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CARES Act Protections Extended For FHA-Backed Borrowers

HUD BuildingThe Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and HUD announced, a few weeks following FHFA's similar announcement, the fourth extension of its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through February 28, for homeowners with FHA-insured single-family mortgages covered under the Coronavirus Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The FHFA in early December stated its extension would run "at least" through January.

FHA's moratorium prohibits servicers from initiating or proceeding with foreclosure and foreclosure-related eviction actions for FHA-insured single-family forward and reverse mortgages, except for those secured by legally vacant and abandoned properties.

The FHA also will extend, through February 28, the deadline for single-family borrowers with FHA-insured mortgages to request an initial COVID-19 forbearance from their mortgage servicer to defer or reduce their mortgage payments for up to six months, which can be extended for an additional six months, the agency announced on Monday.

In addition, said the FHA in a press release, it also has extended multiple temporary provisions for lenders and servicers to allow them to continue doing FHA business despite social distancing considerations.

Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner Dana Wade promised the FHA will continue to assist borrowers who are struggling financially as a result of the national health crisis.

"COVID-19 has created hardships for millions of Americans," Wade said. "American homeowners should not be forced from their homes while they are seeking help."

In its press release, the FHA outlined the following additional provisions:

  • It will extend the timeframe for providing an insurance endorsement on single-family mortgages in forbearance through March 31, 2021.
  • The temporary re-verification of employment guidance and exterior-only appraisal inspection option will now be accepted through February 28, 2021.
  • Provisions for verification of self-employment, rental income, and 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage escrow accounts will be allowed through February 28, 2021.

The FHA encourages borrowers who can make their mortgage payments to continue to do so, the FHA said, adding that, "Those who are struggling financially because of COVID-19 should engage with their mortgage servicer ... FHA provides post-COVID-19 forbearance loss mitigation options to assist borrowers with bringing their mortgage current. FHA does not require a lump sum payment at the end of any COVID-19 forbearance period."

For the full list of extensions and provisions, visit HUD.gov.

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/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 christina.hughesbabb@thefivestar.com.

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