The government is ready to assist mortgagees if things get bad

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No one can dispute that the Covid 19 epidemic has brought negative consequences to the table, causing the whole globe to struggle to make ends meet.Finally, it appears that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, as the government has agreed to assist mortgagees in light of their financial difficulties. Under a federal program known as the Homeowner Assistance Fund, $180 million will begin coming into Massachusetts over several months to assist homeowners in paying their mortgages and preventing foreclosure.
The funds, according to Finfer, are part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, Congress authorized this and signed by President Biden in March. It may benefit tens of thousands of Massachusetts homeowners who the epidemic has harmed, he added. However, receiving that money may be difficult, time-consuming, and complicated, especially for families who are already struggling to make ends meet.

Nonprofit housing organizations are beginning to teach their front-line staff how to identify distressed homeowners and help them through bureaucratic and technical procedures. “The most difficult part may be locating the assistance you require, as these issues can be complicated,” said Andrea Bopp Stark, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center in Boston. According to Stark, if you’re having problems paying your mortgage, the worst thing you can do is nothing.
Stark has two bits of advice for individuals who are having trouble: Call your mortgage servicer as soon as possible, if at all feasible, and ask for assistance from a housing counselor; counselor has been trained and qualified by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Housing counselors from HUD provide free services to those in need.

Further to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, nearly 3 million homeowners are behind on their mortgages, while around 2 million have forbearance. The legal word for a lender-approved postponement of your mortgage payments is forbearance. It protects homeowners against foreclosure, credit damage, and late penalties as they fall behind on their payments.

However, tolerance does not last forever. Many homeowners who were authorized for forbearance last summer may have their payments halted expire in the coming months. On time made payments are not waived, forgiven, or erased. They’ll have to make something up. It is also the homeowner’s responsibility to work out a strategy with the mortgage servicer. On the other hand, mortgage servicers are going to be overwhelmed with requests for forbearance extensions and approval of repayment schemes. That’s why it is identified as a good idea to contact right now to start a dialogue, which should most likely include a discussion of prospective Homeowner Assistance Fund assistance.

In addition to HUD housing counselors, legal aid services are an essential resource for free housing assistance. They may be found at www.masslegalhelp.org. Another helpful resource is the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA), which may be found at chapa.org.
According to a Census Bureau poll conducted last month, more than 20% of homeowners in Massachusetts had at least considerable concern about being able to pay their mortgage next month, with 2% having no credence in their ability to pay. However, this means that over 400,000 households are unsure whether or not they will be able to pay their mortgages.

Many of those families are primarily African-American neighborhoods in Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Chicopee, Everett, Holyoke, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Malden, New Bedford, Quincy, Springfield, and Worcester. In a state where just 35% of persons of color-owned houses, compared to around 70% of white residents, the possibility of decreased homeownership among communities of color especially concerns, according to Thomas Callahan, executive director of the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance.
Callahan stated, “We aim to close the racial homeownership gap.” Springfield No One Leaves was founded in reaction to massive foreclosures during the financial crisis that began in 2008. Rose Webster-Smith is the executive director. According to her, the needs in Western Massachusetts are critical.

“Before COVID, we had a housing crisis,” she explained. “It might now explode if we aren’t careful.”

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