- April 27, 2020
- Posted by: @dmin
- Category: Uncategorized
Ontario residents are all being impacted by COVID-19. Many people may have had their hours cut at work, or in some cases, had their jobs eliminated entirely. In uncertain times, some people may have difficulty making payments for their residential mortgages.
In response to this, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has begun a program to help alleviate the financial burdens for many Canadians: the mortgage payment deferral program.
What Is the Mortgage Payment Deferral Program?
Homeowners and renters alike may benefit from the deferral payment program, as renters may receive breaks from landlords who apply for the program.This is an ongoing program, and Ontario residents may apply at any time, as deferrals may be extended for a period of up to 6 months.
The deferral program is an arrangement between you and your mortgage lender. The agreement is to pause or suspend your mortgage payments for a period of time, and is also known as a forbearance program. This is intended to be a temporary measure – at the end of the agreement, your payments return to normal, and missed payments, including both interest and principal, must be repaid.
The Canadian government is also purchasing insured mortgage debt to take some of the pressure off housing finance companies and lenders.
Who Is Eligible For the Program?
Anyone who is facing financial difficulty paying their home loans due to COVID-19 is eligible for the program – those who are able to pay their mortgage should still make regular payments. However, if at any point you think you won’t be able to make your next mortgage payment, it’s important to contact your lender right away to discuss your mortgage relief options.
The CMHC is allowing lenders with insured mortgages to offer payment deferrals for a period of time ranging from 90 days to 12 months. If your mortgage isn’t CMHC insured, you may still have deferral options from your lender. All housing finance companies have different options available for those experiencing difficulty meeting their mortgage obligations.
Are Mortgage Payments Cancelled?
Your mortgage payments aren’t erased – borrowers still are obligated to fulfill the terms of their loan. Often, a lender can simply adjust the amortization on the loan, allowing interest to accumulate while pausing the payments.
It’s important to note that interest will still be applied to the loan amount, even though the payment is paused. This may affect the total amount you owe, as more interest will be added to the amount.
How Can I Repay Deferred Payments?
The exact payment schedule and amount will vary by each lender and specific individual situation; be mindful that you may be asked to provide ongoing verification of your financial hardship. In addition, interest will continue to accumulate on the loan amount, which you’ll continue to be responsible for.
When the agreement ends, your payment amount may change, based on the total amount you owe. Alternatively, the bank may extend the loan schedule, leaving the payments the same, but allocating a longer period of time before the mortgage need to be paid off.
It’s crucial to note that mortgage payment deferrals are only a deferral of the loan payment itself. Other things, like homeowners insurance, property taxes, and life or disability insurance won’t be affected.
For more updates on how COVID-19 is affecting homeowners and tenants, read on:
How To Apply For Mortgage Relief Options
Each bank will have a different application process, so make sure to follow your lender’s instructions. You’ll likely be asked to document your loss of income, whether it’s a letter from your employer, pay stubs that show a reduced number of hours, or your unemployment package. The bank may also ask you about your long-term strategy for paying back the loan, whether it’s finding a new job or using your home equity line of credit to make mortgage payments.
Inclusive of the above, the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) aims to help replace income for those that have lost theirs, and may be an option for those challenged with paying the mortgage. If you’re encountering challenges with mortgage payments, apply today.
Everyone is facing uncertainty in these times. However, it’s important to remain proactive and communicate with your mortgage lender regarding payment issues if you’re facing a loss of income due to COVID-19.
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