The outbreak of COVID-19 continues to negatively impact Canadians. There have been layoffs, reduced hours, or loss of work entirely. For business owners, there has been a substantial reduction in business. For the next few weeks, some businesses are required to close their operations and others to open at reduced hours.
During this difficult time, it is may be hard to keep up with mortgage payments, especially if you have limited savings. Many homeowners have used a large part of their savings towards their down payment. The goal of “home free faster” with accelerated payments or taking advantage of pre-payment privileges could also have reduced your savings. For those who have the luxury of a secured or unsecured line of credit, you could use the facility to manage your monthly payments. “As part of our financial review, we have always looked at opportunities to approve a secured line of credit for rainy days.” said Joe Digiambattista, EVP Lending Solutions of pololoans.
Most lenders understand that some of their customers find themselves in financial hardship as a result of income reduction or cessation due to quarantine or business challenges. Many have launched relief programs that can assist you during these troubling times. “These measures are an important first step and underscore the resilience of Canada’s financial system and the strength of our major banks,” the banks said in a joint statement. “Banks will monitor evolving economic conditions and consider other measures if necessary.”
Based on individual borrower’s circumstances, the support provided by the lender will be on a case-by-case basis and their financial support offer may differ from lender to lender. They may offer any one or combination of the following:
- Mortgage payment deferrals for up to six months. In general, most lenders will offer this solution. This is a temporary payment solution; it is not debt forgiveness. NOTE: that although the payments are differed the interest continues to accrue on the outstanding balance.
- Re-amortization of your mortgage – by increasing the amortization period, your monthly mortgage amounts will decrease
- Capitalization of outstanding interest arrears.
Here are a few tips from our lenders:
- Be honest, make sure you fall in this category (i.e., your income is adversely impacted due to COVID-19). Lenders are getting a lot of calls and when yours do not apply, it takes away resources.
- Explain how COVID-19 is affecting your ability to pay and how long you are looking to defer your payments.
- If you are seeking information for the future, please look at the lender’s website. Most lenders will have a FAQ. Send an email if you have questions.
- To alleviate the volumes and stress for all parties involved, it is recommended that you call only if your payments are within the next seven days. These will require immediate solutions.
If you find yourself in this situation, you should be proactive in calling your lender within the 7-day payment window. This applies to all credit facilities. As you may appreciate, there are a lot of incoming calls and the 7-day window is a guideline to allow the mortgage servicing department to deal with higher priority calls. “While there may be a long wait time on the call, please don’t ignore. It may be easier to send an email to your lender which will provide you a record of the communication.” said Ming Wong, COO of pololoans.
To our valued homeowners, if you are affected, you should contact your lenders directly. For the major FI, their contact information is available on-line. For client that has been financed by monoline lenders or credit unions, here are some of the contact information:
1.800.268.1576 ext. 841
Please be assured that all of us here at pololoans continue with business as usual on line and by phone.
We are available to assist in anyway that we can as well as in answering your questions.
Mortgage Broker, License # M11000309
Principal Broker, License # M08001230