The Coronavirus pandemic that seemingly changed the world overnight has had substantial impacts on families throughout the state of New York, specifically in regards to their ability to pay their mortgages. When times are tough, many families worry about the prospect of foreclosure. At the Law Offices of David M. Katz, we understand that homeowners across the country are feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially here in the Hudson Valley. The state of New York recognizes that economic concerns are widespread and has implemented a number of procedures specific to the COVID-19 era. If you are struggling to pay your mortgage due to the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, contact the Law Offices of David M. Katz today to learn more about your options.
What did NY State do to help homeowners?
Governor Cuomo issued an executive order that placed a moratorium on COVID-related foreclosures, which will be effective until the stay is lifted by either the Governor or the New York State Unified Court System.
What if I have already been sued for a foreclosure?
If you have already been sued for foreclosure in New York State, be aware that no foreclosure auctions can be scheduled or held during the time in which the stay is active. When the stay on foreclosures is lifted, the proceedings can resume. In the meantime, it is a good idea to consult with a skilled foreclosure defense attorney while you have been given additional time to assess the situation.
I haven’t been sued yet, but I am unable to make mortgage payments. What should I know?
Typically, if you are several months behind on your mortgage payments, your lender could sue you. However, if you can show that you fell behind on your mortgage payments as a result of COVID-19, your mortgage lender is not permitted to take legal action against you until the stay on foreclosures has expired. During this time, it is important that you contact an experienced foreclosure defense attorney who can assess your situation and help you prepare defenses for when the stay on foreclosures has been lifted.
I can’t make payments and my bank has offered forbearance. What does this mean?
Many banks are offering borrowers an option called forbearance if they cannot make mortgage payments due to COVID-related circumstances. Forbearance simply means that your mortgage payments will be reduced or suspended for a predetermined period of time until you are more financially stable. It is important to note that at the end of the forbearance period, you may be required to pay the full amount of the payments that were reduced or deferred. In fact, your future monthly payments may increase to make up for the previously decreased rate.
What should tenants know about evictions during COVID-19?
On June 30, the Tenant Safe Harbor Act was signed by Governor Cuomo to ensure that no residential or commercial tenants could be evicted during this public health emergency. This eviction moratorium will be active until the public health emergency expires.
What else are mortgage servicers offering?
In April 2020, the New York Attorney General requested that mortgage lenders make a number of adjustments to assist homeowners during COVID-19. These adjustments include:
- Waiving late fees
- Placing homeowners in a 90-day forbearance period if a payment is missed, even if the homeowner didn’t request it
- Allow homeowners to renew these forbearance periods for a maximum of one year, as long as the homeowner verbally or in writing details that their hardship is related to the economic impacts of the pandemic without further documentation
- Provide a full explanation of options for after the forbearance period has expired
- Ensure that mortgage servicing companies are adequately staffed to effectively handle the needs of borrowers
- Develop and implement long-term solutions to help homeowners transition out of the forbearance period when it expires
Contact Our Firm
If your financial situation has been seriously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and you are struggling to make mortgage payments, it is important to speak to a foreclosure defense attorney. The Law Offices of David M. Katz can assess your situation and help you understand what your options are during this time, as well as navigate the way forward. Our firm is here to reduce your stress during this difficult period and act as your advocate every step of the way. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Katz today to discuss your situation.