COVID-19 Mortgage Payment Relief: What’s Available to You?
There is some good news in this very stressful time for people who are worried about making their mortgage payments.
Canadian mortgage insurers, Genworth, Canada Guaranty, and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporate (CMHC) are backing the current crisis and are working with our lenders to develop policies to either skip or defer payments on mortgages, loans, credit cards, and lines of credit for those experiencing a sudden loss of income due to COVID-19.
However, it’s important to know that these are on a case-by-case basis. Full FAQ below.
LENDER CONTACT INFORMATION
ATB Financial: 1-800-332-8383
B2B Bank: 1-800 263 8349 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BMO Financial Group: 1-877-895-3278
Bridgewater Bank: 1-866-243-4301 or email@example.com
CMLS Financial: 1-888-995-2657 or firstname.lastname@example.org
CWB Optimum Mortgage: 1-866-441-3775 or email@example.com
Equitable Bank: 1-866-407-0004 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Connect First Credit Union: 1-403-520-8000 | Contact
Chinook Financial: 1-403-934-3358 | Contact
First Calgary Financial: 1-403-736-4000 | Contact
First National Financial LP: 1-866-557-5509 or email@example.com
Haventree Bank: 1-855-272-0051 or MortgageServicing@haventreebank.com
HomeEquity Bank: 1-866-331-2447 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Trust Company: 1-855-270-3630 or email@example.com
ICICI Bank 1-888-424-2422 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lendwise: 1-800-675-7022, Option 4
Manulife: 1-866-677-4366 or email@example.com
MCAP: 1-800-265-2624 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MERIX Financial 1-877-637-7881 or email@example.com
Marathon: 1-855-503-6060 or firstname.lastname@example.org
National Bank: 1-888-835-6281
RFA: (formerly Street Capital) 1-877-416-7873 or email@example.com
RMG: 1-866-809-5800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Servus Credit Union: 1-877-378-8728
These are extraordinary times for all our clients and lender partners. We know there are a lot of questions about mortgage payment deferrals as a result of COVID-19. It may take some time for you to reach your lender, but know they are working extremely hard to help all their clients.
If you are going to miss your mortgage payment within the next five days, contact your lender! Some lenders will let you skip-a-payment directly on their online portal, however it may still be subject to review.
Lenders may waive NSF fees if you miss a payment but can demonstrate to them that you attempted to notify them in advance either by phone, email, or online.
Who can apply to skip or defer a mortgage payment(s)?
These programs are for customers who are genuinely struggling to make their next mortgage payment. They may have lost their job(s) and/or a portion of their income as a result of COVID-19, and they do not have the cash reserves necessary to draw on. If you are not in this group, you are not likely to be eligible to skip or defer payments.
However, if you do make the decision to request a payment deferral, please be prepared to submit a detailed breakdown of your personal assets, current income, and expenses.
If I haven’t been directly impacted by COVID-19, can I still apply?
If you are still receiving your normal income and have enough money to make your next mortgage payment, please delay a call to your lender until you are in that situation. Phone lines are very busy and cases where payments cannot be made will be priority.
We recommend contacting your mortgage broker that you originally worked with when you obtained your mortgage. They will be happy to review all of your options with you!
If I’m eligible, how many payments will be deferred?
Mortgage payment deferral programs are offered at their sole discretion of each lender. Deferring the first payment will be easier than deferring the second one, and so on. Right now, six months is about the longest deferment you should expect to receive but expect to verify each deferral with your lender. You are still expected to ultimately pay all of the money you owe, with interest.
Note: These programs are generally restricted to ‘Institutional” lenders only. Private mortgages do not qualify.
Do deferral payments also cover insurance premiums or taxes?
Property tax installments and insurance premiums are entirely separate from these programs and must continue to be paid. If municipalities and insurance companies offer similar programs (which most municipalities are currently doing), they should be contacted separately.
If I can’t skip-a-payment or defer payments, can I still change my mortgage payment?
In some cases, you might be making higher mortgage payments than required, such as paying an accelerated bi-weekly payment. Most lenders will allow you to reset your payment to the minimum amount required without their approval. If you’re thinking of changing your mortgage payment, ensure you’re still paying the minimum amount.
I have rental properties with tenants affected by COVID-19. Can I still apply?
Property investors with tenants who have stopped making their rent payments will also be considered, however they will be assessed by demonstrated financial hardship (i.e. lost job or income as a result of COVID-19.)
Note: Some provincial governments have introduced tenant relief programs. Rental-property owners can also encourage their tenants who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 to apply for these programs if available.
Will deferring payments affect my credit score?
A lender-approved deferment is not a missed payment and it will not appear on your credit bureau report as such. Lenders are also typically offering to waive any fees associated with these types of programs during the COVID-19 crisis.
If I’m not eligible for a mortgage deferral program, are there other options?
In addition to rolling missed payments back into your mortgage for a specified period of time, lenders also have the ability to refinance your mortgage to pay out other debt (subject to qualification), restore your original amortization (which lowers your payment amount), hold a payment (during a temporary suspension of income), or offer you a reduced payment for a specific time. We recommend that you contact your mortgage broker to review these other options.
Note: Interest-only payments are usually not available under these programs.
Some lenders are also offering programs to skip payments on personal loans, vehicle loans, and business loans. These programs are specific to each lender.