For most consumers, a mortgage is one of the largest accounts that they will ever open. It’s also the most important, providing them and their family with a place to live. Luckily, there are numerous protections in place to help consumers stay in their homes during financial difficulties, including the current COVID-19 crisis.

When you take out a mortgage, there are different companies that are involved with your mortgage. There is the holder (or owner) of your loan and the servicer of your loan, these are typically different companies. Both can also change over the course of your mortgage. Typically, you do not interact with the holder of loan, rather all your payments and any communications are sent to the servicer. When seeking assistance on your mortgage, know who both the holder of your loan and the servicer are.

There are also different programs that different mortgages belong to, such as FHA-insured mortgages and VA mortgages. Find out what type of program (if any) your mortgage belongs to as this will have a bearing on your rights.

Many consumers are concerned about being able to make their monthly mortgage payments during the COVID-19 crisis, particularly those who have been laid off or furloughed and are experiencing a lapse in income as a result of this pandemic.

If you are not going to be able to make your monthly payment, find out what mortgage assistance is available to you. This can help you avoid foreclosure of your home, late fees and other penalties, and damage to your credit report, which could have long-lasting implications, even past the COVID-19 outbreak.


What COVID-19 Rights and Resources are Available?

Congress passed the CARES Act, which now provides several protections for consumers who have a federally insured mortgage loan. These “federally backed mortgages” that are eligible for assistance under the CARES Act include mortgages for single-family homes that are:

  • purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac;
  • insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), including reverse mortgages or Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs);
  • guaranteed, directly provided by, or insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA);
  • guaranteed, directly provided by, or insured by the Department of Agriculture (USDA); or
  • guaranteed under HUD’s Native American or Native Hawaiian Home Loan Guarantee programs.

Homeowners that do not know whether their mortgage fits this definition, should reach out to their mortgage servicer to find out. Your mortgage servicer is the company that you send your mortgage payments to each month. For context, 70 percent of mortgages in the current market are federally backed. If you are unsure of who owns your loan, here are some steps you can take to find out:

  1. If you have an FHA, VA, or RHS loan, it will be indicated in your loan closing documents. If you do not have a copy of those, you can call your servicer to ask, or for FHA loans, you can call HUD’s National Servicing Center at 877-622-8525.
  2. To check if you have a Freddie Mac loan, visit:
  3. To check if you have a Fannie Mae loan, visit:

These protections include:

  • Any borrower with a federally-backed mortgage due to COVID-19 may request a forbearance, regardless of their delinquency status, by submitting a request to their servicer and affirming that their financial hardship is due to COVID-19. No documentation regarding the hardship needs to be submitted.
    • This forbearance period shall continue for up to 180 days, and if the borrower requests an additional extension, they can obtain another 180-day forbearance.
    • During the forbearance period, no fees, penalties, or interest shall accrue except for what is already allowed if the borrower were making timely payments.
  • No servicer of a federally-backed mortgage may initiate a foreclosure, move for a foreclosure judgment, conduct a foreclosure sale, or proceed with an eviction from March 18, 2020 to May 17, 2020.

You should know that a mortgage forbearance is not a forgiveness of debt, and you will have to work out a loan modification or repayment plan with your lender or servicer at the end of the forbearance period to resume making payments, including all missed payments. The CARES Act is silent as to the kinds of loan modifications that will be offered. However, a common type of loan modification following a forbearance period extends the mortgage term for the length of the forbearance to allow the homeowner to resume making payments in an amount that is very similar to what you were paying prior to the forbearance. You can look up a HUD-approved housing counseling agency for help here.

Homeowners who are suffering financial hardship, directly or indirectly related to COVID-19 should contact their servicer to request a forbearance. Homeowners will have to attest to financial hardship caused directly or indirectly by COVID-19 to receive a forbearance but are not required to provide any further documentation to prove such financial hardship.

If you are subject to an initiation of foreclosure proceedings, a continuation of foreclosure proceedings, or a foreclosure related eviction within the 60-day period beginning on March 18, 2020, you should contact your servicer immediately to demand an explanation. You may also contact the relevant federal agency or entity that is backing your mortgage or seek out legal assistance. You may want to submit a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau through their complaints webpage, available here. You can also contact the CFPB via telephone by calling (855) 411-2372.

A summary of additional protections based on the owner of your loan are summarized below.

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Loans:

  • All foreclosure sales and evictions are suspended for at least 60 days, though May 17, 2020. This applies to your principal residence, your second home, and your investment properties. However, it does not apply to any properties that are vacant or have been abandoned.
  • Borrowers impacted by COVID-19 should contact their mortgage servicer if they are unable to make their mortgage payments.
    • If you cannot reach your servicer to request assistance, you can call:
      • Freddie Mac at 1-800-FREDDIE (1-800-373-3343)
        Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 7:00 pm EST.
        Select option 2 to be connected to a live agent to assist.
      • Fannie Mae Disaster Response Network at 877-542-9723.
        Monday - Friday, 7:00 am - 7:00 pm EST. Call will be answered by “Porchlight Disaster Recovery Assistance Team.”
  • Borrowers impacted by COVID-19 can request a “forbearance,” meaning a suspension or reduction in their mortgage payments, for up to 12 months.
    • Borrowers placed in a forbearance plan will not incur late fees.
    • Servicers are not required to obtain documentation of the hardship.
    • Near the end of the forbearance period, servicers must work with borrowers to provide a permanent solution to bring the loan current, including review for a loan modification.
    • Any unpaid payments during a forbearance plan related to COVID-19 will not be reported to the credit bureaus.

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Loans:

  • Initiation of foreclosures, foreclosure sales, and evictions are suspended.
  • Borrowers impacted by COVID-19 should contact their mortgage servicer if they are unable to make their mortgage payments.
  • Loan servicers must review borrowers impacted by COVID-19 for both short and long-term forbearance options, loan modifications, and other options based on the borrower’s individual circumstances.

VA Loans

  • The VA has strongly encouraged loan servicers to establish a sixty-day moratorium on pending foreclosures and initiating new foreclosures on any VA loans. However, it is not a mandatory requirement, and is up to the individual servicer. Even if the servicer has elected not to participate in the moratorium, many states have halted all foreclosures and eviction actions.

RHA Loans

  • The USDA has encouraged Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) loan servicers to extend forbearance alternatives to borrowers whose health or employment has been impacted as a result of COVID-19. Contact your loan servicer to determine what help is available for your loan.
  • In addition, USDA Rural Development requires that servicers suspend all foreclosure activity, including new and existing foreclosure actions.


Mortgage Protections by State

There are a number of protections that Sate Governors or agencies have implemented. Some are voluntary. For example, in California, most major lenders have agreed to an automatic deferral of 3 months of mortgage payments. Other states have enacted restrictions against foreclosures during the Covid-19 crisis.

Many of the servicers listed below have suspended foreclosures and evictions during the COVID-19 crisis. However, even if a particular mortgage company has not taken this action, many states have postponed foreclosure and eviction actions. This protects all homeowners, regardless of who owns their loan. The National Housing Project is maintaining a list of the current status of each state’s actions regarding evictions and foreclosures, which can be found at:

If you have received a foreclosure or eviction notice with a court date, make sure to contact the courthouse to make sure that the hearing has been postponed, and contact an attorney for assistance.


Contact your servicer

Although homeowners with mortgages that are not federally backed are not technically covered under the CARES Act and though you may not be in a state with strong protections, reputable lenders are voluntarily providing the same or better relief provided for federally backed mortgages.

Seeking mortgage assistance right away is critical to financial stability for consumers who are financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Many mortgages are eligible for a “forbearance,” or payment deferral, for several months. Depending on the servicer, these forbearance programs have several advantages, including:

  • Postponed payments, which can free up much cash needed to pay for other expenses during these difficult times;
  • Waiver of late fees and charges during the forbearance (note that interest will typically still accrue on your loan);
  • Your loan should not be reported as delinquent to the credit reporting agencies during the forbearance period;
  • After the forbearance period, a long-term solution to mortgage payments, including loan modification and repayment plans for deferred payments.

It is critical that you reach out to your loan servicer to apply for a loan forbearance before you miss your monthly payment. Enrollment in these programs is not automatic. Please consult the list of servicers below for information on how to apply for a forbearance and what benefits may be available to you. Also, keep in mind that many of these companies are experiencing higher-than-usual call volumes, so wait times may be longer than you are used to. Depending on your servicer, you may be able to apply for loan assistance online, which may be faster than calling.

In addition, many loan servicers are halting foreclosures and evictions during the COVID-19 crisis.


Your Credit Cannot be Harmed if You Receive a Payment Deferral from your Servicer or Lender.

Importantly, the COVID-19, or CARES Act, passed by Congress, prohibits negative credit reporting for consumers who receive a waiver, deferral or other relief from their lender. For example, if you request to skip three monthly payments (90-day deferral), and the lender agrees, as most will, the lender and credit bureaus are not allowed to report that deferral as a negative or derogatory event or payment status. It cannot harm your credit score. However, if you do not contact the lender and confirm its agreement, the missed payments may hurt your credit.


Servicers and Lenders:

NOTE: the following information is current as of April 2, 2020. Visit the links below for the most up to date information.

Lender & Relief Link
Ally Bank
  • You can defer your payment for up to 120 days with no impact to your credit (starting from the day you contact them; interest will still accrue, but they should not charge late fees on payments due during this time).
  • Evictions and foreclosures are suspended until July 30.
  • It is faster to log in to your online account if you are looking to learn about or apply for payment assistance options at
  • You can also call Ally Bank, but keep in mind that there may be longer than average wait times. They can be reached at 855-256-2559 Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 10:00 pm ET and Saturday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm ET.
Bank of America
  • Bank of America is offering forbearances to consumers affected by COVID-19 for at least 90 days.
  • To request assistance with your mortgage payments, call them at 800-669-6650, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm ET.
Link 1
Link 2
Bayview Loan Servicing
  • Bayview is offering a forbearance plan with several options to catch up on your mortgage after the forbearance has ended, such as a reinstatement plan, repayment plan, or modification plan.
  • In order to enroll in the program, you must call Bayview at 800-457-5105.
Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC
  • Borrowers who have been affected by COVID-19 can apply for mortgage assistance online by completing the form available at
  • You will not need to submit documentation at this time, although they may request documentation later. If you qualify for assistance, you should be notified by mail within one week. If they need additional information to process your application, they will notify you in writing and should call or email you within 14 days for that information.
  • If you would like to speak to a customer service representative, call 800-561-4567.
  • You can also access information through your online account or by the Carrington Quick Pay mobile app.
Chase Bank
  • If you need help with your mortgage payments, you can sign into your account and send them a secure message, which should be answered within 24 hours.
  • You can also call 800-848-9136.
  • If you are active duty military and have been activated to help respond to a disaster, you may be eligible for additional benefits. Call their military services hotline at 877-469-0110.
  • Citibank is offering a range of hardship programs through their service provider, Cenlar FSB. You can contact Cenlar FSB at 855-839-6253 Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 8:00 pm ET and Saturday 8:30 am - 5:00 pm ET.
CMC Funding
  • You can submit a request for a forbearance by logging in to your online account and submitting an inquiry through the message center.
  • For help with your mortgage or home equity line of credit, call 855-806-4657 to talk about assistance programs that may be available to you.
  • You can also use the online chat function or speak with your existing relationship manager.
  • Huntington is offering up to 90 days of payment deferral on all consumer loans, including mortgages, for borrowers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
  • Interest will continue to accrue during the deferral period, but you will not have to make a single “catch-up” payment at the end of your defferal. Instead, Huntington should work with you to extend the term of your loan or provide you with a modification.
  • Huntington will also suspend all late payments through March 2020.
  • All foreclosure actions will cease through the end of March 2020 unless required by a federal or other governmental agency.
  • If you need mortgage assistance, contact 800-323-9865, Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 9:00 pm and Saturdays 8:00 am - 1:00 pm ET.
Mr. Cooper/Nationstar Mortgage
  • If you are experiencing financial difficulties due to COVID-19, you can apply for a three to six month forbearance, which will not impact your credit.
  • After the forbearance period, Mr. Cooper will work with you to determine the best way to pay your mortgage after the forbearance period—through a one-time “catch-up” payment, through a repayment plan, or through a loan modification.
  • You can contact Mr. Cooper by phone at 888-480-2432.
  • You can also visit your online account or manage your mortgage from the Mr. Cooper mobile app.
PNC Bank
  • You may be able to postpone payments for up to 90 days with no late fees during the postponement period.
  • Fees for late payments can also be avoided if you are in a payment hardship program.
  • PNC has also temporarily suspended foreclosure proceedings, foreclosure sales, and eviction activities.
  • For mortgage assistance, call PNC at 800-822-5626. Hours are: Monday - Thursday 8:00 am - 9:00 pm ET; Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm ET; and Saturday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm ET.
Regions Mortgage Link
Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans Link
Specialized Loan Servicing (SLS)
  • If you are affected by COVID-19, call SLS for loan assistance programs at 800-306-6062 or submit a question to an agent through the Message Center by logging into your online account.
Truist (Formerly SunTrust and BB&T)
Former SunTrust clients
  • Programs are available for mortgage relief, including a minimum of a 90 day-forbearance. Contact them at 800-443-1032 to apply for payment relief. Hours: 8:00 am - 10:00 pm Monday - Thursday, 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Friday, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Saturday ET.
  • You can also reach out to them by the mobile app or at
  • No charges should be assessed during the forbearance period. If you cannot make a one-time “catch-up” payment at the end of the forbearance period, then you should be evaluated for a loan modification.
  • Accounts in forbearance are not reported to the credit bureaus as delinquencies.
Former BB&T clients
  • Programs are available for mortgage relief, including a minimum of a 90 day-forbearance. Contact them at 800-827-3722, option 9, to apply for payment relief.
  • No charges should be assessed during the forbearance period. If you cannot make a one-time “catch-up” payment at the end of the forbearance period, then you should be evaluated for a loan modification.
  • Accounts in forbearance are not reported to the credit bureaus as delinquencies.
Link 1
Link 2
US Bank
  • If you are having problems making your monthly mortgage payment, you can request a forbearance of up to 90 days with no late fees.
  • Call 800-365-7900, Monday - Friday from 7:00 am - 9:00 pm CT and Saturday from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm CT.
Link 1
Link 2
Wells Fargo
  • Wells Fargo has suspended foreclosure sales and evictions.
  • Well Fargo are also offering fee waivers, payment deferral and other expanded assistance for mortgage borrowers who contact the company.


Tips for Talking to Your Servicer

  1. Document any conversations that you have with your loan servicer regarding these issues. Write down the date of your conversation, the name of the person that you spoke with, and what they told you to do regarding your loan, particularly regarding the submission of any documents or payment instructions. Save copies of any documents that you receive from or send to your mortgage servicer.
  2. If you are having problems reaching a live person, make sure that you are using all available online account resources, web chats, and mobile apps, as these companies are experiencing higher-than-usual call volumes. In addition, instructions on how to reach a live person at many banks and other financial institutions can be found at:
  3. You can also contact a HUD-approved housing counselor to help you explore options to obtain a loan modification to stay in your home. Housing counselors can: discuss your mortgage situation and determine if you qualify for any programs or additional help; help you understand what loss mitigation options your servicer offers and which might be best for you; guide you through the process of working with your servicer and help you with any paperwork you may need; and help you at little or no cost with other financial problems that may be making it difficult to pay your mortgage. You can find a HUD-approved housing counselor at or by calling the HOPE hotline at (888) 995-HOPE (4673).
  4. Avoid potential foreclosure scammers. You do not have to pay anyone to help you keep your home. You can work with a HUD counselor, your servicer, or an attorney to avoid foreclosure. Foreclosure scammers are common and end up just taking your money, without doing anything to actually help you keep your home. Be aware of these foreclosure scam warning signs:
    • A request for up-front payment;
    • A guarantee that the terms of your mortgage will change;
    • A guarantee that you will not lose your home;
    • A request to sign over the title to your home or a request to sign other documents that you do not understand;
    • Instructions to send your monthly mortgage payment to someone other than your mortgage servicer;
    • An offer to do a “forensic audit”;
    • Being told to stop paying your mortgage;
    • A company that claims to be affiliated with the government or uses a slightly altered government logo.


Beware of Third Party Companies Claiming to Offer Services for your Mortgage

You should beware of scams, including anyone seeking to charge you for obtaining the foreclosure relief provided under the CARES Act. Also beware of anyone charging you in advance for assistance in modifying the terms of your mortgage. In most circumstances, it is unlawful to charge fees in advance for a mortgage modification. Contact your servicer to inquire about options for modifying the terms of your mortgage.


Miscellaneous Information

Other preexisting mortgage protections will remain in place during the COVID-19 crisis. For example, if you believe that your payments are being misapplied or there are errors regarding the servicing of your mortgage, you can send your servicer a letter (called a “Qualified Written Request”) asking them to investigate the errors on your account or provide you with certain information regarding your loan. The CFPB has detailed information on their website about submitting a Qualified Written Request, as well as sample letters, at A consumer law attorney can also help you draft a Qualified Written Request.

Military members or veterans can call the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or visit the VA’s website at to get personalized assistance. Military members may also contact their local JAG office for more information.


Other Resources

Foreclosure Moratoriums and Suspensions by the Major Mortgage Investors:

NCLC's Summary of State Actions Limiting Foreclosures:

National Housing National Housing Project’s Listing of Eviction Moratoria:

CFPB’s Guidance on How to Avoid Foreclosure:

CFPB’s Guidance on Qualified Written Requests:

Find a HUD-approved housing counselor: