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Relief for Homeowners Affected by Coronavirus

I hope you're staying hydrated, well-rested, and you're exercising moderately every day!  Whew.  It's a tall order, but it's good work.  

Thought you might like to know of some resources available to you if you have the need. If I've omitted any resources that you know of, feel free to get in touch w me and I'll pass along the info.  (Extra points for you if you call me:  I'm contact-starved, and I'd love to hear your voice!)

The Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have announced a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for at least the next 60 days.   Here's a link: https://www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/HUD_No_20_042 .  Homeowners who are struggling financially as a result of coronavirus may postpone their mortgage payments for up to 12 months. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and their servicers have been instructed to be proactive in providing assistance to homeowners and to provide forbearance on their loans.  Mortgage payments will be paused with no impact to credit.   Here are some links to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac assistance sites:   https://www.knowyouroptions.com/covid19assistance  and https://myhome.freddiemac.com/mortgage-help/contact.html 

Additionally banks have posted their own policies and ways for consumers to contact them directly for assistance.  Here's more info:  

Bank of America:  https://about.bankofamerica.com/promo/assistance/latest-updates-from-bank-of-america-coronavirus; Capital One:  https://www.capitalone.com/coronavirus/; Chase Bank:  https://www.chase.com/digital/resources/coronavirus; Truist Bank:  https://www.truist.com/coronavirus-response/banking-solutions; US Bank:  https://www.usbank.com/splash/covid-19.html; Wells Fargo: https://newsroom.wf.com/press-release/corporate-and-financial/wells-fargo-announces-aid-customers-and-communities-impacted; Mr. Cooper (mortgage servicer): https://www.mrcooper.com/blog/2020/03/20/coronavirus/ and Flagstar (mortgage servicer):  https://www.flagstar.com/promo/update.html.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is urging consumers to protect their credit during this time.   https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/protecting-your-credit-during-coronavirus-pandemic/.  This site is a good source of info:  they have a number of resources focused on short-term and long-term financial protection -- for instance how to manage bill-paying in the near future, how to manage student loans, and how to negotiate debt collections.

For the latest updates and public health policies, here's a link to the Centers for Disease Control's COVID-19 site:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2Findex.html.  And you might also be interested in checking in to the EPA's website concerning coronavirus.  The Good News is at the current time they haven't found the

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Are We About to See a Wave of COVID-19 Foreclosures?

Are We About to See a New Wave of Foreclosures?

Are We About to See a New Wave of Foreclosures? | MyKCM

With all of the havoc being caused by COVID-19, many are concerned we may see a new wave of foreclosures. Restaurants, airlines, hotels, and many other industries are furloughing workers or dramatically cutting their hours. Without a job, many homeowners are wondering how they’ll be able to afford their mortgage payments.

In spite of this, there are actually many reasons we won’t see a surge in the number of foreclosures like we did during the housing crash over ten years ago. Here are just a few of those reasons:

The Government Learned its Lesson the Last Time

During the previous housing crash, the government was slow to recognize the challenges homeowners were having and waited too long to grant relief. Today, action is being taken swiftly. Just this week:

  • The Federal Housing Administration indicated it is enacting an “immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages” for the next 60 days.
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced it is directing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for “at least 60 days.”

Homeowners Learned their Lesson the Last Time

When the housing market was going strong in the early 2000s, homeowners gained a tremendous amount of equity in their homes. Many began to tap into that equity. Some started to use their homes as ATM machines to purchase luxury items like cars, jet-skis, and lavish vacations. When prices dipped, many found themselves in a negative equity situation (where the mortgage was greater than the value of their homes). Some just walked away, leaving the banks with no other option but to foreclose on their properties.

Today, the home equity situation in America is vastly different. From 2005-2007, homeowners cashed out $824 billion worth of home equity by refinancing. In the last three years, they cashed out only $232 billion, less than one-third of that amount. That has led to:

  • 37% of homes in America having no mortgage at all
  • Of the remaining 63%, more than 1 in 4 having over 50% equity
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Buying With Less Than 20% Down

There aren't many costs built into a home loan that can be removed, but Private Mortgage Insurance is one that can be. If you don't have a 20% down payment for your home, PMI can get you into a home while conditions are otherwise right for you (say while the interest rates are low!) Cancel the PMI once you've built 20% equity in your home so you can remove that expense from your monthly mortgage payment. Interested? Let's talk! (406) 570-1653

What You Need to Know About Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

What You Need to Know About Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) | MyKCM

Whether it is your first time or your fifth, it is always important to know all the facts when it comes to buying a home. With the large number of mortgage programs available that allow buyers to purchase homes with down payments below 20%, you can never have too much information about Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

What is PMI?

Freddie Mac defines PMI as:

“An insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It’s a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%.

Once you’ve built equity of 20% in your home, you can cancel your PMI and remove that expense from your mortgage payment.”

As the borrower, you pay the monthly premiums for the insurance policy, and the lender is the beneficiary. Freddie Mac goes on to explain that:

“The cost of PMI varies based on your loan-to-value ratio – the amount you owe on your mortgage compared to its value – and credit score, but you can expect to pay between $30 and $70 per month for every $100,000 borrowed.” 

According to the National Association of Realtors, the average down payment for all buyers last year was 13%. For first-time buyers, that number dropped to 7%, while repeat buyers put down 16% (no doubt aided by the sale of their homes). This just goes to show that for a large number of buyers last year, PMI did not stop them from buying their dream homes.

Here’s an example of

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