How To Extend Your COVID-19 Mortgage Forbearance

If you received a mortgage forbearance due to COVID-19, your payment suspension could be about to expire. If so, you must request an extension before the initial forbearance agreement expires. It’s important to know that a forbearance extension through CARES isn’t guaranteed. The CARES Act [aka] Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
was signed into law on March 27th of 2020. If you aren’t sure, contact an experienced Orlando Realtor to assist you.

The act granted homeowners who were financially affected by the coronavirus a 6-month temporary suspension with no penalties. That means the first forbearance agreements began to expire at the end of October 2020.

The CARE Act also allowed for a 180 forbearance extension… as long as the homeowner requests before the initial agreement expires.


  • The CARES Act provides up to 360 days of mortgage payment forbearance for homeowners with a federally backed loan.
  • The initial forbearance can be for up to 6 months with one 6 month extension.
  • You must request the initial forbearance from your bank as well as the extension. Neither one is automatic.
  • To apply for an initial forbearance or an extension, contact your lender.
  • Typically, forbearance freezes delinquency, which also stops foreclosure.
  • Most lenders offer COVID-19 related forbearance. For private lenders rules and conditions vary.

What Loans Qualify for Forbearance Under the CARES Act?

The CARES Act forbearance applies to mortgages backed by the federal government:

  • Loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration
  • Loans insured under section 255 of the National Housing Act.
  • Loans insured under section 184 or 184A of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992.
  • Loans insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Loans insured or made by the Department of Agriculture.
  • Loans insured by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporations (Freddie Mac) or (Fannie Mae)

Apply For Your Extension Through Your Lender

If your loan forbearance is about to expire and you still can’t make the payments, contact your lender immediately. Check your mortgage statement for the contact information of your mortgage servicer.

Your lender should notify you before the expiration of your current forbearance. Don’t take a chance! If you’re not sure when your current forbearance expires then call your servicer to tell them you need an extension. If you’re unsure or need some help, feel free to contact us at for immediate assistance.

Before you contact the lender, visit their website for any mortgage relief options available.

The CARES Act only requires that you request an extension and by law… you shall receive one.

Get It In Writing!

Although the law doesn’t require your forbearance request to be written, it’s a good idea to ask your lender for documentation detailing the terms of your agreement.

Things to keep in mind:

  • To get the extension, you don’t need to submit additional documentation. Only your claim to have a coronavirus-related financial hardship will be required.
  • During the time of your forbearance, additional fees, penalties, or interest will be waved.
  • You have the option to shorten the forbearance and continue to make payments at any time. Let your lender know of the change.

If you still haven’t asked for your mortgage forbearance, don’t worry… you may still be able to as long as the emergency declaration is still in effect. You can check with your local Orlando real estate agent to get informed.

What About Private Lender Forbearance Agreements?

If you have a mortgage through a private lender you’ll have to contact them and see what they’re offering. Because your lender will have their own set of terms and conditions, you’ll need to pay close attention to the fine print. For example, some private lenders may want you to pay a balloon payment for missed payments and interest.

During Your Forbearance

During the time of your Forbearance, while preparing for life after your forbearance expires, there are a few things you should be doing…

  • Maintain copies of ALL written documents pertaining to your forbearance agreement.
  • Check your monthly mortgage statements carefully to make sure there are no mistakes.
  • Pause auto-payments for your mortgage during your forbearance.
  • Carefully monitor your credit report for any errors and make sure your lender is reporting your status correctly
  • Prior to your forbearance expiring, be sure to have a plan in place with your lender for you to repay what you owe.

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Orlando Short Sale Process: Get Rid of Mortgage Issues for Good

The Orlando Short Sale Process for Sellers Step by Step

I’ve been an Orlando short sale realtor since 2004 and although there have been changes in rules and regulations, etc., the short sale process for sellers has pretty much remained the same. Going through the short sale process can be intimidating, to say the least. However, by getting a handle on it from the start you’ll have a big advantage.

Why Consider A Short Sale?

A short sale is when a homeowner sells their property for an amount that is less than what they owe on their mortgage. A short sale is often the last resort for people who have exhausted all other options to save their homes and avoid foreclosure.

If you want to keep your home try a loan modification first. Speak with your lender about your situation. You may qualify for a loan modification and avoid having to sell it at all. A loan modification is exactly what it sounds like… it’s when a lender adjusts the terms of your mortgage making the payments more affordable so that you can keep your home.

The Home Affordable Modification Program aka [HAMP] is a program by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and is a good place to start. Homeowners who qualify for HAMP are put on a 3 month trial period. Those who it through will be approved at the new payment avoiding foreclosure.

If a loan modification is just not an option pursuing a short sale would be the next step. When you speak to your lender about doing a short sale, do it sooner than later and don’t wait until you’ve already missed several mortgage payments. A short sale means that you are attempting to sell your home for less than what you owe on your mortgage which means your lender needs to sign off on it.

What’s A Short Sale Package?

Lenders have a set of rules or qualifications that need to be met before getting approved for a short sale. Although they may vary a bit, all lenders pretty much have the same requirements for their short sale packet.

The lender will require the homeowner to submit any documentation which proves they are going through a financial hardship and truly cannot continue to make the mortgage payments. These documents will include bank statements, pay stubs, financial statements, asset disclosures, and of course a hardship letter. A hardship letter is a letter written by the homeowner explaining in detail why they can no longer continue making their mortgage payment.

Hiring a Short Sale Agent

Speak with an Orlando short sale expert. A short sale can only be completed by a real estate agent so make sure you hire an agent with a lot of experience in the short sale arena to represent you. The best way to find a short sale agent in your area is to do a Google search using terms like “Orlando short sale expert” or “short sale realtor” and interview at least three of the agents that appear on the first page.

Once you’ve chosen the agent that will represent you, they will then put the short sale package together for the bank as well as determine a listing price that the lender agrees with.

Listing your property as a short sale is a next step in the process. The lender requires the home to be listed on the MLS at fair market value.

Once there’s an interested buyer, the offer should be submitted to the lender. Once the lender has reviewed the offer, there will almost certainly be some further negotiating between your short sale agent and the potential buyer before a price is agreed upon by all parties.


Short Sales are anything but Short

It’s important to be aware that short sales are anything but short. It can take several months for a short sale to be approved by the lender.

Make sure your agent finds out from the lender if there are any “cash for keys” incentives available to you. This is when the lender gives the seller money back at the closing to help with relocation costs. If you were able to qualify for HAFA for instance, you will receive $3,000 upon closing the deal.

If all goes well and the lender approves the buyer, the deal closes and all is good with the world. You move out [hopefully with a few thousand in your pocket] and the buyer moves in.


When can I Buy another Home?

The next question you have is probably… “how long before I can buy another home?”…

There is no black and white answer to this question. A short sale will surely affect your credit but not nearly as bad as a foreclosure will. Also, the IRS may treat the forgiven debt as taxable income. This means you may end up owing some money to Uncle Sam.

There’s no denying that short sales are a great option for a homeowner facing foreclosure. Firstly, It helps the seller avoid foreclosure and eliminate their debt. Also, the seller can stay in the home without making payments while the process is happening.

We’ve tracked some of our clients after a completed short sale. Homeowners can usually get a conventional loan after four years. Again, this is still much better than having a foreclosure on your record. A foreclosure can prevent you from getting another mortgage for up to seven years.

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Short Sales Run Parallel to Foreclosure

There is a common myth in the world of short sales that once you begin the short sale process, it stops the foreclosure process. I’ve been doing short sales in Orlando since 2005 and I can tell you from experience that it’s just not true. Don’t get me wrong… in some situations, it can happen and often does happen, where the lender suspends foreclosure proceedings if a house is in the short sale process and they want to see how it plays out. However, some people have the impression that starting a short sale with their lender will automatically stop the foreclosure process and the truth is that nothing can be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is that the foreclosure process and the short sale process run parallel to each other and sometimes it just comes down to a race to see which situation arrives first.

Although we have an outstanding track record when it comes to getting short sales done, even with a pending auction date, I will still tell my clients that nothing is guaranteed. And anyone who tells you differently is either lying or they’re just ignorant on the subject. The problem occurs when a real estate agent tells someone that they guarantee to complete their short sale just to get them locked in as a client and the property ends up getting sold at the auction anyway.

When I hear about this happening to someone, it makes me absolutely furious because a short sale is only one of many options to avoiding foreclosure. Not only that but sometimes it’s not even the best option for someone, especially if the seller wants to try and keep the house. It’s true that realtors get paid a commission when they complete a short sale but this is no reason to try and steer somebody into this situation when they know that another option may suit them better.

Here are some alternatives to short sales.

1- Loan Modification- This is when we try to get the terms of your loan adjusted thus making it more affordable to the homeowner.


2- Deed-in-Lieu- A deed-in-lieu occurs when you sign the house back over to the lender as opposed to going through the foreclosure process.


3- Bankruptcy Chapters 7 or 13– This will offer the homeowner the opportunity to either buy some time and try to get reorganized or eliminate their debt as well as their assets in order to satisfy their outstanding debts once and for all. Bankruptcy situations should be discussed with a bankruptcy attorney.

I learned 9 years ago when I first started in the real estate business, that to be a successful real estate agent you should always, always do what’s best for the client that you’re representing and not what’s best for your bank account. This mindset has always served me well and I truly believe that I am more successful because of it.




Orlando short sale expert

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Fannie Mae Making great Strides in the Orlando Short Sale Process

Fannie Mae is taking the Lead on making short sales move even faster for Orlando homeowners

It’s amazing to see how far certain lenders have come in the way of helping homeowners to get their Orlando short sales approved. In the not-so-distant past, some of the major lenders were hell bent on making the short sale process a nightmare for not only the homeowners but also, the short sale realtors that had to work the entire process. Then even after you’ve submitted the complete package to the lender dotting every I and crossing every t, you would then have to re-submit the entire short sale package several times over either because it needed to be updated or the lender had lost it or claimed to have never received it. I know this may sound absurd to some of you but believe it or not, this used to happen on just about every single file at least once or twice.

It’s only been in the last year or so that we’ve seen a drastic change in the way that lenders handle Orlando short sales in General. There are systems in place such as HudHomes.Gov that some lenders use which make short sales move along a lot faster. And with systems like these in place, no longer can negotiators claim to have never received certain documents or that they’ve lost them. It’s as easy as logging into your account and uploading every page that they request. This was just one of the steps which began to streamline the short sale process.

Since then, there have been laws implemented by congress which require lenders to respond within 60 days of a short sale offer being presented, this was Huge! Even bigger, was when Lenders started giving homeowners large “Cash for Keys” incentives to complete short sales. Not only were homeowners able to get their debt forgiven, but they were able to receive enough cash at closing to start over in a new life.

Most recently, Fannie has come out with new guidelines for loan servicers to follow.  The new guidelines are a part of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Servicing Alignment Initiative. The idea is to prevent more foreclosures and help neighborhoods to stabilize.

Fannie Mae’s new guideline changes

• Hardships. Servicers will now be permitted to approve a short sale for borrowers who have certain kinds of hardships but are still current on their loans. Also, in order to reduce paperwork, no documentation of hardship will be required for borrowers who are 90 days or more delinquent and have a credit score lower than 620.

• 2nd-lien payments limited to $6,000. Before, 2nd lien holders often attempted to negotiate higher payments. The loan servicer will be able to offer the maximum payment of $6,000 in order to facilitate the transaction. By setting a standard payout amount and a limit for every transaction, Fannie Mae is removing the guesswork in order to accelerate the short sale process.

• Servicers will have more authority to approve and complete short sales. All servicers will have the authority to approve and complete short sales that conform to the requirements without receiving individual approval from Fannie Mae. Sometimes this part of the process added several months to short sale negotiations.

Jenny Zamora Lic RE Broker, Orlando

Sell A house in Orlando

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6 Things that can Kill your Orlando Short Sale

The Clock is running Out on Orlando Short Sales

By now almost everyone is familiar with the term “Orlando Short Sale” that owns real estate in Orlando. In a nutshell… It’s when the bank agrees to take a substantial discount on what is owed on a delinquent mortgage.
Our office has been receiving a ton of calls and emails lately from sellers that are upside down on their mortgage all asking the same question. “ Are we still in time to do a short sale on our home without being taxed by the IIRS for the deficiency?” The simple answer to this question is yes, as long as you get it closed before 2013. However, there are many other things to consider besides the “Mortgage tax relief act of 2007”.
6 things that could kill your Orlando Short Sale

1-    The Bank refuses to take accept the short sale offer- These days this doesn’t happen that often. However, Some lenders are just not realistic when it comes to what the property is actually worth and they will just flat out refuse to do a short sale.
2-    Stubborn Homeowners Associations- In the state of Florida, HOA’s will be paid 1 year of dues if a property goes to foreclosure. However, for some reason, that I’m still trying to figure out, there are HOA’s out there that would rather let the property  go  to  foreclosure and collect a year of delinquent dues instead of collecting an amount that is  much more than that. It’s almost  like the HOA’s take it personal that a homeowner can’t pay and they want revenge!
3-    2nd mortgages not giving enough of a discount- When you do an  Orlando Short Sale on a  house that has 2 or more mortgages, the amount that you offer to that second mortgage holder as to be approved by the first mortgage holder. If the frst mortgage holder only wants the second to get $2,000.00 and the 2nd mortgage holder wants $5,000.00 guess what? That’s right… it’s a deal killer.

4-    The BPO Comes in Too High- Part of the process when doing an rlando  short sale is for the bank to order a BPO [Brokers Price Opinion]. Kind of like a mini appraisal, a BPO is usually performed by a local realtor that goes into the house and records details of the house damages, upgrades, etc. Based on all of this information the BPO agent will determine what they  think the house is worth. Unfortunately, I’ve had BPO’s done on properties where judging by their valuation of the property, they must have been either
5-    intoxicated or the more likely scenario, they want the property to get foreclosed on in hopes that they get the listing on the property from the lender as an REO listing.
6-    The buyers back out or are unable to close- Usually, you’ll know way ahead of time if you’re dealing with a legitimate buyer as opposed to a tire kicker because of a Deposit and proof of funds or a pre-approval letter. However, for whatever reason, a buyer will sometimes just not want to go through with the deal at the last second or their financing falls through. Unfortunately, It’s just the nature of the Orlando Real Estate business.

Hire an Orlando Short Sale Expert

If you’re in need of doing a short sale in Orlando, you should find an experienced short sale realtor to give yourself the best chance possible. Short sales can be tricky and hiring a good  realtor will the key to your success.



Orlando short sale expert

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