WHAT ELSE ARE WE DOING TO PROTECT YOU?
- Limiting building capacity: there may be a short wait when you arrive
- Practicing social distancing
- Protective partitions at the teller window
- Enhanced daily cleanings
With Direct Deposit, your paycheck, pension or Social Security check can be automatically deposited into your First Merchants checking account. The quickest way to sign up for direct deposit is to contact your employer, government agency or other agency
issuing you a check. They will provide the proper forms and instructions. You will need to submit your bank account details, including First Merchants routing number 074900657 and your account number, along with other information.
Financial Relief Resources
CARES Act for Consumers
The CARES Act, the Federal stimulus bill passed in response to the COVID-19 crisis, provides several relief measures designed to support consumers. Keep reading for a summary of the CARES Act consumer-related
The CARES Act has also made relief available to individuals. For First Merchants mortgage clients, your options depend on whether your mortgage is backed (owned) by the federal government or not.
- What mortgage relief options do you qualify for?
Your mortgage relief options depend on who owns or backs your mortgage. Here we’ll explain how to find out what you qualify for.
1. If you make payments to First Merchants, then we are your mortgage servicer. Contact us to request mortgage assistance.
Your mortgage servicer is the company that you send your mortgage payments to each month.
If you don’t know or can’t remember who currently services your mortgage, there are several ways to find out, including looking at your mortgage statement for contact information.
Find out who services your mortgage.
2. Second, figure out if your mortgage is federally backed.
To be eligible for protections under the CARES Act your mortgage must be federally owned or otherwise backed by one of the federal agencies and entities listed below. If you don’t know who owns or backs your mortgage, you can call your servicer.
List of federal agencies and entities that back mortgages:
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- U. S. Department of Agriculture
- USDA Direct
- USDA Guaranteed
- Federal Housing
Administration (FHA) (Includes reverse mortgages)
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- Fannie Mae
- Freddie Mac
Nearly half of the nation’s mortgages are owned or backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
To look up online whether your mortgage is owned or backed by Fannie or Freddie, click these links:
- Is my loan backed by Fannie Mae?
- Is my loan backed by Freddie Mac?
You can look up who owns your mortgage online or call First Merchants to find out whether your mortgage is government-backed.
- CARES Act Relief and Mortgage Options
If your mortgage is a federally backed mortgage(FHA, FHLB, VA, USDA), you have mortgage relief options under the CARES Act:
Your lender or loan servicer may not foreclose upon or evict you for 60 days after March 18, 2020*. Specifically, the CARES Act prohibits lenders and servicers from beginning a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure against you, or from finalizing a
foreclosure judgment or sale, during this period of time. *Update: the foreclosure moratorium has been extended and will now expire December 31, 2020.
If you are experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, you have a right to request a forbearance for up to 180 days. You also have the right to request one extension for another up to 180 days. You must contact your loan
servicer, First Merchants, to request this forbearance. There will be no additional fees, penalties or additional interest (beyond scheduled amounts) added to your account. At the end of the forbearance, you can either pay the deferred payments in a lump sum, or set up a repayment plan. You do not need to submit additional documentation to qualify other
than your claim to have a pandemic-related financial hardship. Complete this online form to request assistance now.
If your mortgage is held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac:
In addition to the foreclosure and eviction moratorium (extended through December 31, 2020) and forbearance, if you are granted forbearance to delay making your monthly payments during this temporary period:
- You won’t
incur late fees
- You won’t have delinquencies reported to credit reporting companies
- Foreclosure and other legal proceedings will be suspended
At the end of the forbearance, you can either pay the deferred payments in a lump sum, set up a repayment plan, or apply for the COVID-19 Deferral Program. To learn more about the deferral program, call us at 1-877-556-8721 or visit The Freddie Mac Understanding Payment Deferral During Covid-19 website page.
To speak with a First Merchants Loss Mitigation Specialist please complete this online form to request assistance now.
- Borrowers with a mortgage serviced by First Merchants and not backed by the federal government
If you have a mortgage loan that is not backed by one of the federal agencies or entities listed above, you have options available as well.
Homeowners with a First Merchants Bank owned loan are eligible for payment extensions for 90 days (3 payments), with an additional 90 days (3 payments) available if needed without impacting your credit report or incurring late fees during
the deferral period. There are no fees or additional charges for requesting an extension agreement.
A payment extension allows the borrower to “extend” the maturity of their loan and add the current month’s principal payment to the end of the loan agreement. The borrower then “skips” making the designated payment(s).
The interest will still accrue and the customer will pay the accrued interest when they resume making their regular monthly payments. The loan does not show as past due for any payments that are “extended or skipped”.
Please complete this online form to request mortgage assistance.
Consumer Lending Help Options for Home Equity Loans, Auto Loans and Consumer Installment Loans
If you have been impacted by COVID-19, you may request to defer payments up to 90 days on your First Merchants installment
loans, auto loans, home equity loans (HELOC) without incurring late fees during the deferral period.
Please complete this online form to request assistance.
Tax Deadline Change
The 2019 tax return filing deadline has been extended to July 15, 2020. For more information, visit the IRS: Coronavirus Tax Relief website.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) Improvements
The CARES Act improves Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to
make them more versatile by covering telehealth services and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.
Federal Student Loan Deferrals
The CARES Act allows the Department of Education to defer payments, principal and interest for federal student loans for the next 6 months without penalty to the borrower. This
applies only to federal student loans, not private loans. For more information, visit the Department of Education: Federal Student Aid website.
Early Withdrawal of Retirement Funds1
The CARES Act eliminates the 10% early withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 for coronavirus-related purposes, retroactive to
Read more about the CARES Act programs for business.
Options for Fees
We know you may have concerns about fees such as overdraft, insufficient fund, service and maintenance fees on your accounts. If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 and are concerned about account fees,
please call us at 1.800.205.3464 or contact your local banker.
Frequently Asked Questions
As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 situation together, we have collected many of our clients’ frequently asked questions (FAQs) along
with their answers. As always, if you have questions that are not addressed below, or need further assistance, please call First Merchants Customer Service at 1-800-205-3464 or your local banking center. Find your banking center’s phone number.
1Not to be construed as tax advice. Please consult your attorney or tax adviser