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FHFA Extensions Will Align COVID-19 Mortgage Relief Policies

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Thursday announced extensions of several measures that the agency says will align COVID-19 mortgage relief policies across the federal government.

This announcement, which extends temporary measures (previously set to expire March 31) until the end of June follows the White House's February 16 moratoria extension [1] applied to all federally backed mortgages through the same period.

The extend moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate-owned (REO) evictions applies to GSE-backed, single-family mortgages only. The REO eviction moratorium applies to properties that have been acquired by Fannie or Freddie through foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions.

FHFA also announced that borrowers with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac-backed mortgages may be eligible for an additional three-month extension of COVID-19 forbearance.

This additional three-month extension allows borrowers to be in forbearance for up to 18 months. Eligibility for the extension is limited to borrowers who are in a COVID-19 forbearance plan as of February 28, 2021, and other limits may apply.  Further, COVID-19 Payment Deferral for borrowers with an Enterprise-backed mortgage can now cover up to 18 months of missed payments. COVID-19 Payment Deferral allows borrowers to repay their missed payments at the time the home is sold, refinanced, or at mortgage maturity.

“Borrowers and the housing finance market alike can benefit during the pandemic from the consistent treatment of mortgages regardless of who owns or backs them. From the start of the pandemic, FHFA has worked to keep families safe and in their homes, while ensuring the mortgage market functions as efficiently as possible. Today’s extensions of the COVID-19 forbearance period to 18 months and foreclosure and eviction moratoriums through the end of June will help align mortgage policies across the federal government,” said FHFA Director Mark Calabria.

This week's actions mark the latest in a series of steps FHFA has taken to assist homeowners and the mortgage market during the pandemic. FHFA noted that it may extend or sunset its policies based on updated data and health risks.

Homeowners and renters can visit consumerfinance.gov/housing [2] for up-to-date information on their relief options, protections, and key deadlines.