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$2 Trillion Dollar Stimulus Passes, Help for those most affected listed below

  

Rent, credit cards, auto loans: Here's who is offering relief


Friday, March 27th 2020

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) —


The first of the month is approaching quickly. For the millions of Americans who have been laid off or fallen on hard times, paying the bills will be a struggle. 


While relief is coming under the $2 trillion stimulus package signed into law Friday, it could still take weeks for people to get the help they need now. 


Below are the actions being taken by federal and state governments as well as private companies and lenders to help people affected by the COVID-19 outbreak deal with some of the biggest monthly expenditures: rent and mortgage payments, utilities, credit card debt and car loans. 


The list is not comprehensive


People who are struggling to make payments should contact their lenders or local governments directly to see what assistance is available. 

RENT

So far, a majority of states have taken steps through governors' orders or court actions to ensure renters remain in their homes during the public health crisis. The moratoria are expected to provide some temporary relief, but tenants are still required to make payments.

Nationwide, roughly 45 million Americans rent their homes. Nearly half of renters are rent-burdened, meaning they pay more than 30% of their monthly income on housing. 

Here are the states where evictions or eviction hearings have been paused due to the COVID-19 outbreak: 

Arizona: Evictions are halted through July 23 for tenants unable to pay rent due to the coronavirus or who are under a quarantine order. 

California: Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered a moratorium on all evictions for renters and homeowners due to loss of income through May 31. 

Colorado: Democratic Gov. Jared Polis ordered a moratorium on evictions through April 30. The state also created a $3 million Disaster Relief Fund to help low-income households with rent and mortgage payments. 


Connecticut: The Connecticut Supreme Court ordered a stay on the execution of all evictions through May 1.


Delaware: Delaware courts postponed all eviction hearings through May 1.


District of Columbia: D.C. courts suspended evictions of all tenants and foreclosed homes for the duration of the emergency. 


Florida: The Florida Supreme Court suspended eviction hearings through April 17.

 

Hawaii: The Hawaii Supreme Court suspended eviction hearings through April 30. 


Illinois: Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered a moratorium on all evictions for the duration of the state of emergency. 


Indiana: Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered no new foreclosures or evictions for the duration of the state of emergency.


Iowa: Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered a moratorium on evictions and suspended the right of landlords to terminate most rental agreements for the duration of the state of emergency. 


Kansas: Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly issued an order halting all residential and commercial evictions through May 1. 


Kentucky: Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear suspended all evictions for the duration of the state of emergency. 


Louisiana: Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards suspended the deadline for legal proceedings, including eviction hearings,  through April 13. 


Maine: The Maine Supreme Court postponed all eviction hearings through May 1.  


Maryland: Republican Gov. Larry Hogan ordered a pause on evictions for the duration of the state of emergency for individuals who can demonstrate a loss of income related to the outbreak. 


Massachusetts: Massachusetts housing courts suspended most eviction proceedings through April 22, at least.


Michigan: Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered a moratorium on evictions through April 17. 


Minnesota: Democratic Gov. Tim Walz ordered a moratorium on evictions for the duration of the state of emergency or until he rescinds his executive order. 


Nebraska:  Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts ordered an eviction moratorium through May 31 for tenants who can demonstrate a loss of income related to the outbreak.


New Hampshire: Republican Gov. Chris Sununu ordered a temporary prohibition on evictions for the duration of the state of emergency. 


New Jersey: Democratic Gov. Philip Murphy issued an order allowing eviction proceedings to begin and continue but prohibited the removal of tenants for a period extending two months after the declared end of the state of emergency. 


New York: Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered a 90-day pause on evictions through June 18. The courts also halted eviction proceedings and orders until further notice. 


North Carolina: North Carolina courts halted eviction hearings for 30 days through April 14.


Oregon: Democratic Gov. Kate Brown ordered a 90-day moratorium on evictions through June 20. 


Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered a halt to all evictions through April 3. 


Rhode Island: Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo ordered courts not to process residential or commercial evictions for 30 days through April 18. 


South Carolina: The South Carolina Supreme Court ordered all current eviction orders to be postponed to May 1 and a moratorium on new eviction orders until further notice.  


Tennessee:  The Tennessee Supreme Court ordered that no court could take any action to effectuate an eviction through April 30. 


Texas: The Texas Supreme Court ordered a pause on all eviction hearings through April 20, and no execution of writs of possession before April 27.


Virginia: The Supreme Court of Virginia ordered all eviction hearings suspended through April 6. 


Washington: Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee ordered a temporary prohibition on evictions through April 17.

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MORTGAGES

Roughly 65% of all mortgages will be shielded from foreclosure through May 17 under a pair of federal government orders. 

HUD: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a 60-day moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for all single-family homeowners with Federal Housing Administration-backed mortgages. 

That order took effect March 18 and applies to all federal government-agency backed mortgages. 

FILE -- In this Feb. 29. 2012 file photo a for sale sign is seen on the lawn of a foreclosed home in Stockton, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac: The Federal Housing Finance Agency ordered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend all foreclosures for "at least 60 days" beginning March 18. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-sponsored enterprises, hold a majority of American mortgage debt. 

States: The states (above) that issued eviction moratoria have also banned foreclosures. 

CARES Act: The $2 trillion CARES Act includes protections for property owners, the real estate industry as well as homeowners.

Borrowers with mortgages backed by the FHFA or HUD can request loan forbearance for up to 180 days with no fees for hardship associated with COVID-19. 

UTILITIES

There are roughly 3,300 utility companies serving residents nationwide. Many states and some cities have taken action to prevent those companies from cutting off service to individuals.

According to the Energy and Policy Institute, these states are preventing utility companies from disconnecting service to customers during the crisis:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia 
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia: Regulators      are reportedly "urging" utilities not to disconnect customers.
  • Iowa: Only individuals      who qualify for low-income home energy assistance will be protected from      utility shut-offs. 

Those who are struggling to pay their utility bills can see if they qualify for government assistance under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). 

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CREDIT CARD DEBT

Americans hold over $466 billion in credit card debt carried over from one month to another. The average debt per household in 2019 was $7,104. 

Major credit card companies are expected to see billions of dollars in losses due to delinquency and payment defaults arising from the pandemic, according to analysts

Amid the hardship, most major banks and credit card companies have announced small measures to address consumers' needs and relieve some of the financial pressure. (The American Bankers Association has a more extensive list.) 

Bank of America: Bank of America is offering deferred payments and forbearance to certain qualifying consumer and small business clients. There may be certain fees and the assistance is on a case-by-case basis. 

Bank of America's CEO also announced he was donating $100 million to support communities impacted by the outbreak.

In this Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 photo a passer-by walks past the entrance to a Bank of America ATM, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Capital One: Capital One is encouraging customers facing financial hardship to contact the bank for assistance on a case-by-case basis. 

Citigroup: Citigroup bank announced it was waiving certain fees for 30 days. Retail and small business customers can get monthly services fees waived, as well as penalties for early CD withdrawal. Eligible credit card customers can apply for credit line increases and collection forbearance. 

The bank also pledged $15 million to support COVID-19 relief activities around the world.

Discover: Discover is offering consumers payment, fee or interest relief on certain loan products and deposit accounts. 

JPMorgan Chase: Chase bank is offering relief on a case-by-case basis and could include fee waivers or refunds. Customers may also get assistance changing due dates or extending credit lines.

The bank also announced a $50 million investment in public health and long term economic challenges arising from the global pandemic.  The philanthropic donation will go toward communities and people hit hardest by the crisis. 

PNC: PNC is offering customers the ability to postpone loan payments, including credit cards, for up to 90 days day with no late fees. 

PNC is also offering an emergency hardship loan program for qualifying customers. It provides between $1,000 and $5,000 at a low-interest rate to meet urgent needs.

Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo is temporarily suspending residential property foreclosure sales, evictions and involuntary automobile repossessions. The bank is offering fee waivers, payment deferrals and other assistance for credit card, personal lending and other customers on a case-by-case basis.

The bank is also making $175 million in charitable donations to address food and housing insecurity, helping small businesses and the public health response.

FILE- In this Jan. 31, 2018, file photo, credit card logos are posted to the door of a business in Atlanta.{{ }} (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

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Credit card companies: Many credit card companies are offering individual solutions for customers struggling to make payments, including increasing credit limits, eliminating late fees and interest payments. 

American Express, Bank of America, Capital One and U.S. Bank offer financial hardship programs for customers as a result of job loss or natural disasters. 

Apple Card: Apple cardholders will be allowed to skip their March payments and incur no interest charges. 

Credit score: Both Vantage Score and FICO announced that credit scores would not be impacted if people take advantage of emergency measures. Specifically, if an account is put in forbearance or a person creates a deferred payment plan, it will not affect their credit score.


  

AUTO LOANS

Americans have roughly $1.3 trillion in auto loans averaging $27,934 per household.

In response to the crisis, several major auto companies are anticipating customers will be experiencing financial troubles and have announced coronavirus car payment plans and programs. 

According to J.D. Power Associates, these actions could trigger a broader, industrywide response as companies try to boost sales and avoid customer loan defaults and repossessions.


Fiat-Chrysler: Current owners and lessees can apply for flexible payments and payment extensions on a case-by-case basis. The company is offering a series of 0% financing options and 90-day deferred payments for new buyers of 2019 and 2020 models. Fiat-Chrysler vehicles include Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram.


Ford: Current owners and lessees can apply for flexible payment arrangements and payment extensions on case-by-case basis. New buyers can get a 90-day deferral on their first payment. 


General Motors: Current owners and lessees can apply for flexible payment arrangements and payment extensions on a case-by-case basis. New buyers can get a 120-day deferral on their first payment and interest-free financing for 84 months. General Motors vehicles include Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC.


Honda: Honda is offering payment extensions and deferrals, as well as late fee waivers for current owners and lessees. New buyers can get 90-day deferred first payment and loyalty cash. 


Hyundai: Hyundai is offering one of the most generous programs for car owners. The company will make up to six months of payments for new owners who lose their jobs. The program affects owners who purchased or leased their cars between March 14 and April 30, 2020. 


Nissan: Current owners and lessees can apply for rescheduling of payments on a case-by-case basis. New buyers can get a 120-day deferral on their first payment


Toyota: Current owners and lessees can apply for flexible payment arrangements and payment extensions on a case-by-case basis.


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