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Mortgage Relief Assistance

Resources to Help Avoid Foreclosure

If you are a homeowner facing financial hardship and are having trouble keeping up with your mortgage payments, the following resources may help you to get back on track.

First Northern Bank Mortgage Loan Department Contact Information

Person-to-person customer service is available during regular business hours Monday through Friday from 8 am until 5 pm by calling (707) 678-0226 or toll-free at (800) 682-8648.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

You may also contact HUD to find a HUD-certified housing counseling agency by calling the toll-free number (800) 569-4287. Additional information may be found at hud.gov.

Be on The Lookout for Mortgage Relief Scams

There has been an increase in bad actors attempting to carry out mortgage relief fraud. Read more about mortgage scams.   

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 hud.gov 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 First Northern Bank.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Website Available For Up-to-Date Information

Homeowners and renters can visit consumerfinance.gov/housing for up to date information on relief options, protections, and key deadlines.  As federal agencies continue working to implement housing assistance for American families, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers this website as a one-stop shop for both homeowners and renters to learn about programs and resources that can help you stay in your home by reducing the risk of eviction and foreclosure.


Mortgage Relief Assistance for Financial Hardship Due to COVID-19

We’re here for you

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to evolve, First Northern Bank’s number one priority is the safety and well-being of our customers, employees and communities. Together, we are working through these unprecedented times and all of us at First Northern Bank stand ready to provide financial access, guidance and support to our customers as we navigate through these unique challenges.

What are my Mortgage Relief Assistance Options if I am experiencing Financial Hardship Due to COVID-19?

The mortgage relief assistance options available to you are determined by whether your mortgage loan is owned and serviced by First Northern Bank or owned by Freddie Mac and serviced by First Northern Bank.

How do I know if my loan is owned by First Northern Bank or Freddie Mac?

Ask us! Call us today at (800) 682-0648 or if it is a local call (707) 648-0226. We will be happy to look up your loan and let you know if it was sold to Freddie Mac or is still owned by First Northern Bank.


Specific Available Mortgage Relief Assistance for Financial Hardship Due to COVID-19 If Your Loan is Owned by Freddie Mac and Serviced by First Northern Bank:

Mortgage Relief Available - Payment Assistance Via Short-Term Payment Deferral (Forbearance)

If you’re experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 and are unable to make your regular payment, we can help. You can request a simple repayment plan, payment deferral, or forbearance among other options.

These are options 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

It’s best to request payment deferral or forbearance only when you really need it because these payments are not waived or forgiven

During payment forbearance:

  • We won’t charge late fees
  • If your loan was current when you requested payment forbearance:
    • We won’t report missed payments to the consumer reporting agencies
  • If your loan was past-due when you requested payment forbearance or deferral:
    • We will not report any additional missed payments to the consumer reporting agencies during the payment forbearance or deferral period
    • We won’t refer the loan to foreclosure at this time

This short-term forbearance temporarily pauses your obligation to make monthly payments for up to 6 months. At the end of the initial 6 months, if you are not able to resume payments due to qualified financial hardship, you may request additional 6-month payment deferral period, for a total of 12-months.

3/25/21 UPDATE:  On 2/25/21 Freddie Mac extended this Program.  If you are still suffering from qualified financial hardship, and your initial forbearance was processed on or before March 1,2020 , you may request an additional 6-month forbearance, for a total of 18 months of suspended payments.

You should contact us at least 30-days before your current forbearance period ends, and provide a request for additional forbearance to the Bank containing:

    • How much time is needed;
    • Why the additional forbearance period is needed;
    • How you have been impacted by COVID-19; and,
    • How you plan on returning to making regular payments at the end of the forbearance period. . 

Please understand that you’ll have to repay suspended payments, but there are options available such as the payment deferral which defers the delinquent amount until payoff or refinance. You can end payment forbearance at any time.

Post-Forbearance Options to Bring Current (Make Up or Pay) Payments That Were Deferred

Freddie Mac owned loans are covered by the CARES Act. Under the CARES Act, an initial short-term payment forbearance temporarily pauses your obligation to make monthly payments for up to 6 months. At the end of the initial 6 months, if you are still suffering from COVID-related financial hardship,  you may request an additional 6 months of payment forbearance for a total of 12 months of deferred payments.

2/25/21 UPDATE:  On 2/25/21 Freddie Mac extended this Program.  If you are still suffering from qualified financial hardship, and your initial forbearance was processed on or before March 1, 2020, you may request an additional 6-month forbearance, for a total of 18 months of suspended payments.

You should notify us at least 30-days BEFORE your current forbearance period ends, if you believe you will need an additional forbearance period. 

Note: Keep in mind that extending your forbearance period means that you’ll have more to repay at a later time. You should not forbear more payments than necessary.

We will contact you at least 30 days before the end of your current forbearance (payment forbearance) period. We will determine which option is best for you to bring your loan current (pay forborne payments) and resume your regularly scheduled payments.  Post-forbearance options to bring your loan current include:

  • Full or partial repayment of forbearance payments
  • Pay-off of loan
  • Repayment Plan
  • Payment Deferral to the end of the Loan
  • Flex Loan Modification

Request mortgage or home equity payment deferral or discuss post forbearance options to bring loan current:

  • Contact us at 1 (800) 682-8648

We will contact you at least 30 days before the end of your current forbearance (payment forbearance) period. We will determine if you are eligible and need further payment deferral through forbearance.  If you are not eligible or in need of additional forbearance, we will determine which option is best for you to bring your loan current (pay deferred payments) and resume your regularly scheduled payments.  Post-forbearance options to bring your loan current include:

  • Full or partial repayment of forbearance payments
  • Pay-off of loan
  • Repayment Plan
  • Payment Deferral to the end of the Loan
  • Flex Loan Modification

Request mortgage payment deferral or discuss post-forbearance options:

  • Contact us at 1 (800) 682-8648. Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm.

Automatic payment plans

If you enter into forbearance, you will need to stop the automatic payments you’re making from bill pay on First Northern Bank Online Banking or with any other financial institution. If you have a plan with us to automatically withdraw your mortgage or home equity payments directly from your checking or savings account, you will need to cancel it right away. You’ll need to set up any automatic payments or plans again once the payment deferral or forbearance period ends.

Ending the payment forbearance early

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


Specific Available Mortgage Relief Assistance for Financial Hardship Due to COVID-19 If Your Loan is Owned and Serviced by First Northern Bank:

Mortgage and Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Relief Available - Payment Assistance Via Short-Term Payment Deferral

If you’re experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 and are unable to make your regular mortgage or HELOC payment, we can help. You can request a payment deferral.

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

It’s best to request payment deferral only when you really need it because these payments are not waived or forgiven

This deferral temporarily pauses your obligation to make monthly payments for up to 6 months. If you choose this option, your deferred payments will be added to the end of your mortgage as a balloon payment. You will be required to sign loan modification documents.

At the end of the initial 6 months, if you are not able to resume payments due to COVID related issues, you may request an additional 6-month payment deferral period, for a total of 12-months.

During payment forbearance or deferral:

  • We won’t charge late fees
  • If your loan was current when you requested payment forbearance or deferral:
    • We won’t report missed payments to the consumer reporting agencies
  • If your loan was past-due when you requested payment forbearance or deferral:
    • We will not report any additional missed payments to the consumer reporting agencies during the payment forbearance or deferral period
    • We won’t refer the loan to foreclosure at this time

If you wish to extend your payment deferral to 12-months, you should contact us at least 30-days before your initial payment deferral period ends, and provide a request to the Bank containing:

    • How much time is needed;
    • Why the additional deferral period is needed;
    • How you have been impacted by COVID-19; and,
    • How you plan on returning to making regular payments at the end of the payment deferral period. 

You will need to resume making your mortgage or home equity line of credit payments, as originally scheduled the month immediately following the end of your payment deferral period.

Request mortgage or home equity payment deferral or discuss post-forbearance options:

  • Contact us at 1 (800) 682-8648

Automatic payment plans

You’ll need to stop the automatic payments you’re making from bill pay on First Northern Bank Online Banking or with any other financial institution. If you have a plan with us to automatically withdraw your mortgage or home equity payments directly from your checking or savings account, you will need to cancel it right away. You’ll need to set up any automatic payments or plans again once the payment deferral or forbearance period ends.

Ending the payment forbearance early

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

CFPB Launches Toolkit to Educate Struggling Mortgage Borrowers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau yesterday released a digital toolkit for organizations that want to provide information to mortgage borrowers and renters struggling from the pandemic. The toolkit includes housing and rental relief emails, social media posts for renters and homeowners, videos in English and Spanish and handouts to print out. View the toolkit.