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Blog :: 03-2020

Mortgage and Rental Relief in the Face of COVID-19

Help for Renters Asheville CoronavirusA note from Mike Figura, Mosaic Realty Owner and Broker:

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its spread across the country, many are facing hardships meeting mortgage and rent payments.  The federal government is enacting up to 12 months of mortgage forbearance for borrowers who have Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or other government-backed loans, which are the majority of residential loans.  The federal government is also encouraging other mortgage service providers and lenders to implement forbearance programs of their own. 

Landlords whose mortgages are guaranteed by these federal loan agencies can also obtain mortgage forbearance if their tenants cannot pay their rent, giving landlords a chance to help their tenants in the form of rent reduction.  Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty has worked with Marshall, Roth and Gregory, P.C. to come up with a generic rent modification form to temporarily reduce rent (click here to download form).

FAQs about Mortgage Forbearance

How can I find out who services my loan?

Visit the Making Home Affordable website for links to instantly find out if Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae service your loan. https://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/get-answers/Pages/get-answers-find-out-mortgage.aspx

What if my loan is not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

If your loan is not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, call your mortgage service provider or lender. Their contact information should be on your most recent mortgage statement. Lenders from all sectors, residential and commercial, are currently providing various forms of forbearance.  

What is mortgage forbearance?

A mortgage forbearance agreement is an agreement made between a mortgage lender and a borrower in which the lender agrees not to foreclose, and the borrower agrees to a mortgage plan that differs from the original repayment plan. Forms of forbearance range from a temporary halt in mortgage payments (ex. no payments for 90 days) to loan modifications (ex. interest-only loans, lower interest rates, etc).

What does mortgage forbearance look like?

The steps for applying for mortgage forbearance vary by lender. Borrowers should contact their lenders for specific information. You need to sign paperwork with your lender before you are allowed to stop paying your mortgage. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and most lenders are expediting the process and requiring minimal paperwork. 

For more information about how mortgage forbearance terms are changing and how you should continue to check back with your lender, read this article from NPR

Does mortgage forbearance impact my credit?

Mortgage forbearance usually has little to no impact on your credit.  

“Generally, forbearance is not likely to have any impact on the credit score,” says Ethan Dornhelm, a FICO senior director of model development. According to the National Association of REALTORS, lenders may (or may not) report to credit companies the existence of a mortgage forbearance, but it definitely does not wreck your credit like being delinquent on a mortgage.

While Mosaic Realty cannot commit to mortgage forbearance not impacting your credit, it is our opinion that in the face of COVID-19, it is unlikely that mortgage forbearance will impact your credit, as under normal circumstances it usually has no impact.

Where do renters fit in?

Renters aren’t directly covered though the Federal Housing Financial Agency (FHFA) plans, although FHFA is offering mortgage relief to the owners of apartment buildings who are struggling when their tenants can’t afford to pay their rent.

At the state level, North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley has ordered that eviction and foreclosure hearings be postponed 30 days until April 17. 

If you are facing eviction, contact your attorney or Pisgah Legal Services. https://www.pisgahlegal.org/resources-during-the-covid-19-outbreak/

Help available via landlords

Landlords can take advantage of mortgage forbearance programs that are available to them and pass along relief to their tenants.  We encourage landlords to check in with their tenants to see how they are doing and to take advantage of mortgage forbearance programs when needing to reduce their tenant’s rent.  This is especially important in a rent-burdened community like Western North Carolina. Tenants and landlords can elect to use this form, created by Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty and Marshall, Roth and Gregory, P.C., to help make temporary rental contract adjustments for residential and commercial property. 

Download: Agreement to Amend Residential Rental Contract or Commercial Lease Agreement (“COVID-19 Amendment”) 

Sources and Further Reading: 

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/19/818343720/homeowners-hurt-financially-by-the-coronavirus-may-get-a-mortgage-break  

https://www.realtor.com/advice/finance/how-mortgage-forbearance-can-help-homeowners/

Search: Asheville Area Real Estate

Comments

  1. Jonathon trot on

    What to do if you face eviction or can't pay your rent due to COVID-19
    • Mike Figura on

      Hi Jonathon, if you are local, here's a link to resources in the community. https://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/rental_assistance_asheville.html
    • Stephanie Sharp on

      I would recommend that you get in touch with Pisgah Legal Services for their legal aid. 1-800-489-6144

Asheville Partnership Provides Early Education and Enrichment Guidance

Buncombe Partnership for Children Childcare

Childcare, youth activities, kindergarten: The educational and enrichment options available to parents of young children can feel overwhelming. Buncombe Partnership for Children offers parents in Asheville guidance and a range of resources to help them make the best decisions for their family as they embark on their educational journey. Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty is proud to help build up area families by supporting this invaluable initiative. 

Asheville Buncombe PreschoolsWhat is Buncombe Partnership for Children?

The group partners with local organizations to provide programs that improve the quality of early childhood education, increase access to affordable, high-quality early care, expand early literacy opportunities, and provide family support. The partnership’s vision is that every child in the Asheville community will reach his or her fullest potential and be prepared for lifelong success.

Asheville/ Buncombe County Childcare

Finding the right childcare program can be daunting; the partnership points parents in the direction of helpful resources, such as Mountain Child Care Connections, a regional call center providing families with free, confidential information about quality child care to meet their individual needs. Another resource is the Division of Child Development & Early Education, which offers guides and a database for parents to easily research area childcare centers. Buncombe Partnership also offers a map of childcare centers in the county so parents can gauge proximity to home or work.

Play & Learn groups

Buncombe Partnership also works with Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups, which are free adult-child groups for families of children 3 months to 5 years old. Activities include singing songs, stories, art, outdoor play, puppet shows and crafts. Children must reside in Buncombe County and not be in enrolled in licensed childcare. Registration is ongoing, but is required before attending and begins immediately.

Asheville Buncombe ChildcarePre-kindergarten

Buncombe Partnership for Children administers the North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program  (NC Pre-K) in Asheville. NC Pre-K is a state-funded, free, high-quality early care and education program that aims to enhance children’s school readiness. The program is offered for 6.5 hours a day for 10 months; programs are located in public schools, private childcare programs, and Head Start. 

Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read program provides free books to children 6 months to 5 years at all well child doctor’s office visits. The medical practitioners have a chance to observe the child’s interest in and approach to the book, which helps them note development stages. Doctors also advise families on how best to introduce books and build a love of reading. Reach Out and Read’s partnership with Buncombe Partnership for Children has helped to bring the total number of area children served to 1,600 annually.

Asheville Adventure Play

The partnership has been working with community volunteers to provide untraditional play opportunities, hosting pop-up adventure playgrounds around Buncombe County. Its newest collaboration will bring pop-ups to Buncombe County Sports Park throughout the summer.

Kindergarten preparedness

To help your child get ready for making the transition to kindergarten, the partnership recommends you do a number of things before the first day. Talk with your child about their new school. What are they looking forward to?  What are they wondering about? Find books at the library about getting ready for school to read to your child. Practice getting ready. Take a trip to their new school. Even seeing the school from the outside can help your child feel more prepared.

For more information on early education and enrichment in Asheville, visit https://buncombepfc.org.

To learn more about Asheville area Real Estate, contact Mosaic Realty owner/broker Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Appalachian Offsets Program Aids Asheville Community, and Planet

Cut My Carbon Program Asheville

Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty is proud to join the movement toward a healthier planet by supporting green initiatives around Asheville. One of those initiatives is Appalachian Offsets, an organization that offers carbon offsets to fund projects that cut carbon-dioxide pollution.

What are carbon offsets?

Green Building AshevilleCarbon offsets are pollution equivalents that can be purchased to help pay for a renewable energy project, an energy-efficiency upgrade, or the like. So, for example, if you bought three tons of carbon offsets, that money would go to fund a project that either reduces carbon-dioxide production by three tons, or removes three tons of carbon dioxide from the air. Carbon offsetting is a long-lasting tool that aids the environment as well as the community.

An initiative from the Green Built Alliance, Appalachian Offsets allows Asheville residents and businesses to offset their carbon footprint while at the same time helping local schools, non-profits, and other area organizations. A few simple steps will get you there: first, calculate your carbon footprint, then make a (tax-deductible) donation to Appalachian Offsets to offset your footprint, at a rate of $20 per ton. The funds are then matched with a local school, non-profit, or other community organization to pay for an energy-efficiency project. Projects spearheaded by Appalachian Offsets include energy-efficiency lighting retrofits, water-conservation upgrades and solar-energy installations. The organization is also exploring local tree-planting projects. 

Appalachian Offsets is a group effort

Appalachian Offsets Asheville“Appalachian Offsets offers individuals the ability to simply offset their personal carbon footprint and also encourages local businesses to offset the footprint of their entire operations or a portion, with options to contribute either by making an annual lump sum or dividing it into more manageable recurring monthly payments,” said Green Built Alliance Community Engagement Director Cari Barcas. 

“We are extremely grateful to our generous business supporters, including AB Tech, Deltec Homes, Deutsch & Gottschalk Attorneys at Law, Joel Adams and Associates Investor Advisors, LaZoom, Mosaic Realty, Samsel Architects, SouthWings, Trillium Family Medicine, and Vandemusser Design for offsetting their footprints through Appalachian Offsets,” continued Barcas. “We invite the whole community to visit our website to learn about your personal or professional carbon footprint and offset options through our individual and business carbon calculators.”

For more information on Appalachian Offsets, and to calculate your carbon footprint, go to https://www.cutmycarbon.org/. To learn more about how Mosaic helps to build and support the Asheville community through green initiatives and beyond, visit https://mymosaicrealty.com/donations-volunteer-program/.

 To learn about Real Estate in the Asheville area, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

Search: Asheville Area Real Estate