Loan Options & Payment Relief During COVID-19

Mortgage Payments

  • If you are having difficulty making your mortgage payment pick up the phone and call your lender. Many banks are trying to work with their clients. Some banks are waiving late fees, deferring payments to the end of the loan. You need to pick up the phone and speak with your lender. Don’t do nothing with the expectations you can take care of it later. Many lenders are helping their clients get through this time.

Utilities

  • Governor Wolf’s order prohibits electricity and gas utilities disconnecting service if a customer cannot pay their bill due to the coronavirus. This will remain in place as long as the Proclamation of Disaster. Many companies are also waiving late fees. Again, your best path is to call your utility company and speak with a representative.

Renters

  • The bill put a temporary nationwide eviction moratorium in place for any landlords that have mortgages backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mae and other federal entities. This will last 120 days from when the bill passed. No fees or penalties can be charged either. Check with your landlord on what they are providing as assistance.

Credit Cards

  • Modifications to credit bill payments cannot mar your credit beginning Jan. 31st to continue for 120 days beyond. Lender should mark your credit file as current, even if you are taking advantage of payment modifications. Be sure to work with your creditors on agreed modifications.
  • Any black marks before the virus will remain.

Unemployment

  • Eligibility expanded to self employed and part time workers
  • Amount of unemployment is being increased. Generally, runs 40-45% of salary but bill increasing that amount. Amount depends on state but can increase by additional $600 – up to full loss of income.
  • Self employed people’s reimbursement will be calculated on a formula from the Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program.
  • People not eligible: Those able to work from home/remotely, those on sick leave or family leave and new entrants to the work force who cannot find jobs.
  • 13 additional weeks have been added onto whatever your state was offering.

**The additional monies $600 counts as income when determining eligibility for means tested program except Medicaid and CHIP.

**The one week waiting period for unemployment has been waived.

  • Unemployment Benefits are based on your reported earnings during the base year (the first four of the last five completed quarters). You must also have over 18 credit weeks (weeks which you earned $116 or more) in your base year to be eligible.

Student Loans

  • Feds have waived two months of payment and interest for many student loans. Bill now suspends any student loan held by the federal government until September 30, 2020.
  • Check with your administrator. If it is not a federal loan many of the other loan organizations are providing assistance.
  • Interest on the federal loans should not accrue during this suspension period.

Retirement Account For Year 2020

  • No one is required to take RMD (Required Minimum Distribution)
  • If you are under 59 ½ and you need to take money out of your IRA or retirement plan you can withdraw up to $100,000 this year without the 10% penalty as long as it’s needed because of the outbreak.
  • And you can spread our any income taxes that you owe over three years from the date you took the distribution. And if you want you can contribute the money back if you don’t use it, even though it exceeds normal guidelines.