Update June 17th

Foreclosure and Eviction Moratoriums
FHA/HUD: FHA Extends Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium for Single Family Homeowners for Additional Two Months

FHFA:FHFA Extends Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium

FHFA COVID-19 Resources Available in Six Languages on LEP Site
To help limited English proficiency (LEP) borrowers who are experiencing mortgage-related difficulties due to the coronavirus national emergency, today the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) added new translations to the Mortgage Translations website.

“Publishing the scripts servicers use when discussing forbearance in six languages will allow borrowers with limited English proficiency to better understand the mortgage relief options available to them during the pandemic,” said Director Mark Calabria.

For additional information, please click here.

Update June 14th
Eviction Prevention Updates

  • Urban Institute’s Housing Matters recent blog posting, presents research that “suggests that existing emergency rental assistance programs are not suited for this economic crisis and that state and local governments need longer-lasting, more flexible, and targeted eviction prevention programs to help renters stay housed.”
    For additional information please click here.
  • Making national news, Ithaca NY, where 70% of the population are believed to be renters, is believed to be the first U.S. city to approve a resolution seeking to provide its Mayor the power to cancel rent because of the COVID-19-induced economic downturn.
    For additional information please click on the following links:

Update June 8th
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors issued joint guidance to mortgage servicers to assist in complying with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provisions granting a right to forbearance to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For additional information, please click here.

Former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray recently provided a series of article contributions along with an interview with Housing Wire.
Part 1: How should we think about foreclosures?
Part 2: Does the mortgage industry view foreclosure as a last resort?
Part 3: Will servicers be able to flatten the curve in foreclosures?
Interview: Cordray: Servicers are in a very dramatic and dangerous situation

Update May 20th

FHFA Announces Refinance and Home Purchase Eligibility for Borrowers in Forbearance.
Please click here for announcement.

Update May 14th

FHFA Announces Payment Deferral as New Repayment Option for Homeowners in COVID-19 Forbearance Plans
Please click here for announcement.

FHFA and FHA/HUD Extend Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium
Please see following links for the respective press releases

FHFA
FHA/HUD

Update May 12th

Joint Statement from the CFPB, FHFA, and HUD.

These three federal entities today announced the launching of a new mortgage and housing assistance website. This joint website;

  • Consolidates the CARES Act mortgage relief and protections for renters,
  • Provides resources for additional help,
  • Provides information on how to avoid COVID-19 related scams,
  • Provides lookup tools for homeowners to determine if their mortgage is federally backed, and for renters to find out if their rental unit is financed by FHA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac.

“In addition to the tools made available by HUD and FHFA, CFPB has partnered with FHFA on the Borrowers Protection Program that enables the agencies to share servicing information to protect borrowers during the coronavirus national emergency.”

To view the press release, please click here.

To access the new CFPB/FHFA/HUD website please click here.

In an Op-Ed in the Washington Post, Richard Cordray, the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides his recommendations to avert another foreclosure crisis in the covid-19 economic fallout.

To view the article, please click here.


 

Update April 30th

Forbearance Confusion

  • FHFA (Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac)
  • New Concerns Sprouting
    • In a recent article from the LA Times that discusses the concern over “lump-sum” payments a new concern is expressed.
      Here are a series of quotes that speak volumes;
      1) “But there’s been mass confusion over how borrowers will pay back what they owe. And the fear of a looming lump-sum payment has caused some of them to skip the mortgage forbearance process altogether, sending them down risky alternative pathways.”
      2) Even in normal times, the U.S. mortgage market is a complex place, where borrowers may not know who actually owns or backs their loan…. Now homeowners are being asked to navigate that system amid a global pandemic and fear of an economic depression.”
      3) “Some consumer advocates say nonbank servicers that are not well-capitalized also have a strong financial incentive to discourage forbearance, because for a time they still must front missed payments to investors.”


 

Update April 23rd

In today’s Wall Street Journal “Getting a Mortgage-Payment Break Isn’t the Boon Many Expected
Some are told they will have to make lump-sum payments after forbearance ends, others get confusing information” (see below for legislative action being taken in New York State). Please click here to view the article.

Also today, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and 34 other attorneys general recommended action to help homeowners in letters sent to the FHFA and HUD.

The three recommendations are:

  1. FHFA and HUD should issue guidance revising their forbearance programs so that forborne payments are automatically placed at the end of the loan’s term;
  2. FHFA and HUD should expand eligibility for disaster relief loss mitigation programs; and
  3. FHFA and HUD should clarify that the moratorium on foreclosures and evictions applies to all aspects of the foreclosure or eviction process. That includes issuing pre-foreclosure and acceleration notices, posting or publishing any notices, filing or proceeding with motions beyond continuances, or taking any other foreclosure or eviction action during the moratorium.

To view the Press Release, please click here.


Update April 21st

VA
VA (Veterans Administration Insured Mortgages) has updated their guidance with Circular 26-20-12 

FHFA
To support homeowners and mortgage lenders, FHFA announced the approval of the purchase of certain single-family mortgages in forbearance that meet specific eligibility criteria.
FHFA Announces that Enterprises will Purchase Qualified Loans in Forbearance to Keep Lending Flowing

Concerns with Forbearance
One of concerns with the options facing homeowners is “what will be” when the emergency measures end. A group of legislators in New York are seeking to address this concern with newly introduced legislation. (Bill not yet available)
New York Newsday: Lawmakers: Homeowners need more time on missed payments
Op-ed by Legislation Sponsors: Struggling homeowners need relief


Update April 12th


 

Update April 6th

Recent articles appear to be foreboding of what potentially could be the post COVID-19 housing market.

Bloomberg: Mortgage Firms Teeter Near Crisis That Regulators Saw Coming

Market Watch: America’s housing market is showing the first signs of trouble from the coronavirus pandemic

In addition to the below listing of banks offering forbearance assistance along with the respective web pages, please see following link from Business Insider
23 banks that may help with your mortgage payments during the COVID-19 outbreak

CNBC discusses the issue of forbearance in context of all other financial consideration along with a separate article detailing the various considerations regarding what is available for homeowners.
Which bills to pay during the coronavirus pandemic

Mortgage help is available during the coronavirus pandemic, but what’s offered can vary—here’s what you need to know

Evictions moratorium in Florida and extension in Texas


Update 4/2
On April 1st, HUD issued Mortgagee Letter 2020-26 implementing provisions contained in the CARES Act signed by President Donald Trump on March 27.
In addition to special COVID-19 forbearance, FHA also implemented today the COVID-19 National Emergency Partial Claim, an option to be used by servicers when the COVID-19 forbearance period ends. This partial claim will help eligible homeowners who have been granted special COVID-19 National Emergency forbearance to reinstate their loans by authorizing servicers to advance funds on behalf of homeowners. The partial claim will defer the repayment of those advances through an interest-free subordinate mortgage that the borrower does not have to pay off until their first mortgage is paid off.

To view the Press Release, please click here

To view Mortgagee Letter 2020-26, please click here

Update 3/30
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been signed by President Trump on March 27

 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act 
Details have emerged on the $2 trillion dollar aid package passed this week by Senate as it pertains to housing.
As provided in a recent article in Forbes;

  • Except for vacant or abandoned properties, lenders of mortgages backed by federal agencies (such as the USDA, FHA), Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae may not execute foreclosures—or foreclosure-related evictions—for 60 days starting March 18.
  • Regardless of their delinquency status, owners of 1-4 unit residenciesmay request payment forbearance from their loan providers, given that they prove COVID-19-induced financial hardship.
    • Forbearance may be granted for up to 180 days, a period that could be subsequently doubled.
    • During this time, mortgage servicers are not to levy fees, penalties or interest that would not normally accrue if borrowers paid their monthly obligations.
  • Owners of multifamily properties, who were current on their loan payments as of 2/1/2020, may seek forbearance by submitting oral or written requests to their lenders.
    • Initial forbearance period is to span 30 days.
    • Possibility of two additional 30-day extensions.
    • Throughout the forbearance,landlords cannot evict tenants for nonpayment of rent or charge late fees and should suspend the issuance of new eviction notices and provide a month to residents already with such notifications to vacate their units.

To view the article in its entirety, please click here.

Payment Deferrals 
Fannie Mae has updated their Lender Letter LL-2020-02 to require that a borrower be evaluated for payment deferral prior to other mortgage loan modifications.
To view the updated Lender Letter, please click here.

Freddie Mac has issued Bulletin 2020-6 announcing the Freddie Mac Payment Deferral, “a loss mitigation solution for borrowers who became delinquent due to a short-term hardship that has since been resolved”
To view the Bulletin, please click here.

Blight Related 
Freddie Mac has issued Bulletin 2020-7. Included is the notification to (loan) “servicers that if they are unable to complete any required inspection or adhere to any property preservation requirement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, that they must document the reason..and Freddie Mac will consider them to be in compliance.”
To view the Bulletin, please click here.

Fannie Mae has similar language in Lender Letter LL-2020-02

(MuniReg observation) At this juncture, it is too early to know if there will be a dramatic decrease in maintenance of zombie foreclosures/abandoned properties. There are several factors on both sides of the equation. For additional information, please email [email protected])

Mortgage Forbearance 
As mentioned by California Governor Newsom, several large banks have announced the opportunity for temporary suspensions of residential mortgage payments for people affected by the coronavirus in California.
Please see the following links for the respective banks that have made announcements on the national level.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced a cooperative agreement with the state’s banks to protect small businesses and families from eviction and foreclosure.

 

 

Amerifirst Mortgage (“If you’ve suffered a financial impact due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus, you may be eligible for a forbearance plan.”) Updated 3/31
Bank of America (clients can request to defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan.)
BBVA  (“If you were impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to work with you to minimize your financial hardship.”) Updated 3/31
Caliber Home Loans  (“Caliber is offering a forbearance plan to those impacted by COVID-19.”) Updated 4/1
Citizens Bank (“Payment assistance for up to 90 days with no credit bureau impact (Auto, Credit Card, Mortgage, Student Loans, Home Equity Loans, Home Equity Lines of Credit)” Updated 4/1
Fifth Third (“Special policies are in place to help address COVID-19-related hardship related to auto loans, credit card balances and loans secured by real estate.”) Updated 4/1
Huntington (“Huntington is offering up to 90 days of payment deferral on all consumer loans for those experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.”) Updated 4/1
Key Bank  (KeyBank will offer a payment deferral for up to 90 days upon request.) Updated 3/30
Mr Cooper (“Mr. Cooper is able to offer customers facing a financial hardship as a result of the pandemic a forbearance plan”) Updated 3/31
Navy Federal (“Loan extensions, deferred payments and a Pandemic Relief Loan”) Updated 4/1
Ocwen/PHH (“Payment forbearance with repayment options.) Updated 4/1
Planet Home Lending (“You may qualify for a 90-day forbearance plan, which means you will not have to pay your mortgage during this time frame. Please note this a temporary suspension of your payments.) Updated 3/31
PNC (“We will defer the payments for 90 days, with the possibility of further extensions as the new federal requirements become clear.”) Updated 4/1
Rushmore Loan Management (” We will be suppressing all negative credit reporting for the months of March, April, and May 2020. If your loan is current, we will continue to report your positive credit status. Additionally, late fees in April and May will not be assessed for any of our customers.) Updated 4/1
Select Portfolio Servicing (“tell us more about your situation and learn what options are available to assist you.”) Updated 4/1
Third Federal (“You may be eligible for a loan concession if you cannot make your Third Federal loan payment.”) Updated 4/1
Umpqua Bank (“If you have experienced loss of income due to COVID-19, you are eligible for forbearance.”) Updated 3/31
USBank (“we are offering a payment forbearance up to 90 days with no late fees”)
Wells Fargo  Not forbearance – suspended residential property foreclosure sales, evictions and involuntary auto repossessions.

FHFA 
FHFA has created a dedicated webpage of all FHFA/Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Coronavirus Assistance Information.
Recent addition includes offering to multifamily property owners mortgage forbearance with the condition that they suspend all evictions for renters unable to pay rent due to the impact of coronavirus.

To access the website, please click here.

CFPB 
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has created a webpage dedicated to helping consumers take steps to protect their finances during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically;

  • Protect yourself financially.
  • Consumer complaints.
  • Protecting your credit during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Dealing with debt.
  • Tips for financial caregivers – We have resources for financial caregivers helping people who cannot manage their money or property themselves during the coronavirus pandemic.

To view the webpage, please click on following link:
Protecting your finances during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Media Articles 

Rent Deferral Programs 
Several statewide apartment/landlord organizations are advocating for rent deferral programs for renters trying to cope with the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Idaho 

Utah 

Update 3/18

Please see below (the original post) for updates to state/local eviction moratoriums including a matrix of close to 40 independent local jurisdictions with a restriction/moratorium in place along with he VA announcement.

Additionally, HUD, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, have all issued a moratorium on Foreclosures and Evictions.
Please see following links;

FHFA Press Release (The Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks)
https://www.fhfa.gov/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/FHFA-Suspends-Foreclosures-and-Evictions-for-Enterprise-Backed-Mortgages.aspx

HUD Mortgagee Letter
https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/OCHCO/documents/20-04hsgml.pdf

Update 3/17

Please see below articles discussing the potential spike in mortgage delinquencies.
Additionally, besides for local moratoriums on evictions one Michigan County is placing a moratorium on tax foreclosures.

CNBC:
Chief mortgage regulator working on plan for potential spike in delinquencies from coronavirus

“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac already have loan forbearance programs in place, often implemented during natural disasters, but the current situation is neither local nor momentary.

“We’re on the front end of this. We don’t know,” said Mark Calabria, Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) which currently oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under government conservatorship. “If this goes more past the summer, certainly it’s going to call for a different set of responses.”

National Mortgage News:
FHA braces for virus, warns of potential bottlenecks as demand grows

“Servicing complications are likely to surface in the longer-term as the industry adjusts to an influx of distressed mortgages after a long period in which volumes were low.

For now, the GSEs and FHA are advising lenders to exercise forbearance options, state and local authorities on a case-by-case basis have been imposing moratoria on evictions and foreclosures, and housing advocates are pushing for a national policy.”

Bloomberg
Trump Considers Letting Homeowners Delay Mortgage Payments

The Trump administration is considering a plan to allow homeowners whose income was cut by the coronavirus to delay mortgage payments.

“This is so big,” Fratantoni said. “We’re thinking of the potential of several months of payments for a lot of homeowners.”

 

ORIGINAL POST BELOW

Information to Provide to Constituents

Mortgage Relief

The primary “Investors/Insurers” have issued guidance to loan servicers (banks) on possible forbearance for homeowners who are experiencing financial hardships as a result of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Additionally the OCC has issued guidance addressing mortgages and banking/

Please see the following links:

General Guidance for Natural Disasters (provides general insight into policies and procedures regarding assisting homeowners with foreclosure avoidance

Avoiding Scams – Housing Counseling

Calling a loan servicer directly to discuss forebearnce options can generally be done without assistance (ensure you receive written confirmation of any agreement), however any discussions regarding loan modifications should be done with assistance.
HUD provides counseling assistance at no-cost.
Beware of scams offering to assist in reducing loan payments, avoiding foreclosure etc that charge a fee!!

For information on HUD Counseling Agencies including how to locate the nearest office, please see following link https://www.hud.gov/i_want_to/talk_to_a_housing_counselor

Additionally you can contact http://www.hopenow.com/about-us.php – HOPENOW also has additional information of value including this from the Dept/ of Labor http://www.hopenow.com/pdf/DUA_Pamphlet_0414.pdf

Tenant Protections  Updated 3/18
This information is strictly for informational purposes. The moratoriums may differ in its components including its applications and length of the respective moratoriums etc.

Several states and/or State Courts have implemented various restrictions/moratoriums on evictions.

Arizona|
California
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida Updated April 6th
Hawaii
Illinois
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Nebraska
Nevada 
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota 
Ohio (Commercial) 
Oregon
Oregon Commercial
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas Updated April 6th (Extension)
Utah
Virginia
Washington 
Washington DC
Wisconsin

Additionally we are currently tracking over 70 independent local jurisdictions with their own restrictions/moratoriums check out our full list here.
(New spreadsheet will be available shortly. Please email [email protected] for the most recent copy)

Related Media Articles:

3/15/20 American Banker “Calls mount for U.S. to halt foreclosures, evictions amid health crisis”  

3/13/20 Forbes “Mortgage Relief Options Are Available To Homeowners Affected By Coronavirus Safety Measures”

Information for Local Governments

There is additional information that is relevant to local government from these entities (specifically HUD) including eligible usage of CDBG funds (click here)

 

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