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FHFA Extends COVID-19-Related Loan Flexibilities

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced today that Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs ) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will extend several loan origination flexibilities until February 28.

The FHFA, by way of press release, says the changes are to ensure continued support for borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency. These flexibilities initially were set to expire on January 31.

Extended flexibilities include alternative appraisals on purchase and rate-term refinance loans; alternative methods of documenting income and verifying employment before a loan closing; and expanding the use of power of attorney to assist with loan closings.

The FHFA in December extended its foreclosure moratorium "at least" through January 31, as part of these efforts to assist borrowers.

In a previous statement, Fannie Mae said it "has taken a number of actions to help homeowners and renters facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. In addition to suspending foreclosures and evictions affecting homeowners, Fannie Mae extended eviction protections to multifamily renters when the property owner received a forbearance, reminded homeowners they are never required to repay missed payments after a forbearance period all at once, shared tips to help homeowners avoid foreclosure fraud or scams, and announced a new COVID-19 payment deferral option to help homeowners who are ready to resume their monthly mortgage payments following a COVID-19 forbearance.

"These and other resources we make available are part of our ongoing Here to Help education effort, aimed at helping homeowners and renters impacted by COVID-19 understand the options available to them."

To understand the protections and assistance offered by the government to those having trouble paying their mortgage, please visit the joint Department of Housing and Urban Development, FHFA, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website at cfpb.gov/housing.

Homeowners can find out if they have an enterprise-owned mortgage by visiting  KnowYourOptions.com/loanlookup.

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. Contact Christina at [email protected].

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