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For Consumers

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Financial Resources for Pennsylvania Residents Impacted by COVID-19

Learn ways to protect yourself financially during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities has developed a list of financial resources for Pennsylvania consumers affected by the coronavirus. We will add to this list as more resources become available.



Important: The CARES Act includes provisions concerning reporting of information to Credit Report Agencies (Equifax, Experian, Trans Union), and non-negative reporting for workout arrangements between borrowers and lenders during the COVID-19 outbreak. This provision only extends to agreements between both parties and does not extend to any non-noticed, missed or delinquent payments.

It is vitally important that you proactively reach out to your lender/creditor to pursue an agreement or accommodation of your financial obligations and keep a record of any written accommodation (i.e. email, letter) received from the lender.

When pursuing an accommodation or alternative payment agreement, be sure to understand the terms and nature of the workout agreement. Forbearance of a debt is not debt forgiveness and you should inquire if interest will accrue.

Last Updated:  August 6, 2021


Trouble Paying Your Mortgage?

On June 4, 2020, state regulators and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued additional guidance for servicers of mortgages covered under the CARES Act. The guidance explains what servicers may and may not do, including prohibiting the requesting of additional information in order to grant a forbearance.


PA Homeowner Assistance Fund 

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) administers the PA Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) program to assist mortgage borrowers who meet eligibility requirements with their mortgage payments. Learn more at: 

https://www.phfa.org/haf/ 


Additional Resources:
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Trouble Paying Rent?

If you are unable to make your rent payment, contact your landlord immediately and try to work out an agreement.

Update: On July 30, 2021, the Federal Housing Agency announced it would extend the single-family eviction moratorium for FHA Single Family homes, through September 30, 2021. For additional information visit: https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/OCHCO/documents/2021-19hsgml.pdf

The USDA, VA and FHFA also extended their foreclosure-related eviction moratoria until September 30, 2021. Additional information available: https://www.fhfa.gov/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/Agencies-Joint-Statement-on-Agency-Actions-to-Prevent-Evictions.aspx
 
* These protections extend to renters in properties that are backed by a federal government agency.

Department of Human Services (DHS) Emergency Rental Assistance Program

On February 5, 2021, Governor Wolf signed S.B. 109 into law, which officially designated the Department of Human Services (DHS) as the agency overseeing administration of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) for the 49 counties that did not receive direct allocations.

You can also contact a housing counseling agency toll-free 800.569.4287.
They can help point you in the right direction.

Additional Resources:




Trouble Paying Auto/Vehicle Loans?

If you are unable to make a loan payment for your automobile, contact your auto loan servicer, where you make scheduled payments, and ask for workout arrangements.



Trouble Paying Student Loans?

Update: On August 6, 2021, the Biden Administration announced an extension on the pause of federal student loan payments until January 31, 2022. For additional information please visit: https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus

On March 20, 2020, the office of Federal Student Aid began providing the following temporary relief on ED-owned federal student loans: suspension of loan payments, stopped collections on defaulted loans, and a 0% interest rate. On January 20, 2021, COVID-19 emergency relief measures were extended on federal student loans through at least September 30, 2021. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS.

On March 30, 2021, the COVID-19 emergency relief measures were expanded to federal student loans made through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program that are in default.

Federal student loan borrowers are not required to take any action. Any payments received during this time will be applied to any outstanding interest balance and principal balance of any loans.

Additional Resources:



Trouble Paying Credit Cards?

If you have seen a reduction in pay due to COVID-19 and are struggling to make your credit card or loan payments, contact your lender right away. Explain your situation and ask about hardship programs that may be available. Regulatory agencies have encouraged financial institutions to work with customers impacted by the coronavirus.

Credit card companies and lenders may be able to offer you a number of options to help you. This could include waiving certain fees like overpayments and late fees, as well as allowing you to delay, adjust, or skip some payments.

Additional Resources:

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Trouble Paying Utilities?



Short Term and Emergency Loans

Consider your options before taking out a high-cost, short-term loan. Talk with your creditors to negotiate more time to pay bills or borrow from friends or family, before exploring loans offered by local banks, credit unions or licensed small loan companies that you may be unable to repay.

If you do take out a short-term loan, make sure the lender is licensed with the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities and borrow only what you can afford to pay back. Call 1.800.PA.BANKS or 1.800.600.0007.



Insurance Issues

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has resources and information available for consumers who have insurance-related questions. Check the FAQ page for answers to the most common questions related to insurance coverage and COVID-19.

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department is working to ensure that all questions related to COVID-19 are addressed. You can call 1.877.881.6388 if you cannot find the resources you need on their website.




Accessing Your Financial Institution

  • Make use of the many services available 24/7 on your financial institution's website or mobile app including: balance inquiries, transfers, loan payments, mobile check deposits, and transaction inquiries.
  • When possible, use Online or Mobile Banking, Phone Banking, Drive-Thru, or ATMs.
  • Visit your local bank or credit union website to find information related to the COVID-19 outbreak and any changes to hours, member assistance, and current operations.
  • Work directly with your financial institution for any concerns with credit, automatic bill payments, or debt obligations like credit card and mortgage payments.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is reminding Americans that FDIC-insured banks remain the safest place to keep their money. The FDIC is also warning consumers of recent scams where imposters are pretending to be agency representatives to perpetrate fraud

Read more: FDIC: Insured Bank Deposits are Safe; Beware of Potential Scams Using the Agency's Name

Consumers are encouraged to reach out to their financial institution prior to any upcoming payment deadlines to pursue a hardship arrangement. The American Bankers Association (ABA) is maintaining and updating a list of efforts by banks to accommodate persons affected by COVID-19.

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) also has a resource guide available for members of credit unions.




Unemployment Help

If you are unable to work because of COVID-19, you may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation benefits. Learn more about eligibility requirements, latest developments, and how to get started.

Note: The Department of Labor and Industry has encouraged individuals to make claims electronically through their website.