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New York COVID and Mortgage Payments

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 20, 2020 Governor Cuomo issued executive order that put New York State on “PAUSE." Under the executive order, except for those who provide essential services, all New Yorkers are required to stay home. As a result, many New Yorkers are suffering financially due to the inability to work and earn an income. Families are concerned about the ability to make future mortgage payments and others are already in default. There are options for those who have defaulted on mortgage payments, are already in foreclosure, and who anticipate not being able to make mortgage payments on time. The options for which you might be eligible will depend on a number of factors including whether your mortgage is federally backed (most are), who your lender is, whether your payments are already behind, and how far behind you are in your payments. Relief has been provided by the New York Department of Financial Services, the federal government, and by individual lenders.

  • Forbearance. If you are experience financial hardship due to the pandemic, New York regulated lenders are required to allow you to apply for a 90-day forbearance. During the forbearance period, you will not be required to make mortgage payments. At the end of the forbearance period your lender may require you to pay all of your missed payments at one time, spread out the missed payments over a period of time, or your lender may require you to pay the missed payments at the end of your mortgage. Contact your lender to find discuss its options.
  • Suspending foreclosure. If your home is eligible for foreclosure or is in active foreclosure, contact your lender for options to avoid or get out of foreclosure. Note that if your mortgage was already in foreclosure prior to the governor’s ordered PAUSE, meaning that a court proceeding had been initiated, the foreclosure proceeding cannot move forward. Government agencies and offices must also abide by the PAUSE order. Except for emergencies, courts are closed. Foreclosure proceedings are not moving forward as they are considered emergencies or essential. However, once courts reopen, your case will move forward. New York State recommends that you contact your lender to discuss options.
  • Moratorium under CARES Act. Under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the CARES Act, if you have a federally backed mortgage, then starting on March 18, 2020, for 60 days, lenders are prohibited from initiating a foreclosure, finalizing a foreclosure judgement, or finalizing a foreclosure sale.
  • Forbearance under CARES Act. Under the CARES Act, if you have a federally backed mortgage, you have the right to request a forbearance for up to 360 days. You must first contact your lender to request a 180-day extension. You can then request an extension for up to another 180 days. While you will be ultimately responsible for those missed mortgage payments, including schedule interest, you will not be charged with additional fees, penalties or additional interest.
  • Other types of mortgage relief. Your lender may offer other types of financial relief. Contact it directly to learn what relief is available and to apply.
  • Utility disconnections. All major water, heat, and electricity providers in New York have agreed to temporarily suspend shut-offs and to assist customers facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
  • Credit score. If your mortgage is in forbearance, your lender will not report it being late. Also, New York State has urged lenders not to report late payments to credit bureaus for 90 days.

To find out what relief you is available to you, contact your lender. If you are eligible for forbearance, make sure that you understand how you will be required to make up missed payments once the forbearance period ends. There is also relief for tenants unable to make rent payments. Note that the special COVID-related rules and programs related to housing are fluid and may change at any time. Check back to this page for updates.

The Guidance to New York State Regulated and Exempt Mortgage Servicers Regarding Support for Borrowers Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found here

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