After the partial government shutdown went into effect on Dec. 22, 2018, many Americans have questions about how it might affect them — especially those who are employed by the federal government. For Mr. Cooper customers who rely on the government for income and need to make their mortgage payments, here’s what you need to know.
- The government shutdown is estimated to impact nearly 800,000 government employees — 420,000 of whom are currently working without pay, and 380,000 of whom are furloughed (and not working at all).
- The Federal Housing Administration, along with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has asked mortgage lenders to work with their customers who are furloughed government employees or contractors and have been affected by the shutdown.
- Mr. Cooper is offering assistance to those affected — and in some cases waiving late fees. Just call 888-480-2432 to learn about your options.
- You might be eligible for a standard forbearance plan that temporarily suspends or reduces your monthly mortgage payment so that you can manage other financial challenges you’re facing during the shutdown. You will not automatically receive a forbearance plan, even if you are eligible, and it is important that you understand how forbearance plans work. Please call Mr. Cooper at 888-480-2432 to learn more.
- You could be eligible for a repayment plan that allows you to make extra or partial payments, in addition to your regular monthly mortgage payment to bring your account current after the shutdown.
- You could be eligible for a loan modification, or a restructuring of your mortgage, where one or more of your loan’s terms — like the interest rate or number of months to pay — is extended to provide an affordable payment or to cure a delinquency. A modification to bring an account current after forbearance plans like those offered during a government shutdown might result in all or some of the following:
- Conversion of an adjustable interest rate to a fixed rate
- A change to an interest rate
- An extension of the term of the loan
- A higher loan balance, if past due amounts and fees and costs are added to the unpaid principal balance
If you’ve recently applied for a mortgage with Mr. Cooper, you could experience delays in closing on your loan if the shutdown continues for more than a few weeks. Since mortgages require income verification through the Internal Revenue Service — a government agency that is now working with a pared-down staff — the required 4506-T income-tax transcript forms might not be processed as quickly.
If you are affected by the government shutdown, your best bet is to keep in close touch with Mr. Cooper about any changes in your loan’s status. Give us a call at 888-480-2432 to see what options might be available to you.