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Lake Forest IL foreclosure defense attorneyAfter nearly a year, the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to affect people across the United States. Even though vaccines are currently being administered, they are being rolled out slowly, and it will most likely be several more months before enough people can be vaccinated to allow a return to the activities that people enjoyed before the pandemic. Unfortunately, this means that those who have been struggling financially may continue to face difficulty and uncertainty for the time being. However, federal and state government organizations have offered a variety of different forms of relief, and programs may be available to help homeowners who have been affected by COVID-19 avoid foreclosure.

Foreclosure Moratorium Extended

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which went into effect in March of 2020, placed a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for single-family homes with mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). While this moratorium was initially intended to last through July 24, 2020, it has been extended several times as the pandemic has continued to affect people and families. Most recently, the FHA announced that the moratorium will extend through February 28, 2021. The moratorium applies to new foreclosure proceedings and any foreclosures which are already in process.

Options for Mortgage Forbearance and Bankruptcy

In addition to the moratorium on foreclosures, the FHA is allowing homeowners to request a forbearance from mortgage lenders. A forbearance will allow a homeowner to defer or reduce mortgage payments for up to six months, and it may be extended for an additional six months if needed. The Consolidated Appropriation Act (CAA), which was passed by the U.S. Congress on December 27, 2020, prohibited lenders from denying forbearances or foreclosure relief to lenders who had previously filed for bankruptcy or who are involved in bankruptcy proceedings.

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Libertyville foreclosure defense lawyerIn March of this year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a moratorium on foreclosures for all single-family mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The moratorium was in response to the anticipated financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on households across the country. The move was shortly followed by a similar directive from the Federal Housing Financial Agency (FHFA), which ordered the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Company (Freddie Mac) to suspend foreclosures for at least 60 days.

Shortly thereafter, federal lawmakers passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide financial assistance to millions of American families. In the months that followed, the foreclosure moratoriums were extended several times. Though they are set to end on August 31, 2020, in Chicago, Gov. Pritzker has extended the moratorium to last an additional 30 days. However, the financial assistance offered by the CARES Act already expired earlier this month, leaving many Illinois residents wondering if there is any other help available.

Lake County Offers Renters’ Assistance

For those who rent their homes, several agencies in Lake County have established programs to provide assistance with rent, food, and utility bills. Community Partners for Affordable Housing and other groups say that their programs are open to county residents who have been financially affected by the pandemic. Those who have lost their job, have reduced income, or unexpected expenses related to COVID-19 are allowed to apply, though income and savings limits could affect an applicant’s eligibility for aid. For those who are approved for rent assistance, the funds are paid to their landlords directly.

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