As a community bank, we believe it’s our responsibility to do all we can as your trusted financial advisor to support our customers during times of financial hardship. If your financial situation has changed due to the coronavirus pandemic, we may have options available to you. Click for more details on:
 

Stimulus Payments

In the coming weeks most Americans will receive a stimulus check from the federal government. The ICBA has provided member banks with details to help educate our clients:
 
How will qualified individuals receive their payment?
  • The plan is for the Treasury to issue as many of these payments electronically as possible. It is estimated that 85% percent (or 128 million payments) will be sent as ACH payments.
  • The IRS database will be used to determine bank account information for qualified individuals (bank account number and bank routing number). If a taxpayer has not yet filed a return for tax year 2019, the IRS will use the 2018 return for both payment calculation and direct deposit information.
  • Treasury has indicated that a website will be set-up for people to provide their bank routing number and account number if the government doesn’t already have that information. This website will be available in the coming weeks.
    • Merchants Bank customers, your routing number is: 091900193
    • First National Bank of Northfield customers, your routing number is: 091901477
What about some social security recipients who may not typically file a tax return?
The Treasury announced on April 1, that social security recipients who do not typically file a tax return do not need to take any action. Their stimulus payments will be deposited directly to their bank account. 
 
Alert: Be aware of scammers related to your stimulus payments. The Federal Government will not text you, call you, email you or direct you to a website asking you for personal information in order to claim your payment. Do not click on links in emails or texts asking to verify personal information. Be alert to coronavirus scams.
 

Update 5/8/20: IRS Guidance Regarding Economic Impact Payments (Stimulus Payments) Issued to Deceased, Aliens, and Incarcerated Persons

On May 6, 2020, the IRS provided the following guidance regarding how to handle stimulus payments made to deceased people, resident aliens and those who are incarcerated.
 
The new guidance states that deceased people do not qualify for a payment. Therefore, the recipient is responsible for returning the funds to the IRS.
 

If the payment was a paper check, and the check has not been cashed:

  1. Write "Void" in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
  2. Mail the voided Treasury check immediately to the appropriate IRS location.

    For Minnesota residents, the address is:
    Kansas City Refund Inquiry Unit
    333 W Pershing Rd
    Mail Stop 6800, N-2
    Kansas City, MO 64108

    For Wisconsin residents, the address is:
    Fresno Refund Inquiry Unit
    5045 E Butler Avenue
    Mail Stop B2007
    Fresno, CA 93888
  3. Include a note stating the reason for returning the check.
  4. Do not staple, bend, or paper clip the check.

If the payment was made by ACH or was a paper check that has already been cashed:

  1. Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location.
  2. Make the check/money order payable to “U.S. Treasury” and write 2020EIP with the taxpayer identification number (social security number or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient of the check.
  3. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the EIP.
Recipients should return the entire payment unless it was made to joint filers and one spouse had not died before receipt of the payment. In that case, the spouse must only return the portion made to the decedent. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000. 

A person who is a non-resident alien in 2020 is not eligible for the payment. A person who is a qualifying resident alien with a valid SSN is eligible only if he or she is a qualifying resident alien in 2020 and could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer for 2020. Aliens who received a payment but are not qualifying resident aliens for 2020 should return the payment to the IRS.

A payment made to someone who is incarcerated should also be returned to the IRS. For a payment made with respect to a joint return where only one spouse is incarcerated, the spouse must return the portion of the payment made to the incarcerated spouse. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000.
 
For more information, visit the IRS website.
 
Source: Minnesota Bankers Association
 

Loan Payment Assistance

We are happy to discuss concerns you may have about your loan payments on a case-by-case basis. As your local community bank, we also work with many community foundations in the markets we serve that may have resources available for community members during this time.
 
We are happy to share all information we have with you. Give your local branch a call or our Loan Servicing Department at (800) 765-2194.  First National Bank of Northfield customers, please contact a Personal Banker at your local branch in Northfield.

 

Mortgage Forbearance Information


What is mortgage forbearance?
Mortgage forbearance is a plan that allows qualified applicants to either reduce or pause their mortgage payments for a period of time.
 
Is applying for mortgage forbearance right for me?
Maybe, it depends on your situation. There may also be other options available if you find yourself in financial hardship and unable to make your mortgage payment.

If you have been negatively impacted financially due to illness, loss of income or employment because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are unable to make your mortgage payment we are happy to visit with you about your particular situation.
 
What you should know before applying.
Before applying for mortgage forbearance, please be aware of the following:
  • If you qualify for a forbearance plan, you may be able to stop making your monthly mortgage payment for up to three months.
  • During the forbearance period, you will not be assessed any late charges.
  • During the forbearance period, late payments will not be reported on your credit report.
  • Forbearance does NOT erase the amount you owe on your mortgage.   
  • A bank representative will reach out to you before the forbearance ends to discuss a permanent payment option and solution.
  • We recommend you continue to make your regularly scheduled mortgage payments (or partial payments) until you find out if you qualify for mortgage forbearance. 
  • If you are more than 7 days past due on your mortgage payment you will receive a Delinquent Mortgage Notice in the mail, even if you have already contacted us to apply for or have been approved for mortgage forbearance. This notice generates automatically. You may disregard the notice during the forbearance period. If you are concerned, feel free to contact us at 800-765-2194.
If you are granted a mortgage forbearance, you are not required to make your monthly mortgage payment during the forbearance period. That being said, making even partial payments would still be in your best interest as it would reduce the amount outstanding at the end of the forbearance period.
 
To learn more about forbearance and whether it is an option for you, please call (888) 729-0499 to visit with a Merchant Bank representative, or complete the following form and Merchants Bank representative will contact you.
 
 


Retirement/HSA Account Updates

The CARE Act has made some adjustments to specific types of accounts:
  • The deadline for 2019 tax year contributions to your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA) has been extended to July 15, 2020 due to the tax filing deadline extension.
  • Certain Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) have been waived for 2020. If you normally would have been required to take a distribution from your IRA or qualified retirement plan for tax year 2020, you may not be required to do so this year. The CARES Act has waived this requirement for IRAs and certain qualified plans.
Contact your local branch if you have questions regarding these specific accounts. Please consult your tax advisor if you have tax-related questions.

Additional Resources