The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced that, thanks to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) programs, nearly two million homeowners with FHA mortgages were able to stay in their homes from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 through December.
During this time frame amid the pandemic, FHA borrowers whose ability to make their mortgage payments was impaired by the pandemic were able to obtain either a COVID-19 forbearance or a more permanent solution, such as a loan modification that allowed them to avoid foreclosure.
The FHA recently announced that their COVID-19 toolkit has been extended for at least the next 18 months to help all eligible borrowers who are struggling to avoid foreclosure, regardless of the reason for their hardship.
“Although the pandemic has ended, the economic effects will remain a challenge for the foreseeable future,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “These impactful and effective foreclosure prevention tools will help struggling borrowers find the right option to help them get back on their feet and keep them in their homes. These tools have been so successful already, which is why FHA worked to enhance them further and include more borrowers.”
Included in these new enhancements are updates that also increase the limit on the amount of interest-free arrearages that borrowers can pay at the end of their mortgage term to help maximize the number of borrowers able to retain their homes despite higher interest rates. The mandatory effective date of the changes is April 30, 2023, but mortgage servicers may begin offering these options to borrowers immediately.
In the last two years, FHA has helped approximately 1,845,000 mortgage holders enter into an agreement with their mortgage servicer to have their payments paused or reduced (forbearance) due to the pandemic.
- More than 1.8 million FHA borrowers received a forbearance due to a hardship created or exacerbated by COVID-19.
- More than one million of these borrowers have received a plan to enable the borrower to remain in the home by lowering a monthly payment or participating in another home retention option.
- Another 691,000 have cured or paid off their mortgage without need of a loss mitigation plan.
Click here for a state-by-state breakdown of HUD’s loss mitigation actions during the pandemic.