COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
As of Mar 15, 2021
Loans in Progress Related COVID-19 Questions
I heard that interest rates have dropped to 0%. Can I get a 0% rate mortgage?
Last spring the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to 0% to counteract the slowing of the economy that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic and allow financial institutions to continue operating as usual, borrowing and lending money freely. The Federal rate is not available to consumers seeking mortgage loans. However, the lower Federal rate contributes to historically low residential mortgage rates. Residential mortgage rates are determined by a combination of economic factors that are subject to frequent changes. Be assured that Freedom Mortgage offers the best rates available on residential mortgages.
Can I expect any delays in my mortgage application and closing due to the pandemic?
We are committed to meeting our borrowers’ needs while ensuring everyone's health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Loan Advisors and Processors are working remotely from their homes to provide you with the outstanding service that makes Freedom Mortgage your premier mortgage lender and servicer. However, due to the pandemic, many states, counties and local governments have closed their offices, including property recording offices or have limited the number of people who may visit those offices at one time. These restrictions may cause delays in the closing of your loan. We will keep you informed as your loan application progresses through the various stages of processing.
If my loan won't close on time due to delays, will my rate expire?
We are addressing every customer situation individually. If your loan is at risk of not closing on time or your rate is set to expire before your scheduled closing date, your Customer Advocate will communicate with you directly to discuss options regarding your closing and/or rate.
Who should I contact if I have specific questions about my application?
Your Customer Advocate can answer specific questions about the status of your mortgage loan application. If you don't remember your Customer Advocate's name or phone number, give us a call at 877-220-5533. If you have questions about the terms of the loan you applied for, your Customer Advocate will transfer you to a licensed Loan Advisor.
When my loan is ready to close, will a Notary need to enter my home and be present when I sign the closing documents?
Your health and safety - and the safety of Freedom Mortgage's employees and our business partners - is our number one priority. When it comes time to close your loan, you are required to sign certain closing documents in the presence of a licensed Notary. We understand this is not ideal in our battle against COVID-19, and we urge you to take precautions to prevent exposure to and transmission of the coronavirus, such as wearing a protective face mask, social distancing, handwashing and other measures recommended by the national Center of Disease Control (CDC).
My loan application states I will need an appraisal. Will an Appraiser need to enter my home?
No, not necessarily. During the past year, property appraisal requirements for various mortgage loan programs have been relaxed to reduce the need for appraisers to inspect the interiors of homes while the coronavirus pandemic continues to exist. Last year, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they would leverage alternatives to appraisals to reduce the need for appraisers to inspect the interiors of homes. Freedom keeps abreast of the latest property appraisal options for various residential mortgage loan programs. Please reach out to your Customer Advocate to see what options are available.
Servicing Related COVID-19 Questions
I have financial challenges due to COVID-19 impacting my ability to pay my mortgage. What relief options are available to me?
If you are facing a financial hardship caused directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemic and your mortgage loan is federally-backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA (Federal Housing Administration), VA (Veterans Administration) or USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) there is relief available under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The CARES Act allows you to request a forbearance of your mortgage payments for a period of time. We encourage you to request forbearance immediately if you are experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19 and it is impacting your ability to pay your mortgage loan.
If you request a COVID-19 Forbearance Plan, we will suspend your payments for an initial period of up to 180 days. You can also request an extension for up to an additional 180 days for a total period of 360 days.
You can request a COVID-19 Forbearance Plan from your Freedom Mortgage online account by logging in, clicking on the banner at the top of the page and following the steps.
You can also request a COVID-19 Forbearance Plan by calling our Customer Care team at 855-690-5900. Over the phone, you can use our automated system by selecting from a menu of options. Or, you can make your request by speaking with a Customer Care representative Monday through Friday 8am - 10pm, Saturday 9am - 6pm Eastern Time. A Customer Care representative can also assist you if you are having trouble logging into your online account.
For additional information, please watch the video published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that explains forbearance as a way of addressing a financial hardship due to COVID-19. The CFPB recently posted some additional guidance at www.cfpb.gov/housing. You can also find information by visiting our website at COVID-19 Alert Update or by calling our Customer Care team at 855-690-5900 and following the prompts so we can direct you to the appropriate team member.
What is COVID-19 forbearance?
A forbearance occurs when your mortgage servicer allows you to pause (suspend) or reduce your mortgage payments for a limited period of time for reasons such as a financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.
If you are experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19, you may request a COVID-19 Forbearance Plan.
During the forbearance period, monthly payments that are missed (suspended) will not be reported as "late" to the credit reporting agencies, and you will not be penalized for missed payments or charged late fees for any payments included in the COVID-19 Forbearance Plan. If your loan is current at the time you enter into a COVID-19 Forbearance Plan, each month you are in the COVID-19 Forbearance Plan, we will report the status of your account to the credit reporting agencies as current. If you are able to bring the loan current during the COVID-19 Forbearance Plan, we will report the account as current.
Forbearance doesn't mean your payments are forgiven or erased. You will be required to repay any missed or reduced payments in the future. As the end of the forbearance period approaches, we will work with you to discuss the programs available to you to repay the missed payments. You won't have to pay back the amount that was suspended all at once – although that option will be available to you.
During the forbearance period, you do not need to make mortgage payments, but you can make payments if you are able to do so. You may make payments online or by calling our Customer Care team at 855-690-5900. Your account will remain in forbearance even if payments are made. You may shorten or withdraw from your COVID-19 Forbearance Plan at any time. If your financial situation changes during the term of your COVID-19 Forbearance Plan and you have the ability to resume monthly mortgage payments, please contact us. The fewer suspended payments, the less you will owe down the road.
Can my COVID-19 Forbearance Plan be extended for more than 12 months?
If you continue to experience a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic after 12 months in forbearance, additional relief may be available to you depending on your circumstances and loan type.
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac loans
If you have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan and you were actively performing on a COVID-19 Forbearance Plan as of February 28, 2021, you can request up to two additional three-month extensions, provided the extension does not result in your loan exceeding 18 months of total delinquency or a cumulative COVID-19 Forbearance Plan term of 18 months, whichever is shorter. Each three-month extension must be individually requested.
FHA/HUD, VA & USDA loans
If you have an FHA, VA or USDA loan and you requested your initial COVID-19 Forbearance Plan on or before June 30, 2020, you can request up to two additional three-month extensions. Each three-month extension must be individually requested and for FHA and VA loans, neither of the two additional three-month COVID-19 forbearance periods may extend beyond December 31, 2021.
You can request a COVID-19 Forbearance Plan extension from your Freedom Mortgage online account by logging in, clicking on the banner at the top of the page and following the steps. You can also request an extension by calling our Customer Care team at 855-690-5900.
By phone, you will be able to request an extension of your forbearance through our automated system by selecting from a menu of options or you can elect to make the request by speaking with a Customer Care representative. A Customer Care representative can also assist you if you are having trouble logging into your online account. Our business hours are Monday through Friday 8am – 10pm, Saturday 9am – 6pm Eastern Time.
At the end of my COVID-19 Forbearance Period how do I get my loan current? How do I repay my COVID-19 Forbearance Plan?
Near the end of your COVID-19 Forbearance Plan, we will contact you and work with you to help you determine the best program that may be available to help you catch up on your mortgage payments. The programs available to you may vary based on your circumstances and your loan type.
The information below provides some of the programs that may be available to repay mortgage payments missed during forbearance based on loan type. If you are unsure of the type of loan you have you can find it by visiting our Loan Type Look-up Tool, by checking your mortgage documents or by calling our Customer Service team at 855-690-5900.
When your COVID-19 Forbearance Plan ends, you will need to make arrangements to repay the suspended payments. FHA has a suite of loss mitigation programs such as a COVID-19 Standalone Partial Claim and a COVID-19 Loan Modification to assist customers in repaying payments that may have been missed under a COVID-19 Forbearance Plan.
When your COVID-19 Forbearance Plan ends, you will need to make arrangements to repay the suspended payments. The VA has a suite of loss mitigation programs such as a repayment plan and a loan modification to assist customers in repaying payments that may have been missed under a COVID-19 Forbearance Plan.
For additional information, please visit VA.gov, where you can find a list of frequently asked CARES Act questions and answers from VA.
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac loans
When your COVID-19 Forbearance Plan ends, you will need to make arrangements to repay the suspended payments. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have made available a suite of loss mitigation programs such as a repayment plan, payment deferment and a loan modification to assist customers in repaying payments that may have been missed under a COVID-19 Forbearance Plan.
When your COVID-19 Forbearance Plan ends, you will need to make arrangements to repay the suspended payments. The USDA has a suite of loss mitigation programs such as a repayment plan, a loan modification and a mortgage recovery advance (MRA) to assist customers in repaying payments that may have been missed under a COVID-19 Forbearance Plan.
For loans that are not federally-backed mortgage loans
For loans we service that are not federally-backed mortgages, we will offer the same forbearance programs as available to our customers with federally-backed mortgages. When your COVID-19 Forbearance Plan ends, you will need to repay the suspended payments. Near the end of the COVID-19 Forbearance Plan, we will work with you and discuss a repayment plan and/or loan modification programs.
What's the best way to pay my mortgage?
If you would like to pay your mortgage or need general information, you can access your Freedom Mortgage online account at your convenience. From your online account you can update your profile, sign up for paperless billing, view statements, make one-time ACH payments and send secure messages. Please ensure that your profile is updated with your cell phone number and consent to receive messages, so we can reach you with important information if necessary. You can seek general information at freedommortgage.com or you can call our Customer Care team at 855-690-5900.
My mortgage payment is due on the 1st. How can I avoid a late fee?
Loans are not assessed a late fee until after the grace period expires, in accordance with applicable law and the terms of your loan. If your payment is due on the 1st of the month, you can make that payment up to 15 days after your due date without incurring a late fee. If you are not able to pay within the grace period and the delay is related to a financial hardship caused by COVID-19, we recommend you learn more about protections available under the CARES Act on our COVID-19 Alert page.
In my state, our governor announced programs to protect homeowners. Can you help me with that?
Yes. Freedom Mortgage complies with all federal and state laws and regulations that protect customers who experience financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In additional, we adhere to the guidelines of the government sponsored investors and insurers whose loans we service.
What can I do to protect my home and my family from the COVID-19 pandemic?
For home safety tips go to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website where they have advice on protecting your home and family from exposure of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I received an email requesting my online account information email and password to verify that I am eligible for mortgage assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Did this come from you?
No. Freedom Mortgage will never request your password under any circumstances. Criminals often attempt to run scams during crisis events like the COVID-19 pandemic.