Canadian homeowners who are experiencing unstable income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have options when it comes to paying their mortgage. Canada’s big six banks announced options for financial relief, including the possibility of mortgage deferrals. If you are wondering which banks are taking part in the relief effort, as well as what they are doing to help, please continue reading below.
Bank of Montreal (BMO)
BMO is allowing up to a six-month payment deferral on mortgages, loans, credit cards, and lines of credit. COVID-19 related mortgage deferrals are available for all applications received prior to June 30, 2020.
National Bank of Canada
The National Bank of Canada is also offering payment deferrals of up to six moths on mortgages. Special loans to cover living expenses may also be available to clients on a case-by-case basis.
RBC Royal Bank
RBC is offering clients a self-service option to skip one monthly payment on your mortgage. For longer-term deferrals, clients are encouraged to meet with a financial advisor.
In order to combat high volumes of inquiries surrounding mortgage deferrals, CIBC is asking clients who’s incomes are directly affected by COVID-19 to complete a financial assistance form prior to discussing the deferral of their mortgage payments.
TD Bank is also offering a six-month payment deferral for mortgages on a case-by-case basis.
Scotiabank is offering customers a mortgage deferral for up to six-months. Scotiabank has also publicly announced that both your principal residence and up to 3 non-principal residence(s) may be eligible for mortgage payment deferrals.
Although mortgage deferrals may offer some short-term relief to homeowners, it is important to note that these programs are not “mortgage forgiveness.” Your mortgage and the interest that has accrued during the deferral period will still be due after the deferral period has ended.
OREA encourages individual homeowners to discuss their options with their personal banking representative to see if a mortgage deferral makes sense for them.
Other Relief Measures
The Province has set electricity prices for time-of-use customers at the lowest rate (“off peak”) until May 31, 2020. This should save the average consumer about $20 on their monthly electricity bill.
As part of their fiscal update, the Provincial government announced a plan to allow municipalities to delay the collection of property taxes by up to 90 days. Many cities across Ontario are taking advantage of these measures, including Ottawa and Toronto, and have announced deferrals and penalty free grace periods for the payment of property taxes.
In Toronto, the City will be suspending all pending automated withdrawals that have been scheduled for all City residents and businesses within 60 days (starting March 16, 2020). Customers who are still wishing to pay their property taxes can still do so any time through their bank or financial institution or by using online or telephone banking services.
OREA is encouraging REALTORS® to be aware of tax deferrals in their individual municipality that may be beneficial to homeowners.
Support for Families
The government of Ontario is providing parents with a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs, including children enrolled in private schools. Parents can apply for this benefit via an online portal, and it will take approximately two weeks from the time of application for the payment to be received by the applicant.