Frequently asked questions

Last updated on October 14, 2020. This is an evolving situation, so we will update this page regularly as we get more information. Thank you for your understanding.

COVID-19 Forbearance Relief

Can I skip a mortgage payment because I have been financially affected by COVID-19?

If you have experienced a hardship due to COVID-19 that impacts your ability to make your mortgage payment and have a federally backed mortgage loan (a loan secured with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or insured by the FHA, VA or USDA), the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act provides up to 360 days of temporary payment relief from making your mortgage payments.

This payment relief is known as forbearance. If you choose to skip a payment without making prior arrangements to set up a forbearance plan, you could be considered past due, may be assessed late fees, and your credit score may be negatively impacted.

If you are unable to make payments as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible for a forbearance plan that provides temporary payment relief. However, you will not automatically receive a forbearance plan. To initiate a request for a forbearance plan, log in to your Home Point account at my.hpfc.com and fill out a short form regarding your status. You may also call our virtual assistant at 888-616-6866 to see if forbearance is an option for you.

How do I find out who owns, guarantees or insures my loan?

It is important to know that Home Point doesn’t own your loan; we are the servicer on your loan. This means we are responsible for collecting your payments, managing escrow accounts for property taxes and insurance, communicating loan information, and doing what we can to ensure you can stay in your home. We want to work with you to find the best solution for your circumstance.

Please know that we are limited to offering the payment options set by the owners of your loan, which are the major mortgage investors like Fannie Mae®, Freddie Mac® or guarantors like Ginnie Mae®. If your loan was insured or guaranteed by the FHA, VA or USDA, they also have guidelines for payment options. You can also check to see if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac by using their online lookup tools.

To check if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae, use the Fannie Mae Loan Lookup Tool - https://www.knowyouroptions.com/loanlookup.

To check if your loan is owned by Freddie Mac, use the Freddie Mac Loan Look-up Tool - https://ww3.freddiemac.com/loanlookup/.

What is a forbearance?

Forbearance offers instant, temporary payment relief for customers without late fees or negative credit reporting. A forbearance plan is an agreement that allows customers to make reduced mortgage payments or no mortgage payment at all for a period of time, based on their ability to pay during the plan’s term. At the end of the plan, the total amount of missed payments becomes due.

Under a forbearance plan, you will not receive late fees and credit reporting will be temporarily suppressed during the plan’s term. Please note that during the term of your plan, you will continue to receive billing statements and other legally required notices.

What documentation do I need to show that I am impacted financially by COVID-19?

No documentation is necessary to request your account be placed on a forbearance plan. You only need to attest that you have experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19. However, if you are still experiencing difficulty at the end of the plan, we may require documentation to identify other options to help resolve your situation.

Am I required to make up all the payments at the end of the forbearance?

While reinstating your mortgage by making the total payment is one option, most mortgage investors have programs to avoid the need to make the entire amount of the missed payments at once. You may be able to spread repayment out over a number of months, move all or a portion of the missed payments to the end of the loan or even modify the terms of your current loan to extend the term or lower your interest rate. For an overview of the investors, insurers and guarantor plans for loans exiting forbearance, see the Post Forbearance Plan Options section.

As you near the end of the forbearance plan, Home Point will work with you to find which options best suits your situation.

How long can I be in a forbearance program?

If you have been affected by COVID-19 and your loan was purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or insured by the FHA, USDA or VA, you are eligible for an initial forbearance term of up to 180 days with an option to extend for an additional 180 days. You can cancel or shorten the forbearance plan and resume making payments at any time.

Do I have to opt for a 180-day plan initially if I expect my hardship to be for a shorter duration?

Many investors allow you to take out forbearance plans in smaller durations while still preserving your full 360 days of eligibility under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act. You can request an initial forbearance plan for 60 or 90 days if you expect your hardship to last only a few months. If your hardship is longer than your initial projection, you can extend your initial request to use the full 180 days initial CARES forbearance term, and you will still have the ability to extend again for another 180 days should you need it. You are always free to shorten or cancel your forbearance plan if your hardship ends.

How do I apply and set up my forbearance?

By logging in to your Home Point account at my.hpfc.com and filling out a short form regarding your status, we may be able to enroll you online. You may also call our virtual assistant at 888-616-6866 to see if forbearance is an option for you.

Will my autopay plan (ACH) be automatically suspended if I am approved for a forbearance?

Yes, however, please note we may be unable to suspend your autopay plan (ACH) payments scheduled to occur within three business days of any forbearance request. If you are on an autopay plan and you have an autopay payment scheduled to occur within this timeframe, the payment may still be withdrawn from your bank account and post to your account.

All future autopay payments for the duration of the forbearance plan will be suspended. If you’re enrolled in an autopay (ACH) plan, you will not have to set up the service again once you become current on your loan by paying the past due amount. This only applies to autopay set up with Home Point. If you have set up online bill pay with your financial institution, you will still need to contact your financial institution to begin payments again.

Will my taxes and insurance still get paid during the forbearance plan?

If your tax and insurance payments are currently made by Home Point through your escrow account, we will continue making these payments during the forbearance period. At the end of the forbearance plan, you will either begin repaying the tax and insurance payments made on your behalf or, if eligible, the tax and insurance payments may be included in an alternative repayment option approved by your investor.

Can I still make payments during a forbearance plan?

Yes, you can send what you can during the forbearance period to decrease the total amount owed at the end of the plan. Any payments made will be put into an account until it contains sufficient funds to pay the oldest past-due month payment in full. If any funds are in the account at the end of the forbearance plan, they will be applied to your mortgage based on the terms of your forbearance plan.

What happens if I need longer than my initial forbearance plan?

If you find that your initial forbearance plan is not long enough, you can contact us at least two weeks before the end of your plan so that we can try to work with you on additional options. These options may include an extension to your forbearance plan or evaluation for other options to resolve the outstanding amount.

Could I face foreclosure during forbearance?

No, once you are approved for a forbearance plan, foreclosure activity is put on hold, if applicable. Additionally, even if you are not approved for a forbearance plan or decide a forbearance plan is not right for you at this time, there is a nationwide moratorium on foreclosure and eviction activity for owner-occupied residences through at least May 17, 2020. Your state or mortgage investor may have additional protections in place.

Can I cancel or shorten my forbearance plan?

Yes, you can cancel or shorten your plan by calling us or logging in at my.hpfc.com. Your plan will end on the first of the month following completion of your request. Home Point will work with you to discuss your options on any outstanding payments if you choose to end your forbearance plan early.

Forbearance versus Deferment

What is a deferment?

A deferment allows you to move your loan payments to the end of the loan. Depending on the type of deferment, the missed loan payments could be added to the end of your loan as a lump sum or “balloon” payment, or the term of your loan could be extended by the number of payments you didn’t make. For example, if you were unable to make three payments, your loan term would be extended by three months.

Other companies are offering deferments, why aren’t you?

All payment options that we offer must follow the guidelines set by the owners of your loan: the major mortgage investors like Fannie Mae®, Freddie Mac®, and government insurers or guarantors like the FHA, VA, and USDA. Any company offering deferments instead of forbearance most likely owns the mortgage loans in their portfolio. Companies that own their loans represent a minority of the mortgage servicers in the United States. Like most mortgage servicers, Home Point can only offer options that are allowed by the investor on your mortgage loan. As the COVID-19 situation has progressed, investors are now offering deferment type programs to customers exiting their forbearance plans.

For Customers in Foreclosure

My home was in foreclosure when the COVID-19 crisis started. Could I be facing foreclosure right now?

No. There is a nationwide moratorium on foreclosure and eviction activity for owner-occupied residences through at least May 17, 2020. Your state or mortgage investor may have additional protections in place that could extend this moratorium.

Credit Reporting

How will my credit be impacted if my loan is placed on a forbearance plan?

When you enter your forbearance plan, Home Point will suppress all negative reporting for the period of your forbearance plan.

What happens to my credit if I extend my forbearance?

If you need to extend your forbearance, please call us about two weeks before your forbearance is scheduled to end. We will continue to suppress negative reporting throughout the entire plan as long as you extend the plan before the end of the initial plan. If you allow your plan to end for a period and then decide you need more time, negative credit reporting may occur during that gap.

What does the AW on my credit report mean, and is it affecting my credit score?

This code on your credit report indicates that you are in an affected area of a natural or declared disaster. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several states have been approved for major disaster declarations. These declarations assist with additional needs identified under the nationwide emergency declaration for COVID-19. When in an affected area, all negative credit reporting stops. The AW code will not affect your credit and is not considered negative by the credit bureaus.

I'm in active forbearance, but my credit report is showing that the balance of my loan increased. Why?

While you are in a forbearance plan we will continue to report your account as current. Additionally we will not report negative credit information or that you are in a forbearance, but we are required to report the current balance of the loan.

The current balance reported on your credit report may increase for a number of reasons, including the outstanding amount of principal you owe as well as balances carried over from prior months such as balances owed for escrow accounts (for items like taxes and insurance),  unpaid interest and fees. The current balance may also increase due to an escrow payment made on your behalf. If your tax and insurance payments are currently made by Home Point through your escrow account, we will continue making these payments for you during the forbearance period. Since we are advancing these funds, those amounts are then added to the current balance that is reported to the credit bureaus. Mortgages with CARES Act Forbearance plans are being reported as current to the credit reporting agencies. However, Home Point has no control over credit scoring models. An increased balance due to a forbearance may indirectly affect your credit score.

My credit report is showing that my account is deferred. Why is that, and is it affecting my credit score?

This statement on your credit report indicates that you were not required to make any payments during the month reported, consistent with the terms of your forbearance agreement. Please note that you are being reported as current with no past due payments and that the deferred status will not affect your credit and is not considered negative by the credit bureaus.

Post Forbearance Plan Options

What happens when my forbearance plan ends?

If you have completed your forbearance plan, your hardship has ended and you have the ability to start making payments on your loan, there are several options available to get you back on track. Home Point will work with you to find the option that is right for you. These options differ based on many factors and it is best that you speak to one of our home retention specialists to help you determine available plans. Our Mortgage Options for COVID-19 Hardships Guide provides more detailed descriptions of these options, but these are the general categories:

Reinstatement:
Bring your mortgage current by paying the past due amounts.
Repayment Plan:
A repayment plan is an agreement that enables you to temporarily pay a higher monthly mortgage payment to catch up on past due payments over a short time period.
Partial Claims Programs:
An FHA Program that allows you to create a second non-interest bearing loan for the entire balance due to be paid when you pay off your current loan or refinance.
Payment Deferral Programs:
Some investors like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have set up special programs that allow you to move the Principal and Interest portion of the balance due to the end of your loan.
Loan Modification:
A loan modification alters the terms of your original loan to address any unpaid overdue balances. Often this is done in one of three ways: by extending the term, changing the interest rate and/or recapitalizing the loan. Loan modifications are often divided into “streamlined” or no application modification and full documentation applications. Full application modifications require additional documentation—sometimes referred to as a “mortgage assistance application”. Home Point will let you know whether it is necessary for you to submit this information.

New programs are being released frequently, and we will update this FAQ as they become available. We have provided a brief description of the options for each investor or guarantor in the questions that follow.

I have an FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan. What potential options are available to me at the end of my forbearance besides reinstatement or a repayment plan?

Option available without submitting a complete mortgage assistance application:

COVID-19 National Emergency Standalone Partial Claim – This program is designed to help eligible customers who have been granted a forbearance due to COVID-19 ​to bring their loans current by creating an interest-free second mortgage that customers do not have to pay off until their first mortgage is paid off. No mortgage assistance application is required. You must simply let us know that your hardship has ended, that you are able to resume making on-time mortgage payments and that the property is owner-occupied. ​Please call us at 800-686-2404 ​as there are certain eligibility restrictions on this program ​created by FHA.

COVID-19 Owner-Occupant Loan Modification – This program is designed for customers who do not qualify for the COVID-19 Standalone Partial Claim and evaluates the loan for a modification of the rate and term of the mortgage, at the end of the forbearance period. The property must be owner occupied and will capitalize any past due unpaid accrued interest and escrow advances into the principal balance while also ensuring that the interest rate is no greater than the market rate as determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

COVID-19 Combination Partial Claim and Loan Modification – This program is designed for customers that are unable to bring the mortgage current through the COVID-19 Standalone Partial Claim because the total arrearage exceeds the available portion of the statutory maximum for Partial Claims and the available portion of the statutory maximum for the Mortgage has not been fully exhausted, or the customer cannot resume their existing monthly Mortgage Payments with a COVID-19 Standalone Partial Claim.

COVID-19 FHA-HAMP Combination Loan Modification and Partial Claim with Reduced Documentation – Customers may provide income documentation to be reviewed for an affordable monthly payment under a COVID-19 FHA-HAMP Combination Loan Modification and Partial Claim with Reduced Documentation, which may include a principal deferment. This program is designed for customers that are not eligible for the COVID-19 Standalone Partial Claim because they indicate they are unable to resume the existing monthly mortgage payments after the COVID-19 Forbearance or they are not eligible for the COVID-19 Combination Partial Claim and Loan Modification because the customer indicates they are unable to make the modified monthly mortgage payment under the COVID-19 Combination Partial Claim and Loan Modification. Please note that this option may not decrease the monthly payment. 

COVID-19 Non-Occupant Loan Modification – This program is designed to help customers with properties that are not owner occupied (rental property, secondary residence, vacation home) and evaluates the loan for a modification of the rate and term of the mortgage, at the end of the CARES Act Forbearance period. This program will capitalize any past due unpaid accrued interest and escrow advances into the principal balance while also ensuring that the interest rate is no greater than the market rate as determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Option that may require a complete mortgage assistance application:

FHA-HAMP Program – This program can potentially lower your monthly payments by extending the term of your loan, adjusting the interest rate or by creating a non-interest-bearing payment that is not due until you pay off the rest of your principal balance. Once you are approved for this program, you must successfully complete a three-month trial payment plan of the future modified mortgage payments on time to receive a permanent modification.

I have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan. What potential options are available to me at the end of my forbearance besides reinstatement or a repayment plan?

Options for customers that cannot resume making the monthly or modified payment and no longer would like to retain the property:

COVID-19 Pre-Foreclosure Sale – This program is an option for customers that are experiencing a hardship affecting their ability to sustain the mortgage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program allows the customer to satisfy the mortgage debt despite the fact that the home is worth less than what is owed.

COVID-19 Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure – This program is an option in which a customer voluntarily deeds the property to HUD in exchange for a release from all obligations under the mortgage. This plan is available for customers that are experiencing a hardship affecting their ability to sustain the mortgage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and who were unable to complete a COVID-19 Pre-Foreclosure Sale transaction at the expiration within the marketing period.

Options available without submitting a mortgage assistance application:

Payment Deferral – Effective starting July 1, 2020, this new program enables servicers to assist eligible customers who have resolved their hardship and can resume their monthly contractual payments, but cannot afford to bring their loan current by paying the past due amounts or through a repayment plan. This program will bring customers current by deferring the past due amounts to create a non-interest bearing balance that will become due at maturity, loan payoff or upon transfer or sale of the property. All other terms of the mortgage remain unchanged. This program is only available to customers that were current or less than a month past due as of March 1, 2020.

Extend Modification – This program is for customers that are capable of affording their pre-forbearance payment but are just having trouble catching up. It generally allows you to extend the term of your loan by the number of months you were in a forbearance plan.

For example, if your forbearance plan lasts six months, and you have 20 years of your original mortgage term remaining when it expires, your modified loan would have a term of 20 years plus six months. In other words, the maturity date of your loan is extended by six months.

The Extend Modification only covers the principal and interest portions of the past due payments. Any escrowed amounts for the months being deferred will either need to be paid in a lump sum or can be added back into the escrow account, which then will then be re-analyzed to determine the appropriate payment amount.

Option that may require you to submit a complete mortgage assistance application:

Flex Modification – This program is a solution that we may use if you cannot afford your current payment. It works by adding all unpaid balances from your forbearance period, including unpaid interest that accrued during the forbearance period, and any taxes and insurance amounts we paid on your behalf during that time, to your unpaid loan balance, and then extending your loan term by 40 years. We may also lower your interest rate to market-level.

This modification targets a 20% payment reduction while bringing your loan current and giving you an affordable, sustainable payment going forward.

I have a VA (Veteran’s Administration) loan. What potential options are available to me at the end of my forbearance besides reinstatement or a repayment plan?

Options available without submitting a mortgage assistance application:

VA Disaster Modification – This program will provide an extension to the term of the loan for the number of months past due, and your interest rate will be adjusted to the current market rate. No mortgage assistance application is required. You must simply let us know that your hardship has ended and that you can resume making on-time mortgage payments. You may be required to make at least three trial period payments. A VA Disaster Modification will result in a fixed rate loan.

Option that may require you to submit a complete mortgage assistance application:

Traditional Loan Modification – This modification option requires customers to submit a complete mortgage assistance application, which includes providing proof of income and a list of all expenses. The interest rate may be revised to bring it in line with today’s market rate. This option has the potential to lower your payment by extending the term of your loan up to 360 months.

VA Affordable Modification – This modification option requires customers to submit a complete mortgage assistance application, which includes providing proof of income and a list of all expenses. The modification will result in a fixed-rate loan where the principal, interest, taxes, insurance and association fees are no greater than 31% of your gross monthly income. In addition to extending the term and bringing the interest rate to the current market rate, this option may also provide a deferral of some of the unpaid principal balance.

I have a USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) loan. What potential options are available to me at the end of my forbearance besides reinstatement or a repayment plan?

Options available without submitting a mortgage assistance application:

Term Extension Modification – This program is for customers that are capable of affording their pre-forbearance payment but are just having trouble catching up. It generally allows you to extend the term of your loan by the number of months you were in a forbearance plan.

Capitalization and Term Extension Modification – This program is for customers that are capable of maintaining a regular monthly payment but need additional help to cover escrow amounts, we paid on your behalf during forbearance, such as for taxes and insurance.

It allows you to add (or capitalize) all unpaid balances from your forbearance period into your principal balance, such as unpaid interest that accrued during the forbearance, and any taxes and insurance we paid on your behalf during that time.

We then ensure the monthly payment is similar to your pre-modification amount by extending the loan term, or maturity date, only by the number of months needed to target your current monthly payment.

Mortgage Recovery Advance – This program will bring your loan current by creating an interest-free subordinate mortgage that you do not have to pay off until your first mortgage is paid off. This program does not require a mortgage assistance application to be submitted. You must simply attest that your hardship has ended, that can resume making on-time mortgage payments and that the property is owner-occupied. You can do this via phone or online at my.hpfc.com.

Option that may require you to submit a complete mortgage assistance application:

Traditional Loan Modification – This modification option requires customers to submit a complete mortgage assistance application, which includes providing proof of income and a list of all expenses. A modification may be appropriate for a borrower who has experienced a permanent or long-term reduction in income or an increase in expenses, or who has recovered from the cause of the default but does not have sufficient income to repay  through a repayment plan. The borrower has a documented ability to support the monthly mortgage debt after the terms of the loan are modified to qualify.

Special Loan Servicing Modification – This program is available for customers that are not eligible for the traditional loan modification option. This modification option requires customers to submit a complete mortgage assistance application, which includes providing proof of income and a list of all expenses. The modification will result in a fixed-rate loan where the principal, interest, taxes, insurance and association fees are no greater than 31% of your gross monthly income. In addition to extending the term and bringing the interest rate to the current market rate, this option may also provide an interest-free second mortgage (Mortgage Recover Advance) of some of the unpaid principal balance.

How do I set up one of these options or find out which options I qualify for?

By calling us at 800-686-2404 and answering a few questions, we will find the investor specific option that best fits your situation and work to implement that option.

What does a complete mortgage assistance application consist of and where can I download a copy of the application?

Keep in mind that most investors have programs available to help you resolve any past due amounts at the end of the forbearance without submitting any application at all! You will simply be required to answer a few questions either online at my.hpfc.com or by phone, with the most important question being whether your hardship has been resolved. If your circumstances dictate that you need to submit a complete mortgage assistance application, you can find the application here, which provides all of the forms that will need to be completed and outlines the documentation you’ll need to submit.

Other Questions About my Mortgage

I don’t want to use the mail to make my mortgage payment. How else can I make my mortgage payment?

You can sign up for an account on our homeownership platform at my.hpfc.com. With your account, you can access your account information and use the following services:

  • Make your mortgage payment at any time
  • Access current loan information 24 hours a day
  • Request a mortgage account statement or loan documents
  • Update your profile information