Bills, Bills, Bills: COVID-19 Financial Info

Utility Disconnections & Late Fees

On March 18, the Illinois Commerce Commission issued an Emergency Interim Order directing gas, water, and electricity providers to stop disconnecting customers for non-payment and to stop imposing late-fees until the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency in Illinois. If you're having an issue with your utility provider, you can call the Illinois Commerce Commission at 800-524-0795.


Evictions

Illinois has suspended evictions from homes and apartments until April 30, 2020.


Mortgages

Federally backed mortgages (including those issued by Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, FHA/HUD Reverse Mortgages for Seniors, and VA loans) are eligible for 180 days of mortgage forbearance. More details from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau are here. You can check if your mortgage is held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac with these links.


The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has called on all private lenders in the state to offer 90 days of forbearance. You should contact your mortgage servicer directly to see if there are relief options available.


If you have questions about your mortgage, you can contact the Illinois Attorney General's mortgage helpline at 866-544-7151 or the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation at 888-473-4858.


Protecting your Credit Score

Under the CARES Act, there is new guidance about your credit score and forbearance. If you enter a modification or forbearance with your lenders because of provisions in the CARES Act, your lender must report the credit obligation or account as current (as long as it was current as of March 27, 2020).


Student Loans

Under the CARES Act, payments and interest on federal student loans is automatically suspended until September 30, 2020 without any impact on your credit. Further, if you are in collections on a federal student loan, involuntary collection and rehabilitation payments are suspended until September 30, 2020. Finally, for federal student loans, any garnishments made after March 13, 2020 will be refunded. If you have questions about your federal student loan, you should contact the US Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243.


Car Payments

Illinois has suspended vehicle repossessions until April 30, 2020.


Protect your Stimulus Check

As of April 14, Illinois has suspended new garnishments and wage reductions. If you are eligible for a stimulus check under the CARES Act, this income is protected from new requests to garnish assets or wages.

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