Fifth Third Bank

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to frequently asked questions regarding real estate, auto, RV and boat loan and credit cards.

Real Estate FAQ

What are my options if I can't afford my mortgage?

The first step in getting assistance is not being afraid to ask. Then you will need to complete an application and send it to us along with verification of your income.

There are a number of different potential options, depending on the type of loan you have. When we receive your application, we will review your situation to determine if you are eligible, and which solution best suits your circumstances. Some of the solutions available - from most likely to least likely - include:

  • Loan modification
  • Forbearance plan
  • Deed in lieu
  • Short sale

What is a loan modification?

A loan modification allows your past due payments (principal, interest, costs and fees) to be capitalized (added to your principal loan balance), waived (forgiven) or deferred (delayed). This process also allows for the original payment, term, balance and/or interest rate to be changed, if needed. The terms of the loan modification can be permanent, temporary or conditional.

Loan modification can involve any or all of the following:

  • Delinquent amounts are added to the principal balance (bringing your loan current through capitalization).
  • The interest rate is lowered (including a step modification).
  • The term of the mortgage is extended to lower payments.
  • A portion of the principal or interest due is deferred until the end of the loan.

What is a forbearance plan?

With a forbearance plan, foreclosure action on an account is delayed, pending the homeowner's completion of a formal repayment plan. All past due payments and fees are divided and added to the current monthly payment to bring the loan current over a specified period of time. Special forbearance plans are sometimes approved for customers who cannot afford a large down payment. Once the customer's ability and willingness to pay are re-established with this kind of plan, it is often converted to a loan modification.

What is a short sale?

A short sale is an approved sale of a property for less than full payoff of the loan. This method is generally used when a borrower can no longer afford to maintain the property due to financial hardship, and therefore selling the property is the only option.

What is a deed in lieu of foreclosure?

With a deed in lieu of foreclosure (DIL), the borrower voluntarily conveys the property back to the mortgage holder (the bank). While this is one of the most commonly requested "workout" options, it is not always the best solution because it requires a number of the following conditions:

  • Foreclosure is imminent and unavoidable.
  • Property has been listed with a realtor at market value for three months or longer with no reasonable offers.
  • No other liens or attachments to the property.
  • The property must be vacant and in marketable condition.
  • The property needs to be left in "broom swept" condition.

Can I make partial payments?

There are better solutions. Rather than making a partial payment, please call us at 1-866-601-6391 to speak with us. Or you can complete an online application to apply for hardship assistance.

Do I have to escrow my property taxes and hazard insurance?

When taxes and hazard insurance are escrowed, it means they are collected every month by the lender, who also makes these payments. However, not all mortgage payments include escrow payments. Some customers choose to pay these bills directly to the tax collector or insurance companies. If you pay your property taxes and hazard insurance separately from your mortgage payment, you may be required to set up an escrow account and have those funds paid through the bank. Although requirements vary among lenders, this is a requirement for most loans handled in our loss mitigation department.

If I am divorced from a co-borrower, do I have to have my ex-spouse sign or send in the information requested on the application?

All borrowers on the loan need to complete and submit the application. This gives our loss mitigation team a clear picture of your financial status and helps us determine all the options available to you. The co-borrower will also be required to sign and submit legal documents before we are able to pursue most of our workout options.

What if I don't have access to a fax machine or I need assistance getting my documents to Fifth Third?

Just go to any Fifth Third Banking Center. The staff will be happy to fax or mail documents to our loss mitigation specialists - completely free of charge.

Do I have to be delinquent on my payments to get assistance?

Absolutely not! In fact, it's usually a good idea to ask for assistance before you become delinquent. Borrowers who are current on loans can seek assistance if they are experiencing financial hardship and cannot afford to make their mortgage payments in full.

If my home is in foreclosure, can I still apply for hardship assistance?

Yes, you can apply for assistance even if a foreclosure proceeding has begun on your property. Timing is critical, so we encourage you to complete the application as soon as possible. Please be aware that foreclosure and other collection procedures will continue while your application is being reviewed.

If I have filed for bankruptcy protection, can I still apply for assistance?

Whether or not you can still apply for assistance depends on whether you are in an active bankruptcy, have received a discharge, or have been dismissed from a bankruptcy proceeding. If you or a co-borrower has an active bankruptcy filing or have been discharged, you cannot complete the application online. Instead, you will need to contact your attorney, who will then need to contact us at 1-866-601-6391. If you have been dismissed from a bankruptcy proceeding then you will be able to complete the online application.

If you have any questions concerning the status of your bankruptcy, please contact your attorney for clarification.

Am I required to go through a third party to be considered for assistance on my loan?

No. All assistance from Fifth Third is completely free of charge and available to all borrowers directly. Some customers choose to have third parties contact us about assistance opportunities; be assured that in these instances, we are not permitted to release any information without your written consent. Beware of foreclosure rescue scams - especially any person or organization that requests payment for assistance on a delinquent loan. Also beware of anyone who says he or she can "save" your home if you sign over the deed to your house! Never, ever make your mortgage payment to anyone other than your mortgage company. Should you ever have questions about this kind of situation, please contact us immediately at 1-866-601-6391.

How long does it take to be evaluated for assistance?

The process varies for every different kind of loan. So this means that the length of time we need to thoroughly review your application and determine the best option can vary considerably. It is not unusual, however, for the entire process to take up to one month. But don't worry! A member of our loss mitigation team will contact you about your application, either by mail or by phone, within ten days after we receive it.

Can I get help if I am unemployed?

Yes. Every borrower with some form of verifiable income and a desire to continue making payments will be considered for assistance.

Do I need to do anything else while I wait for my application to be reviewed?

We ask that you do everything possible to continue making your payments on time. We also suggest that you contact your other creditors to request assistance on those debts, as well.

My spouse is now obligated to make the mortgage payment under our divorce agreement. Am I still liable?

If you signed the note and mortgage, you are still liable for the payments. A divorce decree does not alter your obligation.

Will collection efforts stop after I apply for assistance?

No. During the review process, we will continue collection efforts on any delinquent amounts on your account. These collection efforts are not discontinued until a solution has been agreed upon and the appropriate documents are signed by all parties. Please keep in mind that there is no guarantee that an assistance option will be available to you.

Why do I need to submit so much information?

The information helps us form a clear and accurate picture of your overall financial situation. Additionally, Fifth Third is required - as are all other lenders - to provide supporting documentation to the Federal Reserve, demonstrating that we are in compliance with federal regulations.

If you offer me a solution and I receive a modification or other workout, how will it affect my credit score?

Depending on the type of workout (modification or other type), your credit score may be affected. We are required by law to report workouts to credit bureau agencies.

When should I expect a call once I submit my completed application?

You can expect a phone call within 7-10 days. Please be sure that all information you provide (including phone number) is accurate and complete.

Will all borrowers need to complete the application?

All signers on the loan must provide the information necessary to obtain approval of any workout option. Program requirements vary, and we will keep you informed throughout the process.

What happens if you can't help me?

While Fifth Third is committed to doing everything we can to assist borrowers who are experiencing financial hardship, sometimes there is just no viable solution. If we find that a solution cannot be reached, we will notify you as soon as possible. Please be aware that in these cases, Fifth Third reserves the right to pursue any and all necessary legal remedies and collection actions.

What documents do I send to prove my income?

Depending on the program you qualify for, different documents may be required to verify your income. We will advise you on the paperwork we'll need for your file. Following are several examples of different types of income and the types of income verification we accept for each:

Alimony

  • A copy of the divorce decree containing the amounts you are to receive, along with the frequency and duration of the payments.
  • At least two consecutive bank statements that show deposits of alimony payments.

Child support

  • A copy of the divorce decree, showing the amounts you are to receive, the frequency and duration of the payments.
  • At least two consecutive bank statements showing the deposits of this income.

Commission only income

  • A copy of your most recent, signed federal tax return with all schedules attached. (A W-2 may be substituted for the tax return.)
  • Copies of two months of your most recent pay stubs.

Government or Public Assistance Income

  • A benefit statement that shows the amount of the benefit and the duration of the benefit payments.
  • AND/OR at least two months of consecutive bank statements showing the direct deposits from the government entity

Pension and Retirement Income

  • 1099s, award statements or two months of consecutive bank statements showing direct deposits of funds.

Self Employment

  • A copy of the most recent year's federal tax return with all schedules.
  • A profit-and-loss statement for the last six months.
  • Borrower can also provide two months of bank statements for the business, demonstrating income and expenses.

How can I check the status of my completed application?

If you would like to check the status of your completed application, please click here.

If I am a housing counselor, how do I check the status of a borrower's completed loss mitigation application?

If you are a housing counselor or non-profit organization, and would like to check the status of a borrower's loan modification application, please call (866) 601-6391.

Auto FAQ

What are my options if I can't afford my loan payment?

The first step in getting assistance is not being afraid to ask. Then you will need to complete an application and send it to us along with verification of your income.

There are a number of different potential options, depending on the type of loan you have. When we receive your application, we will review your situation to determine if you are eligible, and which solution best suits your circumstances. Some of the solutions available - from most likely to least likely - include:

  • The interest rate is lowered.
  • The term of the loan is extended.
  • Principal balance is reduced.

What is a loan modification?

A loan modification allows your past due payments (principal, interest, costs and fees) to be capitalized (added to your principal loan balance), waived (forgiven) or deferred (delayed). This process also allows for the original payment, term, balance and/or interest rate to be changed, if needed. The terms of the loan modification can be permanent, temporary or conditional. Loan modification can involve any or all of the following:

  • Loan modification
  • Settlement

What is a short payoff?

A short payoff is an approved sale of a vehicle for less than full payoff of the loan. This method is generally used when a borrower can no longer afford to maintain the vehicle due to financial hardship, and therefore selling the vehicle is the only option.

Can I make partial payments?

There are better solutions. Rather than making a partial payment, please call us at 1-866-601-6391 Option 4 to speak with one of our representatives. Or you can complete an online application to apply for hardship assistance.

If I am divorced from a co-borrower, do I have to have my ex-spouse sign or send in the information requested on the application?

All borrowers on the loan need to complete and submit the application. This gives our loss mitigation team a clear picture of your financial status and helps us determine all the options available to you. The co-borrower will also be required to sign and submit legal documents before we are able to pursue most of our workout options.

What if I don't have access to a fax machine or I need assistance getting my documents to Fifth Third?

If you live near a Fifth Third Banking Center, the staff will be happy to fax or mail documents to our loss mitigation specialists - completely free of charge.

Do I have to be delinquent on my payments to get assistance?

Absolutely not! In fact, it's usually a good idea to ask for assistance before you become delinquent. Borrowers who are current on loans can seek assistance if they are experiencing financial hardship and cannot afford to make their vehicle payments in full.

If I have filed for bankruptcy protection, can I still apply for assistance?

Whether or not you can still apply for assistance depends on whether you are in an active bankruptcy, have received a discharge, or have been dismissed from a bankruptcy proceeding. If you or a co-borrower has an active bankruptcy filing or have been discharged, you cannot complete the application online. Instead, you will need to contact your attorney, who will then need to contact us at 1-866-601-6391. If you have been dismissed from a bankruptcy proceeding then you will be able to complete the online application.

If you have any questions concerning the status of your bankruptcy, please contact your attorney for clarification.

Am I required to go through a third party to be considered for assistance on my loan?

No. All assistance from Fifth Third is completely free of charge and available to all borrowers directly. Some customers choose to have third parties contact us about assistance opportunities; be assured that in these instances, we are not permitted to release any information without your written consent.

How long does it take to be evaluated for assistance?

The process varies for every different kind of loan. So this means that the length of time we need to thoroughly review your application and determine the best option can vary considerably. It is not unusual, however, for the entire process to take up to one month. But don't worry! A member of our loss mitigation team will contact you about your application, either by mail or by phone, within ten days after we receive it.

Can I get help if I am unemployed?

It may be possible. Every borrower with some form of verifiable income and a desire to continue making payments will be considered for assistance.

Do I need to do anything else while I wait for my application to be reviewed?

We ask that you do everything possible to continue making your payments on time. We also suggest that you contact your other creditors to request assistance on those debts, as well.

My spouse is now obligated to make the vehicle payment under our divorce agreement. Am I still liable?

If you are the Signor or the Co-Signor on the Note, you are still liable for the payments. A divorce decree does not alter your obligation.

Will collection efforts stop after I apply for assistance?

No. During the review process, we will continue collection efforts on any delinquent amounts on your account. These collection efforts are not discontinued until a solution has been agreed upon and the appropriate documents are signed by all parties. Please keep in mind that there is no guarantee that an assistance option will be available to you.

Why do I need to submit so much information?

The information helps us form a clear and accurate picture of your overall financial situation. Additionally, Fifth Third is required - as are all other lenders - to provide supporting documentation to the Federal Reserve, demonstrating that we are in compliance with federal regulations.

If you offer me a solution and I receive a modification or other workout, how will it affect my credit score?

Depending on the type of workout (modification or other assistance), your credit score may be affected. We are required by law to report workouts to credit bureau agencies.

When should I expect a call once I submit my completed application?

You can expect a phone call within 7-10 days. Please be sure that all information you provide (including phone number) is accurate and complete.

Will all borrowers need to complete the application?

All signers on the loan must provide the information necessary to obtain approval of any workout option. Program requirements vary, and we will keep you informed throughout the process.

What happens if you can't help me?

While Fifth Third is committed to doing everything we can to assist borrowers who are experiencing financial hardship, sometimes there is just no viable solution. If we find that a solution cannot be reached, we will notify you as soon as possible. Please be aware that in these cases, Fifth Third reserves the right to pursue any and all necessary legal remedies and collection actions.

What documents do I send to prove my income?

Depending on the program you qualify for, different documents may be required to verify your income. We will advise you on the paperwork we'll need for your file. Following are several examples of different types of income and the types of income verification we accept for each:

Alimony

  • A copy of the divorce decree containing the amounts you are to receive, along with the frequency and duration of the payments.
  • At least two consecutive bank statements that show deposits of alimony payments.

>Child support

  • A copy of the divorce decree, showing the amounts you are to receive, the frequency and duration of the payments.
  • At least two consecutive bank statements showing the deposits of this income.

>Commission only income

  • A copy of your most recent, signed federal tax return with all schedules attached. (A W-2 may be substituted for the tax return.)
  • Copies of two months of your most recent pay stubs.

Government or Public Assistance Income

  • A benefit statement that shows the amount of the benefit and the duration of the benefit payments.
  • AND/OR at least two months of consecutive bank statements showing the direct deposits from the government entity

Pension and Retirement Income

  • 1099s, award statements or two months of consecutive bank statements showing direct deposits of funds.

Self Employment

  • A copy of the most recent year's federal tax return with all schedules.
  • A profit-and-loss statement for the last six months.
  • Borrower can also provide two months of bank statements for the business, demonstrating income and expenses.

Credit Cards FAQ

What are my options if I cannot pay my credit card?

If you or someone you know cannot make their credit card payment we have programs available. To learn more about our hardship programs please call 1(866) 601-6391.

Can I make partial payments?

There are better options. Rather than making a partial payment call us to see which program you may qualify for. We have solutions and we are here to help.

Do I have to be delinquent to qualify for a hardship program?

No. Timing is critical; we have special programs to assist those in need of help.

If I am already currently enrolled in a consumer credit company can I still qualify for a hardship program?

If you are currently enrolled in a consumer credit company then you would need to drop us from that program to qualify for one of our hardship programs.

Will collection efforts stop once on a program?

Future collections efforts will continue until the account is brought current. However, signing up for a program today can reduce or eliminate collections efforts.

Can I qualify for a hardship program if I am unemployed?

Every customer with a desire to continue making payment will be considered for hardship program.