We’re here for you.

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect the daily lives of families across the world we feel that it is important to let you know how Apex Home Loans is adapting to this situation.

The health and safety of the families we serve, our partners, and our employees are top priority. Due to local government stay at home orders and other restrictions we are taking the necessary precautions to help reduce the spread of germs. We are encouraging our employees to work from home to continue to support social distancing.

We are here to serve you. If you have any specific questions regarding your loan status and updates, please reach out to your Mortgage Banker directly. You can still reach our corporate office by calling (301) 610-9600 or filling out the contact form on our website.

Reopening Phase 1: Apex Home Loans is currently in Phase 1 of re-opening. While each individual branch is opening at their own comfort/pace, we have established Visitor Protocol for all in-office visits. If you’re planning to visit a branch location, you can prepare by downloading our Visitor Protocol form here. Your Mortgage Banker may have additional and branch specific details for your visit as well.

From our family to yours,
Thank you for your continued support and remember to stay hopeful & think positively. We will get through this together.

 

Below, you’ll find:

  • What is Mortgage Forbearance?
  • Important Things to Know First
  • The CARES Act
  • Forbearance Impact on Credit Scores
  • What to Expect (and What to Ask) When Calling Your Loan Servicer to Request Forbearance
  • What Happens at the End of a Forbearance Period
  • Be on the Lookout for Scams and Scammers
  • COVID-19 Forbearance FAQs
  • Content Sources & Other Helpful Information
  • Downloadable Resources

What Is Mortgage Forbearance?

Forbearance is when your mortgage servicer or lender (the entity to which you make your payments) allows you to pause or reduce your mortgage payments for a limited period of time. IMPORTANT: Forbearance is not forgiveness and the government will not be making your payments for you. Forbearance does NOT erase what you owe. You would have to repay any missed or reduced payments in the future. 

Important Things to Know First

For many homeowners with mortgages, there’s help, but first assess your situation:

If you CAN pay your mortgage...

You should pay your mortgage. In fact, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, if you can pay your mortgage, it is in your best interest to do so. Please do not call your mortgage servicer if you aren’t facing an immediate issue. Mortgage servicers are getting a lot of calls and need to first help those who need it the most. Check your servicer’s website first for possible options. Once again, a forbearance is not debt forgiveness – you still have to pay back any and all missed payments.

If you CANNOT pay your mortgage, or can only pay a portion...

contact your mortgage servicer immediately. It may take a while to get a loan servicer on the phone, as they are experiencing very high call volumes and are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as well. (You will find their contact information on your monthly mortgage statement.) 

If your income is restored, we strongly suggest reaching out to your servicer and that you resume making payments as soon as you can. We recommend reading this Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) article carefully so you are prepared for your conversation with your servicer.

If your loan is currently owned by Apex Home Loans (hasn't yet been transferred to a servicing partner) click here.

Mortgage Forbearance: CARES Act

A 2020 federal law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, puts in place two protections for homeowners with federally backed mortgages:

  1. A foreclosure moratorium
  2. A right to forbearance for homeowners who are experiencing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic

If you’re among those financially impacted by the pandemic, you might be concerned about how to pay your mortgage. Federal and state governments have announced plans to help struggling homeowners during this time. We recommend watching the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB's) video below to get additional information on what to do now, and what your options are for mortgage relief.

CARES Act Mortgage Forbearance
What You Need to Know from the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau):

 

Forbearance Impact on Credit Scores

Below is what FICO® has said regarding how a forbearance during the COVID-19 pandemic will affect credit scores:

It is important to note that the CARES Act governs how furnishers [like FICO] must report to the credit reporting agencies (CRAs) only in circumstances where they have reached an accommodation with the borrower. In those cases, furnishers must continue to report the account status as “current”, provided the account was not already in a delinquent status prior to the accommodation.

This reporting approach– placing borrowers in a temporary deferred payment plan or in forbearance, along with reporting an account status as “current”– will permanently ensure that a borrower’s FICO® Score will not be impacted by late payments related to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To summarize, only your lender is in a position to assess how you’ve been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to report all key credit data fields in a manner that best reflects your situation. As they are reported to the CRAs, payment status, amounts past due (if any), and balance information will continue to be important and considered in the calculation of the FICO® Score. You should not stop making loan payments until you’ve reached an accommodation plan with your lender.

We strongly suggest reviewing the complete details on credit reporting during the COVID-19 crisis on the FICO® website.

 

What to Expect (and What to Ask) When Calling Your Loan Servicer to Request Forbearance

 Expect to wait on hold for a while when calling your servicer. Loan servicers are experiencing extremely high call volumes and may also be impacted by the pandemic. Be ready with:

  • Your account number
  • Why you are unable to make your payment(s)
  • Whether the problem is temporary or permanent
  • Details about your income, expenses and other assets, like cash in the bank
  • Whether you are a servicemember with permanent change of station (PCS) orders

Here are some questions to ask your servicer regarding your options when you call:

  • If, at the end of my forbearance period, I am able to start making my normal monthly payments again but I need help repaying the amount I missed during my forbearance, what other options might be available to me?
  • Can my loan term be extended so that missed payments are added to the end of my mortgage?
  • What if I won't be able to go back to making my regular monthly payment?
  • Will I need to submit an application or certain documentation in order to apply for any of the options after forbearance?
  • What effect will taking forbearance have on my ability to refinance or purchase a new home in the future?

What Happens at the End of the Forbearance Period?

You will need to repay the payments that were missed during the forbearance period. How you can repay will depend on the type of loan you have and what your financial situation is at the end of the forbearance period. Some options might require you to submit an application and provide documentation like pay stubs or bank statements.

If you are able to start making your normal monthly payments again at the end of your forbearance period, you might be able to repay the missed amounts when you pay off your mortgage (or when you sell or refinance your house). However, if you were already behind on your mortgage payments before the COVID-19 pandemic started, you will not be able to use this option.

If you cannot make your normal monthly payments at the end of your forbearance period, or if you were already behind on your mortgage payments before the pandemic, you might be eligible for a LOAN MODIFICATION. 

Finally, if you can afford to pay off the entire amount in a LUMP SUM payment, you may do so. If you can afford to make a higher monthly payment for a period of time, you might be able to pay it off through a REPAYMENT PLAN.

 

WarningBe on the Lookout for Scams and Scammers

…looking to take advantage of consumers affected by COVID-19. You might receive fraudulent calls, emails, text messages or other "offers" to help you reduce or stop your mortgage payments. Make sure you are working directly with your mortgage servicer.

 

The CFPB says these are the red flags to be aware of:

  • They promise to get you a loan modification
  • They request that you sign over your property title
  • They ask you to sign papers you don’t understand
  • They tell you to make payments to someone other than your servicer
  • They tell you to stop making payments altogether
  • They promise you payments in connection with providing credit card numbers and other personal information
  • High up-front fees for their services

 

COVID-19 Forbearance FAQs

What is the difference between a forbearance plan and payment deferral?

A forbearance provides temporary relief by reducing or suspending your payments for a brief period of time, depending on your individual situation. Toward the end of your forbearance period, your servicer will reevaluate your situation to determine the best program to repay those missed payments.

A payment deferral is an agreement to pay the past due amounts at a different time. This may be an option for you at the end of your forbearance period based on your unique circumstances and loan program. However, it may not be the best solution if you need a more permanent payment reduction or have an extended need for forbearance.

What if I need even more time to resume my mortgage payments?

If you still aren’t ready to resume making monthly payments at the end of your forbearance plan, you can request an extension of your plan for another three months. Extensions will be available through a maximum 12-month forbearance term upon a showing of continued hardship.

Will I have to pay extra fees?

While in forbearance, homeowners do not incur late fees or other penalties. However, the terms of the mortgage are unchanged, and arrangements will need to be made with the servicer to make up missed payments.

What happens at the end of the forbearance?

At the end of the forbearance period, the homeowner will work with their servicer to repay all past due amounts and accrued interest. Homeowners unable to resolve past due amounts, or who need a lower mortgage payment, are evaluated for longer-term borrower assistance options such as a loan modification.

Will I qualify for a refinance if I enter into a forbearance plan?

You will not be able to qualify for a refinance until your plan is completed and your payments are brought fully current.

How will a forbearance affect my credit? Will it prevent me from obtaining mortgage financing in the future?

A forbearance plan properly authorized by your servicer should not adversely impact your credit. Borrowers who simply stop making payments, however, without obtaining a formal approval for a forbearance plan will most likely see an adverse impact to their credit. Borrowers with a formally authorized forbearance plan should be able to obtain mortgage financing in the future as well, but only after they make up or pay all of their missed payments.

Content Sources & Other Helpful Information:

Downloadable Resources:

 

Apex Home Loans, Inc. NMLS #2884.  For more information regarding state and branch licensing, please visit the NMLS Consumer Access Website at http://nmlsconsumeraccess.org. Corporate office location: 2400 Research Blvd., Suite 400, Rockville, MD  20850   301.610.9600

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