Four days ahead of its previous expiration date, the Federal Housing Finance Agency extended its moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for borrowers with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until Dec. 31.
After its prior extension to Aug. 31 in June, the agency said it intended to monitor the effects of the coronavirus and update policies as needed. According to FHFA director Mark Calabria, the most recent extension will protect more than 28 million homeowners with a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
“With this latest extension of the foreclosure and eviction moratorium, we can continue to help ensure distressed borrowers are able to remain in their homes during this national emergency,” said Malloy Evans, senior vice president and single-family chief credit officer at Fannie Mae.
Fannie and Freddie’s foreclosure moratorium applies to enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only, while the REO eviction moratorium applies to properties that have been acquired by an enterprise through foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions.
According to the GSEs, the suspension does not apply to tenants in homes that have not been foreclosed.
The FHFA recommends those who may be struggling with their mortgage or facing possible foreclosure to review their options with their servicers as soon as possible. Homeowners impacted by COVID-19 are eligible for a forbearance plan to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months, as mandated by the CARES Act.
Recent data from Black Knight shows the number of new forbearances dropped in July as the overall delinquency rate, measuring mortgages with payments 30 days or more overdue, fell to 6.91% from 7.59%. However, the number of seriously delinquent mortgages – payments overdue by 90 days or more – soared to a 10-year high during July in a tally that counts forbearances.
On Wednesday, the FHFA extended another deadline after it announced the GSEs will continue to buy qualified loans in forbearance until Sept. 30.