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Time to refinance: Mortgage payment deferral programs come to an end


On August 31 the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) announced it will begin phasing out the payment deferral programs related to COVID-19 relief. Specifically, the OSFI stated it will begin phasing out special treatment of payment deferrals.

What does this mean for mortgage holders? It depends on each individuals’ situation. For those who opted into the program due to an interruption to income or employment, it may be time to explore refinancing options.


Mortgage Deferral Program

Dating back to March, with the rise of the pandemic in North America, the OSFI announced it would allow banks to defer clients’ mortgage payments without classifying them as non-performing loans. The program was designed to encourage banks to easily grant deferrals for up to six months, and that’s exactly how the situation played out.

Now, beginning in October, it was announced that new deferrals will not receive such special treatment.


Program Phase-out

Effective September 1, the OSFI is phasing out the program. Accounts that are granted a deferral during the month of September will only receive special treatment for a maximum of three months, which is down from the six months the program originally allowed for. Following the end of September, the program will terminate, meaning no new payment deferrals will be granted with special treatment as of October 1.


What Does This Mean?

This will likely mean that mortgage deferrals will be harder to come by, as lenders won’t be encouraged to provide them. Instead, it’s expected that banks will either develop new support programs for clients in distress, or revert back to the ones they had in place prior to the pandemic.


What can mortgage holders do?

Now is the time to consider refinancing and exploring all options for debt refinancing and restructuring. Orbis experts will gladly provide their support throughout this process, offering clients a free financial assessment, and examining how to carefully minimize stress and financial burdens cause by the fallout from COVID-19.

If you need help, we’re here. Call us today to get started navigating your options.







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