These are some pretty uncertain financial times, and I know you may be a little leery about what is going to happen in the upcoming weeks if you do not have the funds to handle the necessities like paying your mortgage.
We’ve been waiting, day-by-day, to hear word from the Federal government for some sort of plan to help with these unknowns, and we finally hear the news that the big six banks are deferring payments for up to six months for those hurt by the work disruption. Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis. If your mortgage is not with the big six, other financial institutions are offering a skip-a-payment option. And if your mortgage is insured by CMHC or Genworth, you may be able to find support from them as well.
One of my biggest clients is actually a mortgage insurance company as I list many homes that become foreclosed on in our city and surrounding area. Believe me, foreclosure is the last resort for these companies, and they would love to avoid it if possible. If you are experiencing financial troubles and don’t think you can handle your current mortgage payment, act early and see what other options are out there for you. Being proactive early, can save you time, money, stress, and help you get back on track before destroying your credit for years to come. Here’s some ways to get ahead of the problem.
My advice is to TALK TO YOUR LENDER. The first step is to reach out to your lender, explain your situation, and find out what they exactly need to help you figure out a game plan. In some cases, depending on how far behind you are with your payments and your ability to pay back the arrears in the future, one could:
- defer mortgage payments and redistribute the amount over your existing amortization
- extend your amortization time frame to help lower your monthly payments
- defer paying the principal over a two-year period and you would pay the interest only with an agreed-upon special payment arrangement
- interest rates are pretty low right now, but if you have a variable mortgage when rates are on the high side, they could have that changed for you
- for those with little or no equity but have a stable income and can demonstrate the ability to repay principal, interest, unpaid taxes, utility bills, and property repairs, there are arrangements that can also be considered
If you are unsure of where to start or if you should be reaching out to your lender, I’m just a phone call away and ready to lend a hand. It never hurts to plan ahead, but for now, try to remain steady, and calm until we know more of what’s to come down the pipeline from our government.