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Mortgage Relief For Our Clients Affected By COVID-19

Kevin Graham4-minute read

September 28, 2021

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*Originally published March 2020; Updated September 2021. For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and mortgage relief, sign in to your Rocket Account or contact us.

Our COVID-19 Resource Guide offers insight on the real estate market and financial moves to make to protect yourself during this time.

As we battle COVID-19, we understand that this causes an economic disruption that may result in some of our clients having temporary financial difficulties. If you’re like millions of Americans financially impacted by the national emergency, we have some options for mortgage relief.

For Rocket Mortgage® Clients Impacted By COVID-19

If you’re worried about making your mortgage payments, here’s what you should know:

  • You can find resources online: By logging into your Rocket Account,1 you’ll be able to make your payment, find FAQs on the impact of COVID-19 on your mortgage and apply for assistance if you need it. 
  • If you expect this to impact you for a while: The right time to apply for assistance is when you're no longer able to make your mortgage payment.
     
    Once the crisis is over, we would work with you to determine the best course of action when you’re ready to resume payments.

One of the assistance options available is called a forbearance. Let’s get into a little more detail so you really understand how this a forbearance works.

What Is A Forbearance?

A forbearance is a temporary pause of your mortgage payment due to a short-term hardship, such as the current COVID-19 emergency. Under normal circumstances, there are many different types of forbearance. Some of these would be reported to credit bureaus, affecting your credit score.

We won’t report payments that are paused during forbearance as late. However, if you were already behind on payments before accepting a forbearance, we must report those to credit bureaus.

Under the CARES Act, you have a right to a forbearance that pauses your payments for up to 12 months. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for additional months of forbearance. 

Here’s how the CARES Act forbearance works if you’re eligible, or already in a COVID-19 forbearance:

  1. Apply for mortgage payment assistance.
  2. After you apply, we approve and you accept a forbearance plan of up to 3 months.
  3. You’ll check in monthly online on Rocket Mortgage®. Keep in mind, paying what you can during forbearance will benefit you later by decreasing the amount due at the end of your plan.
  4. At the 3-month mark, we’ll automatically extend your forbearance another 3 months if you can’t resume payments.
  5. At the 6-month mark, you must submit a second request from your Rocket Mortgage® dashboard for another 3-month extension.
  6. You’ll continue checking in monthly online on Rocket Mortgage®.
  7. At the 9-month mark, we’ll initiate the final automatic 3-month extension if you can’t resume payments.
  8. If you reach 12 months of forbearance and need more assistance, check in from your Rocket Mortgage® dashboard to see if you qualify for an additional extension. 

CARES Act Forbearance Timeline

The initial period of forbearance offered under the CARES Act is 3 months, although it can be extended up to 12 months total should you need it.

Federally backed mortgages include those from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, USDA and VA. If your mortgage is backed by anyone else, talk to us to find out what your options might be.

If you're able to make any amount of payment during the forbearance, please consider doing so, as it will help you get your loan back on track faster.

Remember we’re here to help. Checking in online is always the best way to find out what’s available to you. 

What Happens When The Forbearance Is Over?

When your forbearance is ending or you're ready to resume payments, you can check in online on Rocket Mortgage®. We’re here to help figure out how to bring your loan current. Here are some options you might have:

  1. With a repayment plan, we’ll add part of your past-due amount to your regular mortgage payment each month.
  2. With a deferral or partial claim, we’ll set all or part of your past-due amount aside to be paid later. It will be due when you pay off your mortgage, sell your home or refinance. You won’t be charged any interest on the deferred balance.
  3. With a loan modification, we’ll modify the terms of your existing loan to include your past-due payments.
  4. You also have the option to pay the total past-due amount.  This will bring your loan current right away. We understand that's not always an option.

Why Forbearance As COVID Mortgage Relief?

It’s a fair question. To understand why forbearance, it helps to know a bit about how the mortgage market works.

Most mortgage lenders in the industry today, including Rocket Mortgage®, are mortgage originators. That means they underwrite your loan to make sure you qualify under the standards of a major mortgage investor like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the VA, etc. After your loan closes, they sell your loan to that investor, who then makes it available on the bond market for investors who are interested in mortgage-backed securities.

The major mortgage investors are offering forbearance for clients who need assistance at this time.

Other Useful Resources

We’ve also updated our procedures for home appraisals and closing appointments for the safety of our clients, our team members and our community.

Wellness is our top priority, and we know that financial wellness can be affected by your personal health, so it’s important to follow the directives provided on the CDC’s COVID-19 site. Stay safe and healthy!

1 Rocket Account is your account created in connection with Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Loans or Rocket Homes Real Estate LLC. Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Loans and Rocket Homes Real Estate LLC are separate operating subsidiaries of Rocket Companies, Inc. Each company is a separate legal entity operated and managed through its own management and governance structure as required by its state of incorporation and applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

In This Article

    Kevin Graham

    Kevin Graham is a Senior Blog Writer for Rocket Companies. He specializes in economics, mortgage qualification and personal finance topics. As someone with cerebral palsy spastic quadriplegia that requires the use of a wheelchair, he also takes on articles around modifying your home for physical challenges and smart home tech. Kevin has a BA in Journalism from Oakland University. Prior to joining Rocket Mortgage, he freelanced for various newspapers in the Metro Detroit area.