President Trump recently announced that delayed mortgage payments could be an option for borrowers due to the covid-19 virus

People who have experienced a loss of income because of the outbreak may qualify to make reduced payments. Under the new plan, they will not get penalties or late fees, and delayed payments will not be reported to credit agencies.

“Our thoughts are with everyone who may be impacted by Coronavirus  and we urge you to stay safe and well during these unprecedented times,” Malloy Evans, senior vice president and single-family chief credit officer for Fannie Mae, said in a press release. “Fannie Mae, along with our lending and servicing partners, is committed to ensuring assistance is available to homeowners in need. We encourage residents whose employment or income are impacted by COVID-19 to seek available assistance as soon as possible.”

Borrowers will initially only need to testify over the phone to their lender that they’re on financial deprivation ; documentation will come later. Payment relief can also apply to any type of property, whether it’s a primary home, secondary home, or investment property.

Throughout the loan tolerance period, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may reconsider the borrower’s ability to pay the loan to ensure the plan is still necessary for that borrower. After this period is up, servicers will develop a feasible repayment plan with the borrower, including potentially extending the life of the loan.

Some banks are also offering mortgage tolerance periods for customers during this time, although, as of now, they are much shorter than 12 months. Fifth Third Bank, for example is offering borrowers a 90 day tolerance period on mortgages, and Ally is offering a 120 day tolerance period for mortgage customers. Bank of America also stated it will defer mortgage payments for borrowers who request it, although it did not specify a length of time.

“We don’t want people who have been responsible in making their mortgage payments to suddenly be declared delinquent and to lose their access to credit,” Chris Mayer, a real estate economist at Columbia University’s business school, told NPR. “Let’s fight the virus, and let’s hold people harmless for something that they didn’t control.”