In an effort to keep homeowners and renters in their homes as they navigate the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, some federal foreclosure and eviction moratoriums are being extended through the end of this year.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced Thursday that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend the moratoriums that were put in place on single-family foreclosures and on some evictions until at least December 31. The current moratoriums were set to expire on August 31.
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The temporary freeze on foreclosures applies to Fannie- or Freddie-backed, single-family mortgages only. The pause on evictions applies only to tenants who live in properties that have been acquired by Freddie or Fannie through foreclosure. It does not apply to tenants in homes that have not been foreclosed on.
“Fannie Mae, along with our lending and servicing partners, remains committed to supporting households who are experiencing job loss, a reduction in work hours or income, or other issues due to Covid-19,” said Malloy Evans, senior vice president and single-family chief credit officer at Fannie Mae.
“With this latest extension of the foreclosure and eviction moratorium, we can continue to help ensure distressed borrowers are able to remain in their homes during this national emergency.”
Evans said homeowners who are still struggling with their mortgage or facing possible foreclosure may still find assistance.
“We encourage you to reach out to your servicer as soon as possible to get help,” he said.
Donna Corley, executive vice president and head of Freddie Mac’s single-family business, said Fannie and Freddie have instructed servicers to work with borrowers who are unable to make their mortgage payments to ensure they are evaluated for a forbearance plan or other assistance.
In addition to suspending foreclosure activity and evictions, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have directed servicers to offer Covid-19-related relief for borrowers, including providing forbearance – or delayed mortgage payments – for up to 12 months, waiving penalties or late fees and offering loan modification options.
Nearly 28 million homeowners will be protected by this action, said FHFA director Mark Calabria. FHFA said earlier this week that it estimates it will cost Fannie and Freddie at least $6 billion to help homeowners and renters.