The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a tailored set of mortgage relief options for homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages who have been impacted by COVID-19.
HUD states, effective immediately for those who cannot make mortgage payments due to the virus, servicers must extend deferred or reduced mortgage payment options for up to six and also provide an additional six months of forbearance if requested by the borrower.
This measure implements provisions contained in the CAREs Act signed by President Donald Trump on March 27.
“The last thing any of us wants is for Americans to lose their homes unnecessarily while we continue to fight this invisible enemy. If you’re struggling, immediate help is now available. The FHA will continue to work with stakeholders to ensure that the loss mitigation options that are offered for both forward and reverse borrowers are appropriately tailored for the present situation,” said Dr. Benjamin Carson, Secretary of HUD.
Additionally, the FHA implemented the COVID-19 National Emergency Partial Claim, an option to be used by servicers when the COVID-19 forbearance period ends. This will help eligible homeowners who have been granted forbearance to reinstate their loans by authorizing servicers to advance funds on behalf of homeowners.
This claim will defer the repayment of those advances through an interest-free “subordinate mortgage” that the borrower does not have to pay until their first mortgage is paid off.
“For American families impacted by the COVID-19 virus and unable to pay their FHA-insured mortgage, imminently losing their homes is now one less fear they should have,” said Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner Brian Montgomery. “Today’s actions will ease the immediate pressures faced by many Americans who, through no fault of their own, are struggling with financial uncertainty.”
A recent study by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) found that 13 million Americans are at risk of losing their jobs due to the virus.
“The loss of service jobs would undoubtedly worsen affordability for households who already must spend an outsized portion of their incomes on rent each month,” Whitney Airgood-Obrycki, Research Associate, JCHS said.
Forty percent of households (5.2 million) whose wages came exclusively from at-risk jobs were cost-burdened as compared to 22% of households (13.1 million) whose income came only from other jobs.