The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) allows struggling homeowners who have federally-backed mortgages to pause mortgage payments for at least six months and up to one year. Once payments resume, lenders must review the homeowners for a range of payment options, including loan modifications. The Act also freezes foreclosure actions in court.

A homeowner must ask the bank for this relief while the President’s disaster declaration is still in effect. Most people don’t know about the program and time is of the essence.

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services has created a simple step-by-step tool to help homeowners find out if they are eligible for this relief and to request it if they are. Instructions, form letters, and links to helpful sites and FAQs are free and available to anyone on CVLS’ website.

Homeowners who want to request a COVID-19 forbearance can do so here. Homeowners can also call CVLS’s hotline: 312-332-8785 or send an email: to get free help with the process.


Scroll to Top