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Tips for homeowners and renters during the COVID-19 outbreak |

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Tips for homeowners and renters during the COVID-19 outbreak

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Many people have been laid off or are working reduced hours because of the coronavirus. Those same people are worried about how they’ll make ends meet, including how they’ll pay for housing.

There are a lot of questions
about making mortgage payments right now, and while there is help there for
people struggling due to the COVID-19 outbreak, experts say it’s important to
remember that this is not a free handout.

On Friday, 8 News Now spoke
with Trish Nash, a local real estate expert. She says the biggest thing
homeowners need to know, is at this point, payments are not forgiven. They are deferred.

Federal regulators are
ordering lenders to be flexible with homeowners. You can ask your bank or
lender to be put on a forbearance plan, where you can make reduced payments or
even be given a pause in payments.

But this is not the same as
free money. Nash says some banks are allowing a 90-day deferment of mortgage
payments, but you need to pay it back.

“Don’t just stop making
those payments, that they must contact their lender and find out how that
payment plan is going to be structured,” Nash said. “There are not supposed to
be any late fees. Those late fees are going to be frozen. And the late fees are
not going to go on their credit report.”

There’s an online petition
asking for a moratorium on collecting mortgages and rents across the Las Vegas
valley. It has more than 13,000 signatures, but Clark County officials told 8 News
Now that’s not up to them. It’s up to the banks.

8 News Now also asked
experts if there’s any help for renters. They say the best thing to do is just
contact your property owner or management company and try to work something out
with them.