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General Information relating to Deferred Mortgage Payment Programs
Deferred mortgage payments are discretionary.
Lenders maintain the legal right to timely repayment of their mortgages and mortgage payment deferral programs are offered at their sole discretion and each lender has different policies on how they handle these requests. Note: These programs are generally restricted to Institutional lenders only. Private mortgages do not qualify.
No lender is going to forgive your mortgage payment.
A deferred payment program allows you to roll a defined number of mortgage payments into your mortgage, however you are still expected to ultimately pay all of the money you owe, with interest.
True financial hardship must be demonstrated.
These programs are for customers who are genuinely struggling to make their next mortgage payment. They may have lost their job(s) and/or a portion of their income, and they do not have the cash reserves necessary to draw on. If you are not in this group, you are not likely to be eligible. However, if you do make the decision to request a payment deferral, please be prepared to submit a detailed breakdown of your personal assets, current income and expenses.
If you do not currently fall into this distressed category, please do not call your lender at this time.
Lender phone lines are overloaded right now with many of the calls being from customers who are worried but are not in a situation as per # 3 above. If you are still receiving your normal income and have enough money to make your next mortgage payment, please delay a call to your lender until you are in that situation. Or better yet contact the mortgage professional that you originally worked with when you obtained your mortgage. They will be happy to review all of your options with you!
Deferring mortgage payments will not hurt your credit score.
A lender-approved deferment is not a missed paymentand it will not appear on your credit bureau report as such. Lenders are also typically offering to waive any fees associated with these types of programs during the COVID-19 crisis.
Deferred Payment Programs are typically capped at six months.
Deferring the first payment will be easier than deferring the second one, and so on. Right now, six months is about the longest deferment you should expect to receive, but no lenders will do this all at once. Most of them will require that you reach out with a request for each individual payment that you are going to miss.
Communication is the key.
If you are going to miss your mortgage payment, contact your lender first! Be honest with them about your circumstances and have a plan for how you are going to get back on track. If you are about to miss a payment and cannot get through on the phone lines, send your lender an email. Lenders may waive NSF fees if you miss a payment but can demonstrate to them that you attempted to notify them in advance.
A mortgage deferred payment program is for your mortgage payment only.
Property tax installments and insurance premiums are entirely separate from these programs and must continue to be paid. If municipalities and insurance companies offer similar programs (which most municipalities are currently doing), they should be contacted separately.
Other options may be available.
In addition to rolling missed payments back into your mortgage for a specified period of time, lenders also have the ability to refinance your mortgage to pay out other debt (subject to qualification), restore your original amortization (which lowers your payment amount), hold a payment (during a temporary suspension of income), or offer you a reduced payment for a specific time. We recommend that you contact your mortgage professional to review these other options. Note: Interest-only payments are usually not available under these programs.
Rental property investors may also be eligible.
Property investors with tenants who have stopped making their rent payments will also be considered, however they will be assessed by the same rigorous standards as noted in # 3 above. Note: Some provincial governments have introduced tenant relief programs. Rental-property owners can also encourage their tenants who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 to apply for these programs if available.
Please remember that these are challenging times for not only customers but for the lenders themselves. They are all working extremely hard to try to provide all their customers with first class service and to help those borrowers who are being adversely impacted by COVID-19. It may take you a significant amount of time to reach a customer service representative at your particular lender, so when you do finally get a live person on the other end of the phone, remember that they are doing their best in difficult times and treat them with the respect they deserve.
Forecast Update: Economies Shutting Down
Rapidly evolving developments necessitate an update to the forecasts we published just last Friday. Additional quarantine or shut-down measures have been put in place in a number of countries in the last few days. As a result, we now anticipate global GDP growth to be 0% in 2020, followed by a sizeable rebound in activity in 2021 given our view that economic activity will rebound quickly once the virus is no longer a serious threat to public health. At present, we believe activity will begin to return to normal in the third quarter, except in countries where containment measures were aggressively deployed in the first quarter (essentially the Asian economies), where activity resumes in the second quarter. In Canada, the closure of non-essential business in Quebec and Ontario announced earlier this week will have large economic consequences. At present, we believe Canadian economic activity will fall by 28% in Q2 as these measures are felt. If other provinces follow, the fall in Q2 economic activity would be in the 35% range. We now assume that economic activity resumes by the start of the third quarter and that growth rebounds sharply at that time. However, the 20% drop in US economic activity in the second quarter will restrain the rebound in Canadian activity in the third quarter owing to the usual lags between US and Canadian economic outcomes. Under these assumptions, Canadian GDP would fall by slightly more than 4% in 2020 and rebound by 5.1% in 2021. Though we have not included any additional measures in this update beyond those already announced, we believe a substantial ramping up of fiscal support measures in Canada is forthcoming. There is a chance that aggressive virus management measures are required beyond Q2 to ensure the virus is truly well-contained. Evidence in Asia this week suggests that even in countries where aggressive management measures have been put in place, COVID-19 can come back quite quickly. If measures in Canada are not lifted by the end of Q2, growth would fall again in Q3, and GDP would fall by 6.3% in 2020 instead of the 4.1% we currently expect. A key question for forecasters is the length of the virus-related restrictions on firms and households. As noted above, a shift of one quarter in the resumption of normal operating conditions can have a large impact on growth outcomes. Since we do not have a good handle on the ultimate length of the interruptions, we consider it more informative to assign probabilities to the time at which virus containment measures end. At this time, we believe there is a 75% chance that activity resumes by Q3 and a 25% chance that activity returns to more normal levels by Q4. How officials manage virus containment internationally, as well as the evolution of the virus, will inform our assessment of probabilities going forward.
Source: Scotiabank Economics
Home resale market was gaining momentum prior to Covid-19
At the national level, resale home prices were gaining momentum in February. The 0.4% monthly gain in the Composite index was double the average of the previous ten years for a month of February. In particular, after 12 consecutive monthly declines, Vancouver HPI rose in each of the last five months, reflecting the fact that Vancouver resale market recently returned to balance. Sure, we still saw weakness in other regions, such as the Prairie Provinces (Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan) where markets were still favorable to buyers. But CREA just reported a rather generalized increase in home sales in February, including for Calgary and Edmonton. Unfortunately, then came the outbreak of Covid-19 and its impact on oil prices and disruptions in the supply chain. The unprecedented sanitary measures imposed by the authorities to tackle the pandemic will severely impact business activity and jobs over the coming months. In that situation, the home resale market should be heavily curtailed for the coming months.
Source: Teranet Inc., and National Bank of Canada