Banks promise mortgage help for homeowners and renters

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TORONTO

One of the biggest fears gripping many Canadians with mortgages and rent payments to make is losing their jobs. Already millions of Canadians are seeing their incomes drop or end as a result of closures.
TD Bank announced that the country’s six largest financial institutions will “provide financial relief to Canadians impacted by the economic consequences of COVID-19.
“Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19,” the statement reads.
“This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.”
Some other lenders, like RMG Mortgages, have also sent their clients emails about “Hold-a-Payment or Skip-a-Payment options.”
Early the next day, CMHC tweeted that it “will support lenders in allowing deferral of mortgage payments for up to six months for those impacted (by the coronavirus).”
That help will come if your mortgage is already insured by CMHC, which usually happens if you put down less than 20 percent of the purchase price when you bought your property.
Genworth Canada and Canada Guaranty will also be allowing mortgage payment deferrals on insured mortgages.
If your down payment was 20 per cent or more, you likely don’t have an insured mortgage. But in a statement Tuesday, the CMHC said it’s examining options to help you, too.
“We are also exploring, with others, potential relief measures for those who cannot make payments on uninsured mortgages and renters,” said Evan Siddall, president and CEO of CMHC.
What this means for renters and those with uninsured mortgages is still unclear.
CMHC had a deferral program in place long before COVID-19, but the length of time granted was on a case-by-case basis, often shorter than six months.

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