.