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Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD extend foreclosure and eviction freeze

Moratorium extended to June 30

Back in March, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Department of Housing and Urban Development suspended all foreclosures and evictions for 60 days to ensure that people didn’t lose their homes as the coronavirus was shutting down the U.S. economy.

The agencies’ foreclosure and eviction freeze was set to end on May 17, 2020, but Thursday, each of those agencies announced that they are extending their suspensions of foreclosures and evictions through the end of June, at least.

According to HUD, the freeze applies to single-family mortgages and reverse mortgages (HECMs) insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

The freeze halts “all new foreclosure actions and suspends all foreclosure actions currently in process, excluding legally vacant or abandoned properties; and stops all evictions of people from FHA-backed single-family houses, excluding actions to evict occupants of legally vacant or abandoned properties.

“We made it clear at the beginning of this pandemic that no American should have to worry about losing their home amidst a crisis,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement.

“Today’s announcement ensures that commitment,” Carson added. “While we have made great strides in fighting this virus, the fact remains that many Americans are still struggling as we work diligently to get our economy back on sound footing, which I have full confidence we will do through the leadership of the President.”

According to the newly minted HUD deputy secretary Brian Montgomery, there are more than 8.1 million borrowers who have an FHA-backed mortgage.

“Our highest priority is to ensure that they have the time through the foreclosure moratorium, and the assistance they need through special COVID-19 mortgage forbearance, to remain in their homes long-term,” Montgomery said of those more than 8 million people.

According to the FHFA, the GSEs’ foreclosure and eviction suspension applies to single-family mortgages only.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have separate policies to keep renters in their homes.

“Today, to help borrowers and renters who are at risk of losing their home due to the coronavirus national emergency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are extending their moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until at least June 30, 2020,” the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in an announcement.

According to a letter from Fannie Mae, servicers are not allowed to “initiate any judicial or non-judicial foreclosure process, move for a foreclosure judgment or order of sale, or execute a foreclosure sale,” except on properties that are vacant or abandoned.

The extension of the foreclosure and eviction moratorium goes beyond the rules laid out in the CARES Act, which established a 60-day freeze on foreclosures and evictions beginning on March 18, 2020.

“During this national health emergency, no one should be forced from their home,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria said. “Extending the foreclosure and eviction moratoriums protects homeowners and renters with an Enterprise-backed mortgage and provides certainty for families.”

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