Answers to frequently asked Mortgage and Home Equity questions

Helping you during these uncertain times

We know this is a challenging time for all of us. As we all work to protect what matters most – our health and the health and safety of our families – we also understand that our homes play an important role in our well-being. We want you to know we are here to help.

We created this page as a resource for your home financing needs and questions. We’ll update it as the situation changes, since legislation and the country’s response to the pandemic continue to evolve.

Please read through this page prior to making the decision to suspend your payments.

If you’re able, please continue making payments through online banking. This is a safe and secure way to submit your payments.

If you’re considering taking an initial payment suspension or are already enrolled and are thinking about when to resume making payments, check out the following video from our team for useful information and perspective to help guide your decision.

Guidelines for how to request mortgage or home equity payment relief or how to apply for a new mortgage are outlined, below.

For detailed information about post-payment suspension programs, visit www.wellsfargo.com/repaymentdetails.

 

Contents

Understanding how payment suspension works

Considerations before requesting suspension

Requesting your initial payment suspension

Extending payment suspension

Resuming or ending payment suspension

Exploring additional home financing

Working with a housing counselor

 


Understanding how payment suspension works

Payment assistance via short-term payment suspension (forbearance)

If you’re experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 and are unable to make your regular mortgage or home equity payments, we can help. You can request an initial payment suspension — a temporary pause of your loan payments for up to 6 months. We will make this available in 3-month increments, checking in with you to understand if you continue to experience financial hardship. If your mortgage is covered by the CARES Act, you may request an additional 6 months of payment suspension at the end of the initial 6 months, for a total of 12 months. We will continue to contact you every three months to understand your needs.

If your loan is not covered under the CARES Act because a private investor or Wells Fargo holds it, you may also request up to an additional 6-month suspension, for a total of 12 months, subject to approval. Additional financial information may be needed from you. We will continue to contact you every 3 months to understand your needs.

For help determining who the investor is on your loan, visit wellsfargo.com/repaymentdetails

It’s best to request payment suspension only when you really need it because these payments are not waived or forgiven. Depending on your loan status before you accepted payment suspension, you may need to repay any missed payments at the end of the short-term relief period, or through repayment program options, which may vary by loan type.

For detailed information about post-payment suspension programs, visit www.wellsfargo.com/repaymentdetails

By accepting this short-term payment suspension, you will be ineligible for any new Wells Fargo mortgage product, including a new home loan or a refinance of an existing home loan, until certain conditions are met. Your financial hardship must be over. You must be out of payment suspension. You must have resolved any missed payments. You may also be ineligible for other new Wells Fargo consumer credit products, such as an auto loan, personal loan or credit card, until these conditions are met.

During payment suspension:

  • We won’t charge late fees.
  • If your loan was current when you requested payment suspension:
    • We won’t report missed payments to the consumer reporting agencies.
    • We will report you as current with a comment that the loan is in short-term payment suspension forbearance.
  • If your loan was past-due when you requested payment suspension:
    • We will not report any additional missed payments to the consumer reporting agencies during the payment suspension period.
    • We won’t refer the loan to foreclosure at this time.

Please understand that you’ll have to repay suspended payments. You can make payments during the suspension – even partial payments – at any time. This will reduce how much you’ll owe at the end of the payment suspension period. If your financial situation changes, you can end payment suspension at any time.

How it works

An initial short-term payment suspension temporarily pauses your obligation to make monthly payments for up to 6 months. We will make this available in 3-month increments, checking in with you during your initial 3 months, and throughout the payment suspension, to understand if you continue to experience financial hardship. If your mortgage is covered by the CARES Act, you may request an additional 6 months of payment suspension at the end of the initial 6 months, for a total of 12 months. We will continue to check in with you every 3 months to understand your needs. This is an option available to provide payment help due to COVID-19 impacts such as:

  • Unemployment or underemployment
  • Illness preventing you from your normal employment
  • Caring for an ill family member that prevents your normal employment
  • Decline in income

Wells Fargo is immediately approving a  payment suspension for all customers who request it due to a COVID-19 related hardship.  The CARES Act specifically stated that you qualify for an initial payment suspension up to 6 months, if you have a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Affairs (VA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan. We will make this available in 3-month increments, checking in with you during your initial 3 months, to understand if you continue to experience financial hardship.  At the end of the initial 6 months, if your mortgage is covered by the CARES Act, you may request an additional 6 months of payment suspension for a total of 12 months in accordance with the CARES Act. We will continue to contact you every three months to understand your needs. If your loan investor is Wells Fargo, or another private investor, you may also request to extend the payment suspension period for up to another 6 months, for a total of 12 months, subject to approval. Additional financial information may be needed.

To apply, log in to your Wells Fargo online banking account. Select the payment assistance banner at the top of your Account Summary. If you do not have online banking, you can sign-up or contact us at 1-800-219-9739. Note: We’re experiencing high call volumes. We apologize for any long wait times.

Assistance can be requested for all eligible accounts through the online request form. When you are ready to resume making payments or need to extend relief, you need to request this assistance for each account separately. For home equity accounts, you will need to call us to resume making payments or to request additional assistance. Otherwise, if you request relief through one of our other assistance portals (i.e., via telephone), you’ll need to request assistance for each account separately.

The payment suspension is not retroactive.  We can apply it immediately once you request it, but any reporting to the consumer reporting agencies will remain as stated prior to your request for payment suspension.

Once you miss a payment, even if you are enrolled in the payment suspension plan, your loan will have an outstanding balance and we’re required to send notification of that outstanding balance to you.  As previously stated, we are not notifying the consumer reporting agencies of this outstanding balance.

You can contact us using the secure message form in online banking or our mobile app, select the person icon in the upper corner. Use the menu to select Message Center. Next, click on the pencil icon to start a new message. Select Email Customer Service, then choose your email address and your account from the drop-down menu. In the payment questions field, please tell us about your personal situation so we can best address your needs.

Yes, we are legally required to send you a billing statement showing the amount due every 30 days. While the statement will still show the amount due, it will also reference your short-term payment suspension under the section labeled “Important Messages.”

There is no fee for the short-term payment suspension.  If you suspect you have been contacted by a scammer, please submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission.

Our sympathy is with anyone who has lost a family member. If our customer has died, we encourage you or an authorized representative to contact: 1-877-822-7864. We have a dedicated Life Events Team that can assist during this difficult time.

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Considerations before requesting suspension

You are eligible in both situations, but you may have fewer repayment options at the end of your payment suspension period. We can explain the differences to you and discuss what repayment options are best for your situation.

If you select to use this short-term payment suspension, we must cancel your other loan modification. Contact us to discuss the best option for your situation.

If the mortgage was modified under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) or Second Lien Modification Program (2MP) and you don't make a payment during this time, you could lose the pay-for-performance incentives. This is because you must remain in good standing with HAMP and 2MP.

Yes, you are eligible for payment suspension. We recommend you speak with your bankruptcy attorney about post payment suspension options.

Wells Fargo is honored to serve those who serve our country. The immediate short-term payment suspension is for any Wells Fargo Home Lending mortgage or home equity customer who requests assistance.

In addition, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) may offer protection or relief to members of the military, including the Reserves and National Guard, the Public Health Services, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and their spouses, partners and dependents. If a customer has recently been called to military service in support of state or federal efforts during the COVID-19 response, or is the spouse, partner in civil union, domestic partner, or dependent of a person who has been called to military service, and they have not made Wells Fargo aware of their status, they can send us their military service documentation in one of the following ways:

Mail/Overnight Mail:
Wells Fargo Bank c/o SCRA Request

DSR – MAC D1118-02M
1525 W. WT Harris Blvd.
Charlotte NC, 28252-8522

Fax: 1-855-872-6262

For secure email options, they can call us at 1-855-USA-2WFB (1-855-872-2932) or visit any Wells Fargo Branch.

We’ll continue to make your tax and insurance payments during the payment suspension period if you have an escrow account. However, depending on your loan type this could increase your future monthly payments. If there is a shortage on the account we will continue to work with you.

If you miss payments or make a partial payment during payment suspension, you may delay when you can remove mortgage insurance.

While you’re protected under the payment suspension (forbearance) for this loan, if you have a Wells Fargo home equity line of credit, it will be restricted from further advances and you will not have access to funds from the account. When the payment suspension ends on the loan and you’ve resumed regular payments, please contact us to request a review for reinstatement to access funds on the line of credit account.

To request a reinstatement, please call 1-877-221-1602 or write to:
Wells Fargo Home Equity
MAC-P6051-01A
P.O. Box 4790
Portland, OR 97208-4790

You will receive a separate letter with more information.

If you had a loan modification in the past that offered principal forgiveness that was contingent on your loan remaining current, you risk losing that benefit. Contact us to discuss the best option for your situation.

By accepting this short-term payment suspension, you will be ineligible for any new Wells Fargo mortgage product, including a new home loan or a refinance of an existing home loan, until certain conditions are met.  Your financial hardship must be over. You must be out of payment suspension. You must have resolved any missed payments. You may also be ineligible for other new Wells Fargo consumer credit products, such as an auto loan, personal loan or credit card, until these conditions are met.

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Requesting your initial payment suspension

Request mortgage and home equity payment suspension:

  • If you have Wells Fargo online banking, log in to your account. Select the payment assistance alert located at the top of the account summary page. Complete the COVID-19 Payment Assistance Request form you will find there. This form will enable you to request assistance with all eligible Wells Fargo credit accounts.
  • If you do not have online banking, you can sign up or contact us at 1-800-219-9739.

Note: We’re experiencing high call volumes. We apologize for any long wait times.

While you’re protected under the payment suspension (forbearance) for this loan, if you have a Wells Fargo home equity line of credit, it will be restricted from further advances and you will not have access to funds from the account. When the payment suspension ends on the loan and you’ve resumed regular payments, please contact us to request a review for reinstatement to access funds on the line of credit account.

By accepting this short-term payment suspension, you will be ineligible for any new Wells Fargo mortgage product, including a new home loan or a refinance of an existing home loan, until certain conditions are met. Your financial hardship must be over. You must be out of payment suspension. You must have resolved any missed payments. You may also be ineligible for other new Wells Fargo consumer credit products, such as an auto loan, personal loan or credit card, until these conditions are met.

If you don’t have Wells Fargo online banking, you can sign up for it or contact us at 1-800-219-9739.

Note: We’re experiencing high call volumes. We apologize for any long wait times. Once we speak with you, we’ll provide an immediate confirmation of the payment suspension and mail you a confirmation letter in 7-10 days.

If you’re making automatic payments from bill pay on Wells Fargo Online® or with any other financial institution, you’ll need to stop them.

If you have a plan with us to automatically withdraw your mortgage payments directly from your checking or savings account, you’ll need to cancel it right away. If you need our assistance to do so, you must notify us that you want to cancel automatic payments at least three business days before you want the automatic payments to stop. If you don’t, we’ll cancel your automatic payments for you. If we’re not able to stop the next withdrawal before it occurs, please call us if you would like us to return it.

You’ll need to set up any automatic payments or plans again once the payment suspension period ends.

We can refund payments that will not cause a customer’s account to become past due (due for a previous calendar month).  Example: We can refund April’s payment if you make that request in April, however we could not refund March’s payment if you make the request in April.

Customers will need to call us at 1-800-219-9739 or send us a secure message in online banking.

At this time, using electronic payments can be the preferred and safest manner. If you need to make a payment, these are the options available:

  • Wells Fargo online: We recently made updates that enables the ‘Transfer and Pay’ functionality for you to make your monthly payment from your mortgage account information in Wells Fargo online
  • Online Bill pay: If you have a Wells Fargo checking or savings account, you may use the Bill Pay functionality on Wells Fargo online by accessing it through your checking or savings account, rather than the mortgage account.    If you have a Wells Fargo checking or savings account and do not currently use Wells Fargo Bill Pay, you can find instructions here.
    • If you do not have a Wells Fargo checking or savings account, you may use your preferred bill pay service provider to make your payment from a non-Wells Fargo checking or savings account.
  • Making a payment by phone: Call 1-800-219-9739 to leverage our automated Interactive Voice Response system or speak to our representatives who will be able to take a payment from you over the phone. Please have your bank account and routing number available.
  • Mail your payment: You can continue to mail your payment and coupon to the address on your monthly statement.

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Extending payment suspension

Every 3 months we will check in with you and ask:

  • Are you ready to resume regular mortgage payments and discuss options for repaying any missed payments?
  • Do you need additional time to recover?

If your loan is covered by the CARES act, you have the option to extend the suspension period for up to a total of 12 months, but you will need to let us know before the end of your 6 month suspension if you need more time to recover. We will reach out every 3 months to ask you if you are ready to resume payments to ensure you do not suspend more payments than you may need.

The CARES Act covers federally insured loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Affairs (VA), Fannie Mae (FNMA), Freddie Mac (FHLMC), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). If your loan is not covered under the CARES Act because a private investor or Wells Fargo holds it, you may also request up to an additional 6-month suspension, for a total of 12 months, subject to approval. Additional financial information may be needed from you. We will continue to contact you every 3 months to understand your needs. If you ask for payment suspension, we’ll send you a letter that details options available for you.

Note: Keep in mind that extending your payment suspension period means that you’ll have more to repay at a later time.

At the end of the initial 6 months, you have a decision to make

If your mortgage is covered by the CARES Act, you may request an additional 6 months of payment suspension for a total of 12 months. Wells Fargo will reach out to you every 3 months to understand if you continue to experience financial hardship. We will need to hear from you before the initial 6 month payment suspension ends, or your payment suspension will end before you are ready.

If your loan is not covered under the CARES Act because a private investor or Wells Fargo holds it, you may also request up to an additional 6-month suspension, for a total of 12 months, subject to approval. Additional financial information may be needed from you. We will continue to contact you every 3 months to understand your needs.

For your Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, you can use the Payment Assistance: Action Requested form to update us on your needs. You can access this form by signing onto online banking and visiting the mortgage account details.

You may also call 1-877-937-9357.

Note: We’re experiencing high call volumes. We apologize for any long wait times.

To request an extension of your payment suspension for your Wells Fargo Home Equity account, please call us at 1-877-937-9357.

We are checking in during the payment suspension to understand if you are continuing to experience financial hardship. The payment suspension requires the customer to make up the suspended payment at some point and can impact your ability to obtain additional credit. Wells Fargo wants to make sure we help our customers limit the impacts of payment suspension where possible.

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Resuming or ending payment suspension

You can contact Wells Fargo and resume your payments. With the short-term payment suspension, you still owe the payments that were missed, however fewer missed payments means less that you will owe.

If you can afford to do so, you can repay the entire amount due at once. You can then continue with your normal payments. We understand that you may not be able to do this. We’ll work with you to discuss other programs that may help.

We'll consider your financial situation, which includes your loan status, type of loan, and whether your payments were current when the COVID-19 emergency was declared in March. This information will help us determine if you’re eligible for one of these programs:

  • A repayment plan — We may be able to divide the amount due from the missed payments into manageable amounts, spread out over time.
  • Payment deferral — We may be able to move the amount of the suspended payments to the end of your loan term.
  • A loan modification — We may be able to change certain terms of your loan — such as the interest rate or the time allowed for repayment — to make payments more manageable. This program is intended for those experiencing long-term income reduction due to the crisis.

Please know that most COVID-19 payment deferral programs can only be used once. This varies depending on who the investor is on your loan. For detailed information about post-payment suspension programs, visit www.wellsfargo.com/repaymentdetails

Deciding to resume making payments, if you can, is a good choice because it:

  • Provides you with the opportunity to apply for new credit or to refinance.
  • Reduces the chance that your escrow account, if you have one, will have a shortage. If you miss payments, your escrow account may not have enough to cover your tax and insurance bills. We’ll continue to pay them, but this could increase your future monthly payments.
  • Reduces the number of suspended payments that you’ll need to repay.

You can end the payment suspension at any time. If you decide to shorten the plan, or if you decide later that this is not the right solution for you, please contact us. When the payment suspension period ends, we’ll review available options to help you take care of missed payments. At that time, we’ll let you know when your next payment is due. You’ll need to set up any automatic payments or plans again once we do.

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Exploring additional home financing

If you are still able to make your mortgage payments and are interested in lowering your monthly payment, or buying a new home, we’re here to help you in today’s evolving mortgage market.

  • Learn what to expect, with social distancing changing the lending process.
  • Historically low interest rates generating a lot of borrower interest.
  • Get help from a home mortgage consultant, who will help you navigate loan options, appraisals, inspections, and loan closings. Details below.

Refinance loans

We’re available to help you lower your monthly payment with a rate/term refinance. But there are some temporary restrictions on the types of refinance loans we can process:

  • Cash-out Refinance, where you convert some of the equity in your home to cash, is not available at this time.
  • Jumbo Loans, which have loan amounts exceeding the current conforming loan limits, which vary based on your locale, are only available to current Wells Fargo customers who carry specific asset balances with us. Speak to your local home mortgage consultant or call 1-877-937-9357 to learn if you may qualify.
  • Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) applications are not currently being accepted. We have made temporary changes to the products we offer after carefully considering current market conditions and economic uncertainty due to COVID-19.

Get help now

You can learn about refinance or purchase options by calling us at 1-877-937-9357, using our online mortgage application, or contacting a local home mortgage consultant to guide you through the process. Our physical mortgage branches are closed; however, our local home mortgage consultants are available by phone or by appointment.

Yes, Wells Fargo continues to offer loan modifications and other payment assistance options. Customers can call us at 1-800-678-7986.

Wells Fargo Home Lending customers with a loan secured by a 1-to-4 family investment property are eligible for the same payment suspension option available to customers who occupy their homes. Options available after payment suspension options may vary by loan type and investor.

Yes, we would be pleased to move forward with your rate/term refinancing. Please contact your Home Mortgage Consultant or call 1-877-937-9357 to discuss.

Wells Fargo stopped accepting applications for home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) after April 30. We have made temporary changes to the products we offer after carefully considering current market conditions and economic uncertainty due to COVID-19.

If you have already applied for a new HELOC, we will process all applications received prior to May 1.

We have decided to make temporary changes to the products we offer after carefully considering current market conditions and economic uncertainty due to COVID-19.

We will process all applications received prior to May 1.

No, unfortunately, we are not currently accepting applications. However, we can review other options with you. We want to help you during this time. Please call 1-877-937-9357 to review available options.

No, unfortunately, we cannot accept any HELOC application made after April 30. We’re happy to review your needs and see if another option may be available. If you have an application in process, please contact your home mortgage consultant.

No, unfortunately, these temporary product changes also impact customers with existing home equity lines of credit. We’re happy to work with you and see if another option could meet your needs.

We will begin accepting new home equity line of credit applications when the economic situation and housing market conditions improve.

Refinance loan applications are now eligible for interior appraisal inspections. The health and well-being of our customers, vendors, and team members is our highest priority. Therefore, the following safety protocols will be followed.

  • Maintaining social distancing and refraining from shaking hands.
  • Use of face coverings and other protective equipment as appropriate.
  • Limiting the number of people present in the property during inspection to the greatest extent possible.
  • Customers (or other points of contact) are urged to leave all lights on and doors open for the appraiser.
  • Refraining from scheduling an interior inspection if participants in the inspection have been sick or exposed to others who have been sick.

If you are unwilling to complete an interior appraisal, other options may exist. Please contact your Home Mortgage Consultant or call 1-877-937-9357 to discuss.

No, that’s not necessarily the case. Who you make your monthly payments to usually is not the loan’s investor. In fact, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who together are the investors for the vast majority of conventional, conforming mortgages, do not collect mortgage payments and service the loans themselves. Instead, the two government-sponsored enterprises contract with loan servicers, like Wells Fargo and other lenders, to handle the monthly payments and customer service on their behalf.

We would be happy to help you determine if a refinance is the right step for you. Please contact your Home Mortgage Consultant or call 1-877-937-9357 to discuss.

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Working with a housing counselor

Get free counseling to help with broader financial challenges you may be facing

If you would like information on how to deal with any broader financial challenges you may be facing, reach out to a local HUD-approved, non-profit housing counseling agency. To find an agency near you, go to www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/fc. Or call 1-800-569-4287 (TDD 1-800-877-8339). They can provide free assistance that includes financial education and mortgage help services.

Be sure you avoid anyone who asks for a fee for counseling or a loan modification, or asks you to sign over the deed to your home, or to make your mortgage payments to anyone other than Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

If the counseling agency is authorized to communicate on behalf of a Wells Fargo customer, they can call 1-877- 937-9357, or contact the assigned home mortgage consultant.

If the counseling agency is authorized to communicate on behalf of a Wells Fargo customer, they can call 1-800- 219-9739.

Note: We’re experiencing high call volumes. We apologize for any long wait times.

As we continue to evaluate how to best collaborate with partners and stakeholders, we encourage our partners to visit www.wellsfargo.com/mortgageassist for the most up-to-date information.

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