Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you have questions about your loan with Watermark Capital Inc and would like to speak to someone, please give us a call at (855) 478-7093. Our team members are available Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 9:00 pm ET and Saturday 8:00 am – 12:00 pm ET to help you.
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I’m having difficulty making payments to my mortgage due to the national COVID-19 emergency, what are some relief options that you’re offering?
What do I need to know about forbearance?
You should know that during a forbearance, no payments are expected; however payments will still be accepted. There will be no late charges assessed to your account, and negative credit reporting is suppressed. The purpose of a forbearance is to offer temporary relief by suspending payments for a set period of time for those impacted by COVID-19.
However, it is important to understand that once the forbearance plan expires, the total amount of all outstanding monthly mortgage payments that were suspended during the forbearance period, as well as any previously delinquent amounts, will become due, unless further assistance is requested and addressed through post-forbearance options, and credit reporting will resume.
For example: Let's say your monthly mortgage payment is $1,000, including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance. If you choose to enter a 90-day forbearance plan, you won't owe that $1,000 for the next three months. But at the end of the 90-day plan, you'll owe $3,000 (or $1,000/month for the past 3 months) to become current again.
This can result in payment shock for some, which is why as your servicer we will remain in contact with you during your forbearance period to discuss your unique situation, including what options are available to you at the end of your forbearance term.
Why am I only being offered a 90-day forbearance? I am hearing I can get one for up to a year.
While it is true that forbearances can be offered for up to 180 days, and extended out for another 180 days, it's important to understand that a forbearance effectively kicks payments 'down the road'. When the forbearance period ends, you're obligated to deliver all the missed payments, in addition to the current payment in a lump sum. The longer the forbearance period, the more missed payments you'll have to repay, which means a larger sum that will become due all at once. That can create a tremendous financial burden, which may be too much for some to bear. If not handled responsibly it could ultimately lead to default, which could result in foreclosure.
That's why we believe the best way to manage this program is to start with a 90-day forbearance period, which provides our customers with immediate payment relief to address the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the initial 90-day relief period comes to a close, together we can assess your financial situation and work with you to determine which of the available post-forbearance options is best for you to help get you back on track.
What are my current options for after the 90-day forbearance period?
Before the end of your forbearance period, we will work together with you to determine the what will be the appropriate next steps based on your unique situation. We ask that you contact us 30-days prior to the end of your forbearance plan, which gives us time to reassess your hardship and financial status, and helps us determine your eligibility for additional relief options.
Some of those options include:
- A reinstatement: This is where you make up missed payments in a lump sum to bring your account current and continue to make regular, on time payments. While that's the best option, we understand not everyone will be able to do that.
- A repayment plan: This is where you work to bring your loan current over time by making monthly payments in excess of your contractual payment amount.
- An extension of your forbearance: If your situation has not changed, or is still unstable, we can look to extend your forbearance another 90-days. But remember, any payments suspended during forbearance will still be due at the end of the forbearance period.
- Loan modification: This is where we modify the terms of the Note to help get you current and potentially provide for a lower monthly payment going forward. In order to take advantage of this option, you'll have to submit a full mortgage assistance application package and for review.
Each of these options have their pros and cons, and may have additional eligibility and qualification requirements. That is why it is important that we stay in contact throughout your forbearance term so that we can work together to determine the right solution that's tailored to your unique situation.
I’m hearing a lot in the news about mortgage forgiveness and payment deferrals. Is that an option for me?
Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation during this current situation about what servicers can or should be doing to help people impacted by COVID-19. Politicians, the media, and maybe even some of your neighbors are talking about 'pushing missed payments to the end of the loan' also known as a deferral. Or they might even be talking about outright payment forgiveness.
Unfortunately, for the vast majority of homeowners, these programs may not be available. As a servicer of loans backed by the federal government, including FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac loans, we are contractually obligated to follow guidance set forth by the agency or investor which insures your loan.
Not all agencies have deferral options available to assist today. However, we know our agency partners are hard at work to put out guidance in response to COVID-19 hardships and we anticipate additional relief options will be made available in the future. As soon as we are aware of additional relief options, we will be sure to communicate those options.
What can I expect during the forbearance period?
Can I make payments during my forbearance period?
Yes, you can make payments during your forbearance and we encourage you to do so if possible. Even if you can't make your full monthly payment, partial payments will be accepted under forbearance plans.
It is important to remember that the forbearance plan is intended for temporary hardship, and is not intended for long-term relief. Once the forbearance plan expires, the total amount of all outstanding monthly mortgage payments that were suspended during the forbearance period, as well as any previously delinquent amounts, will become due. So if you can pay even part of your monthly obligation during the forbearance plan, we encourage you to do so.
If my situation changes, can I cancel my plan before the forbearance period ends?
How will forbearance impact my credit?
Through the duration of your forbearance plan, we will not assess any late charges and credit reporting will be suppressed, but only for the duration of the plan. Once your forbearance plan ends, we will resume credit reporting.
Each credit bureau leverages their own algorithms to determine how to score your credit, and although negative credit reporting is suppressed during a forbearance, meaning we will not report that a payment was skipped during the forbearance plan, it is possible that a credit agency may assess your credit differently in the absence of such reporting. If you have questions on how credit bureaus measure credit scores, we encourage you to contact them directly.
Will this impact my ability to refinance in the future?
How do I avoid COVID-19-related scams?
Unfortunately, scammers are out there in times like this. What you should know is that we will never ever ask you for your personal information in an email or text message. If we reach out to you, we won't ask for confidential information, such as your name, password, personal identification number (PIN) or other account information.
We encourage you to be aware of loss mitigation and foreclosure rescue scams. If you see or hear something that doesn't seem right, please contact us directly to inquire.
What should I do if I’m unsure if an inquiry is legitimate from my mortgage servicer?
What can I do to protect myself from fraud?
Never give out personal information, debit or credit card numbers, or wire money or send gift cards as a result of an unexpected or unsolicited call if you cannot validate the caller's authenticity.
Watermark Capital Inc provides many options for payment; be suspicious if the caller is REQUIRING funds to be sent in non-traditional payment methods.
Never pay a third party for help with loss mitigation or home retention assistance. Help with home retention options, including housing counseling, is FREE.
Should you become suspicious, ask the caller for details about his or her name, phone number, company, etc. Your questions may scare them away. If the conversation continues, document what they tell you, including the date and time you speak with them, caller ID number and anything else that may aid in a possible investigation.
Know how to access your monthly bill easily to verify our contact information. You can access your account online through your Borrower Portal at any time or call our Customer Care number for any questions you may have.
What red flags should I look out for to try to identify a mortgage servicing-related scam?
Scammers may use some of the following techniques to attempt to obtain funds or personal information from you. Safeguard yourself against potential scams by being aware of the following techniques:
- Pressure to send money as fast as possible/by a set deadline
- Threatened with law enforcement action
- Asked to send funds through wire transfer services
- Told to purchase gift cards and provide codes as a form of payment
- Being instructed to not trust Watermark Capital Inc
- The caller exhibits irritation, unease, or anger when you question their authority. Notice if their emotion intensifies when you ask to speak with their manager, for their phone number, or to call back later.