"Chicago Volunteer Legal Services provides free legal advice and representation to low-income families. Last year, we worked with many public officials to spread the word about COVID-19 mortgage forbearance options. Through the CARES Act, homeowners with federally-backed mortgages can put their loans into forbearance for six months to a year. At the end of the forbearance, the missed payments are either recapitalized through a modification or are put on the end of the loan as a non-interest-bearing balloon payment. Reverse mortgage borrowers, and borrowers who are already behind on their mortgage (or are even in foreclosure) are eligible. Although the CARES Act set a Dec. 31 deadline for signing up for this option, Pres. Biden has extended those deadlines to the end of June.
Area families are struggling and could really use this option. Unfortunately, it is still under-utilized. CVLS has a self-help tool on our website: COVID-19 Mortgage Relief - Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (cvls.org). There, homeowners can check if their loan is federally-backed and fill out form letters to send to their lender. We also have a dedicated hotline and email for homeowners who have trouble navigating the internet: 312-332-8785; COVID@cvls.org. FAQs and referrals to other resources are also posted."