While many are working from home and still are lucky to have a job, there are thousands of residents that have been laid off or are furloughed until the COVID-19 pandemic fades.
This coupled with owners of multifamily homes that suddenly have tenants that are out of work and unable to pay rent has made keeping up with monthly mortgage payments difficult for residents.
Building on his Administration’s commitment to keep the people of Boston stably housed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Martin Walsh announced last week that 12 of the largest housing lenders in Boston will offer at least three months of deferred mortgage payments for homeowners who contact them and demonstrate they have been financially impacted by the public health crisis.
In addition, the lenders have committed not to charge late fees, or report non-payments to the credit bureaus. Homeowners will not be required to pay back the deferred mortgage payments in a lump sum, but will instead work with lenders on an affordable repayment plan.
“No person should have to worry about losing their home right now. During these times of global uncertainty, homeowners and renters in Boston can be certain that we are doing everything we can to help ease the burden brought on by this pandemic and give them much-needed flexibility,” said Mayor Walsh. “I want to thank our lender partners who have stepped up to the plate to meet the needs of our residents during this time, and I encourage others to follow suit. Now more than ever, we have to work together to make sure that we can keep people in their homes.”
According to Walsh, the participating lenders will provide at least three months in a loan deferment for homeowners, with the option to extend for longer periods, if needed. They have also agreed to the goal of approving deferments within 21 days of application and with only essential paperwork needed from the homeowner. The lenders will not report this deferment as a bad loan, nor report it to the credit bureaus as being a late loan. They will not charge late fees on the late loan payments or deferments. Once the deferment period is complete, the homeowner is not required to pay the total deferment/forbearance amount in a lump sum.
The 12 lenders that will offer this relief to homeowners include: Bank of America, Boston Private, Cambridge Trust Company, Century Bank, Citizens Bank, City of Boston Credit Union, Dedham Savings Bank, Eastern Bank, Mortgage Network, Inc., Prime Lending, Salem Five Bank, and Santander Bank.
“Bank of America is pleased to work with the City of Boston on a goal we share: to help the clients we serve get the assistance and support they need to get through this crisis,” said Micheal Chamberlain, Massachusetts President, Bank of America.
Many lenders are offering deferral periods longer than those required in the plan, and homeowners should contact their servicer directly for more information. However, the Boston Home Center is available to answer any questions and can be reached at 617-635-4663, ext. 3.
“The Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance is committed to helping homeowners impacted by COVID-19, and our job would be much more difficult if lenders and service providers did not cooperate,” said Symone Crawford, the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance’s Director of Homeownership Education. “We applaud these 12 lenders for stepping up and signing onto the City of Boston’s plan to assist homeowners through this unprecedented time and thank Mayor Walsh and Sheila Dillon for working diligently to protect Boston homeowners.”