HOUSING, MORTGAGES & EVICTIONS
The two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced unprecedented steps to help borrowers impacted by COVID-19 remain in their homes.
Fannie and Freddie announced immediate suspensions of foreclosures and evictions for any borrower affected by the fallout of the virus crisis and unable to make their mortgage payment, not limited to homeowners who contracted COVID-19. HUD announced a similar policy for FHA loans. In addition, the GSEs will expand forbearance options for borrowers that could extend for at least 12 months. Borrowers utilizing forbearance will not face negative consequences at credit rating agencies.
For consumers with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans who are NOT in foreclosure but are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak have other options including a payment forbearance. This forbearance would allow affected borrowers to suspend their mortgage payment for up to 12 months due to hardship caused by the coronavirus. Here is the moratorium regarding this information.
Here is what the moratorium means for consumers with Fannie and Freddie loans:
- Homeowners who are adversely impacted by this national emergency may request mortgage assistance by contacting their mortgage servicer
- Foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers are suspended for 60 days
- Homeowners impacted by this national emergency are eligible for a forbearance plan to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months
- Credit bureau reporting of past due payments of borrowers in a forbearance plan as a result of hardships attributable to this national emergency is suspended
- Homeowners in a forbearance plan will not incur late fees
- After forbearance, a servicer must work with the borrower on a permanent plan to help maintain or reduce monthly payment amounts as necessary, including a loan modification
Borrowers concerned about paying their mortgage due to this current crisis should contact their lender as soon as possible to discuss loss mitigation options (checking mortgage statements, or lender’s website for contact information). Many employees have experienced a loss of income because their employers were forced to close (i.e. restaurants, movie theaters, etc.) which has caused a hardship. The sooner you inform your lender of your hardship, the sooner they can offer you solutions to avoid mortgage delinquency. You should be prepared to provide documentation of your hardship and follow up with your lender regularly until you reach a resolution.
While many housing counseling agencies have transitioned to virtual and telephone counseling in accordance with “social distancing” guidelines, these agencies are still available to help guide you through your housing questions. You can locate a housing counseling agency in your area by clicking HERE.
No statewide eviction moratorium in place at this time, but Governor DeSantis has said he will consider one.
Broward County has halted all residential eviction proceedings for the time being.
Seminole and Brevard County have paused their eviction proceedings through April 15th.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it’s suspending all evictions until the end of April.
The National Multifamily Housing Council put out a release on March 22 asking apartment owners and landlords to halt evictions for renters who were experiencing job loss or reduction in income due to COVID-19. The council went on to request a 90-day pause on all rent increases.
Each county and judicial circuit will handle this differently until a statewide moratorium is in place. Renters may contact their landlord/management office for further information.
PUBLIC ASSISTANCE FUNDS
Presidential Declaration of Disaster
If and when individual/public assistance money is approved for a disaster, it will be displayed here: https://www.fema.gov/disaster/3416. Information is updated every 24 hours.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many cities and states are taking additional precautions to protect residents and stop the spread of this virus. In many areas, this includes the closure of restaurants (for dine-in services), gyms, universities, K-12 schools and several local businesses. Due to these closures, many consumers find themselves out of work, causing a financial hardship on their households. If you are experiencing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please check with your local city and county government regarding financial resources that may be available to you during this time.
Both the Administration and Congress have announced that they want to make credit available to small business owners to help them weather this storm.
Emergency Loan Providers
OTHER HELPFUL LINKS