With the arrival of a new president, many homeowners across the United States waited in anticipation, hoping that the freshly elected officials could help struggling families facing foreclosure. While President Biden did extend the foreclosure moratorium on HUD, VA, and USDA loans through March 31, 2021, and FHFA foreclosures were postponed until February 28, 2021, many Pennsylvania families are discovering that it’s no longer enough. As of 2022, all moratoriums have ended – even in New Jersey.
What the Moratoriums Mean
The moratorium put an immediate halt on the foreclosure process, ensuring that families would have the chance to stay in their homes throughout the worst part of the pandemic. While the moratoriums prevent people from being kicked out of their homes, it does not stop the foreclosure process — instead, it simply puts a halt on the process.
The moratorium has been put in place and extended for the sole reason of preventing homelessness. If one has a mortgage on a piece of property where there is an empty or abandoned house, then the moratorium will not help them. Foreclosures on abandoned properties can continue as usual.
How Can the Moratorium Help?
During the start of the COVID pandemic, many individuals found themselves out of work or with reduced hours. While the government sent out stimulus checks and expanded unemployment, it wasn’t enough to help thousands of families stay afloat. Many Pennsylvania homeowners found themselves unable to pay their usual bills while also covering their house payments. In many cases, rent and mortgage payments fell to the back burner as individuals focused on keeping their electricity on and feeding their families. The halt on evictions was supposed to ensure families had time to adjust their finances before their lenders were able to proceed with the foreclosure process. Sadly, with the pandemic still at full force, many homeowners have found themselves behind on months of payments and unable to make up the difference with the current job market.
Is Postponement Enough?
Obviously, the foreclosure moratoriums have helped countless Pennsylvania families stay in their homes; however, simply postponing the foreclosure process has not been enough for many homeowners. While lenders cannot currently kick homeowners out of their houses, the process can still be in the works, with lenders simply waiting until the moratorium ends to take action. If you are simply living day to day, clinging to the spare time given by the moratorium, then you will eventually face foreclosure once the government mandates end.
What Can You Do?
If you are seriously behind on your mortgage and would be facing foreclosure if not for the government moratorium, then now is the time to take action! You should start making as many payments as possible in an effort to catch up on your past-due mortgage bills. If it looks impossible to catch up before the end of the moratorium in March, then bankruptcy might be your best option.
How Bankruptcy Can Help
During a bankruptcy, a “stay” will immediately be placed on your home, giving you protection against foreclosure. You can use this additional time to help you catch up on your bills while the courts look for ways to lower, or completely get rid, of your payments. A good lawyer can help you to navigate the process of keeping your home and resolving the looming foreclosure fear.
The government is doing its part to help avoid foreclosures throughout the pandemic, but the courts will soon be flooded with cases and many families will find themselves homeless. You can stop this from happening to your family by taking action now! Stop just postponing the problem and instead face it head-on by contacting our law offices today!