COVID-19 Customer Information
Here you can find the latest updates regarding COVID-19 including information on mortgage payment deferrals. Please note that we are not accepting new applications for deferrals after September 30th. If you have questions you are encouraged to reach out to your mortgage broker or see Frequently Asked Questions below for the answers. Our contact center colleagues are working diligently to answer all customer emails and phone calls and we thank you for your patience during these tough times.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I apply for a mortgage payment deferral?
As of September 30th, we will not be accepting new applications for COVID-19 payment deferrals.
How do I cancel my existing mortgage payment deferral?
If your financial situation has improved and you would like to cancel your deferred payments (i.e. resume making regular principal and interest payments) please let us know by filling out our cancellation form.
What is a mortgage payment “deferral”?
A mortgage payment deferral means that you will not be required to make regular payments on your mortgage (principal and interest) for an agreed-on, temporary amount of time. Once a mortgage deferral period ends, your mortgage payments go back to normal and the missed payments (including principal and accumulated interest) will need to be repaid. For an illustration on how deferrals work click here.
Property tax installments and insurance premiums are entirely separate from this program and must continue to be paid. If municipalities and insurance companies offer similar programs, they should be contacted separately.
Are the deferred payments erased or cancelled?
The mortgage deferral agreement does not cancel, erase or eliminate the amount owed on your mortgage. At the end of the deferral period, the deferred payments will continue to accrue interest and will be added to the outstanding principal of your mortgage. This can affect the total amount you owe in accordance with your original payment schedule. For an illustration on how deferrals work click here.
What can I expect at the end of my mortgage deferral?
At the end of your mortgage deferral period, the total amount owing on your mortgage will be higher due to the interest that has accrued. Your payment amount will be the same as it was before the deferral period unless it is required to be adjusted to ensure the mortgage maintains the remaining amortization period with the new higher outstanding balance. The amount of all your deferred payments will be added to your mortgage balance when your mortgage renews and paid off during the remaining amortization, or if you pay out your mortgage. You can also contact us after your deferral period and increase your payment amounts/frequency to pay it off during your term if you prefer.
Am I eligible for mortgage payment deferral?
You may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral if you or another party on title of the mortgage have become unemployed or experience a material reduction in income due to COVID-19.
The program is being administered on a case-by-case basis to individuals whose mortgages are in good standing and will be available until at least June 30, 2020.
Should I defer my mortgage payments?
Individuals considering this option should give it careful thought and recognize that the program is designed to alleviate temporary hardship due to the impact of COVID-19 and is not mortgage forgiveness.
The interest, which would otherwise be part of your regular mortgage payments, is added to the outstanding balance of the mortgage. Depending on the current position of your finances, it may be better to continue with your mortgage payments if you are able to do so. However, if you really are in a predicament because of the COVID-19 crisis where the disruption of cash flow is preventing you from making a mortgage payment, a deferral might be your best route.
Will deferring my mortgage payment affect my credit score?
A lender-approved deferment isn’t counted as a missed payment and won’t appear on your credit report. MERIX is also waiving any fees associated with these programs during the COVID-19 crisis.
Are property taxes and other lender-coordinated payments included in the deferral?
Under the deferral program, only the mortgage payment (principle and interest) is deferred. Other payments regularly withdrawn with the mortgage payment by the lender, such as property taxes or life-disability insurance, are not included in the deferral and must continue to be paid. If municipalities and insurance companies offer similar deferral programs, they should be contacted separately.
If my loan is maturing in the a few months, can I still defer my mortgage payments?
We have options to defer qualifying customers up to 6 months of their payments to alleviate financial burdens. If your loan is maturing during this period, the payment deferral will occur over the two terms: your current term and the renewed term.
If I have mortgage arrears/previous missed payments can I still qualify for payment deferral?
Customers with over 90 days arrears are not eligible for the deferral program.
I already have a deferral/capitalization on file (ex: due to natural disaster like Fort Mac), can I still defer?
In line with this flexibility, if borrowers have already had some payments deferred because of previous financial difficulties, we can approve an additional deferral period of up to 6 months. For example, if you have deferred 4 monthly payments, they can defer an additional 6 monthly payments for a total of 10 deferred monthly payments.
My mortgage is for a rental property, can I qualify for payment deferral?
Rentals will be handled on a case-by-case basis depending if it is an insured or uninsured mortgage and if true financial hardship can be demonstrated.
I have a rental property, what if my tenants are unable to pay me?
These will be handled on a case-by-case basis and we may consider solutions if you can demonstrate true financial hardship. Some provincial governments have introduced tenant relief programs. Rental property owners should strongly encourage their tenants who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19 to apply for these programs if available.
Our Senior Collection Agents will handle inquires related to these loan types. Solutions will be provided on a case-by-case basis.
Please note that we have increased our voice message capacity, brought in additional resources, and streamed-lined messages and information to offer faster solutions customers. We are doing our best to work through the emails and voicemails as quickly as possible. If you have called or emailed already, rest assured that the information has been received and we will support our customers in these difficult times. We thank everyone for their patience. As a reminder, mortgage payment deferrals are not being offered to clients that are still actively employed and not experiencing financial hardships.