President Joe Biden Tuesday announced an extension of the moratorium on home foreclosures for federally backed mortgages through the end of June. The foreclosure halt previously was slated to end March 31.
The move is a coordinated effort among the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Agriculture to "deliver immediate relief for American families bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis," according to a statement from the White House.
Today, 1 in 5 renters is behind on rent and more than 10 million homeowners are delinquent on their loans, according to a White House fact sheet. People of color face even greater hardship and are more likely to have deferred or missed payments, putting them at greater risk of eviction and foreclosure, according to the White House's press release.
Tuesday's action blocks home foreclosures, allows delayed mortgage payments, and offers six months of additional mortgage forbearance for those who enroll by June 30, and they "build on steps the President took on Day One to extend foreclosure moratoriums for federally guaranteed mortgages," according to the White House.
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) last week extended forbearance for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-backed borrowers for three months.
These coordinated actions will cover 70% of existing single-family home mortgages, notes the Biden administration in its fact sheet, which outlines the terms of this action.
The departments and the administration both have issued messages of solidarity and a desire to provide immediate relief to homeowners, support hard-hit communities of color, and provide a centralized resource for housing assistance (the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will house these resources).
“As President Biden has made clear, it is urgent that we help homeowners throughout the nation who are struggling financially from this unprecedented national emergency,” said Acting HUD Secretary Matthew Ammon. “The steps we are taking today will provide both immediate relief to those in desperate need of assistance and help more homeowners keep their homes and resume their payments when the pandemic subsides.”
According to a HUD press release, the Office of Public and Indian Housing is planning to announce similar relief for Native American and Native Hawaiian homeowners assisted under the Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program and the Section 184A Native Hawaiian Housing Loan Guarantee Program.