** UPDATED – MARCH 25TH**
COVID-19 has turned everything upside down.
The global financial volatility associated with COVID-19 has lead to lower interest rates, which would normally lead to an increase in higher real estate values. However, these are anything but normal times.
Many people I’ve spoken with are concerned about their livelihood and whether they will be able to maintain their current lifestyle.
Some have asked about refinancing to take advantage of the lower interest rates, while others are asking about payment deferrals.
Refinancing is often a consideration when there is a reduction in the interest rates. The process for this has not changed in the current market environment. You need to contact your mortgage broker or lender and apply for a new mortgage if this is something you are considering.
Mortgage Payment Deferral
The government has pledged to help Canadians suffering financially due to COVID-19, by asking Canada’s big banks to allow people to defer mortgage payments for up to 6 months.
The details vary from lender to lender, and many people are commenting that they are unable to get answers from their bank, or they don’t know what questions to ask.
The Canadian Banker’s Association released a statement to clarify the general concepts. It is important to note the following:
“Customers should understand that this is not mortgage forgiveness. Mortgage deferral means that payments are skipped for a defined period of time, during which interest which would otherwise be part of the deferred payments is added to the outstanding balance of the mortgage.”
You can read the full article at cba.ca/mortgage-deferral-to-help-canadians-experiencing-financial-hardship-due-to-covid-19
Questions I recommend that you ask your lender when considering a mortgage deferral:
- What is necessary to qualify for a deferral? (Many of us will not qualify)
- What is the application process and do I have to apply every month?
- What documentation will be required?
- How will interest be accrued?
- Will there be any additional fees?
For the time being all that I can suggest is to contact your lenders call centres or visit their websites for more information. Below are the links specific to the COVID-19 help pages.
Bank of Montreal: www.bmo.com/covid19
National Bank of Canada: www.nbc.ca/personal/notice.html
RBC Royal Bank: https://www.rbc.com/covid-19/index.html
For TD customers directly impacted by COVID-19 and as a result, facing financial challenges, contact TD directly at 1-888-720-0075
First National: https://www.firstnational.ca/residential/covid-19
Equitable Bank: https://www.equitablebank.ca/covid-19
B2B Bank (Laurentian Bank): https://b2bbank.com/covid19
First Ontario: https://www.firstontario.com/covid19
CMLS Financial: https://www.cmls.ca/covid-19-response
Meridian Credit Union: https://www.meridiancu.ca/Good-Sense/News/A-message-from-Bill-Maurin-CEO-on-COVID-19.aspx
RMG Mortgages: https://www.rmgmortgages.ca
Equity Financial Trust: https://www.haventreebank.com
If you have any questions that you would like me to address, please leave a comment below or contact me directly at 905-718-0173 and I will try to answer these questions for you.