We want to first say sorry to anyone going through this difficult process.
This cannot be an easy time for your family. Please know, we are here to help. There is no judgment, there is no need to feel ashamed. Instead, let’s empower you to take the next best step for you and your family.
You are not alone! As of July 2020, 775,000 Canadians enrolled in the mortgage deferral program or about 6 million homes in Canada. That means there is $180 billion dollars worth of mortgage deferrals.
The mortgage deferral program may have stopped, but the jobs have not returned. We understand people cannot make their payments if they are not working.
Here are the next steps you should consider taking sooner, rather than later.
1. Reach out to your lender
Contact the institution that lent you the money. Ask what your options are. This might mean a number of different things for different people so before you start to panic, find out what your options are.
The worst thing, and we mean the absolute worst thing you can do, is to ignore this problem. Like anyone else, banks hate it when you ignore them.
2. Ask for help | An extension
Your lender might be able to extend your deferral. But it won’t be quite as easy as before the mortgage payment deferral deadline.
It is no longer a matter of signing up; you’ll have to prove that you need the extension and that you have a plan to keep paying your mortgage in the near future. Some lenders will consider extending deferrals on a case-by-case basis for people who absolutely require it.
3. Seek Additional Financing
If a further deferral isn’t an option, borrowing might be your best bet.
Using an existing line of credit or borrow money from family to make your payments for a few months.
Once you’re financially stable again, you can attempt to refinance your mortgage, perhaps pulling out some equity, to pay off that debt. You could also consider applying for a home equity line of credit (HELOC), too.
However, if you do not have a job, if you do not think you will have a job in the next few months and you cannot keep up with your mortgage and other bills, seeking additional financing might not be the best option fo you to consider.
4. If you have no options, Sell
Unfortunately, this will be reality for some people. If you do have to sell, the important thing is to do minimum damage to your credit, and get as much money as possible for your home. Take control before the banks control you and your home.
This means getting ahead of the bank, and selling before they decide to foreclose. Having the bank foreclose on your house is the worst thing you can do.
Every situation will be different for every homeowner. Let us help you with your options.
Gregg Bamford and Ryan Bamford