The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is extending its previously-enacted moratorium on foreclosures and evictions through the end of 2020, effective immediately. This is according to the publication of Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2020-27 released on Thursday morning.
The moratorium continues to apply to homeowners with FHA-insured Title II Single Family forward mortgages and Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), HUD said. The moratorium continues to direct mortgage servicers to halt all new foreclosure actions and suspend actions now in process; and to cease all evictions from FHA-insured single family properties. These directions do not apply to occupants of legally vacant or abandoned properties.
“President Trump is taking unprecedented measures to ensure American homeowners have the resources and support they need to get back to financial stability during the economic recovery,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson in a press release announcing the extension. “Because homeownership is the largest wealth builder for the majority of the nation’s families, providing relief from foreclosure and eviction to those who are in jeopardy of losing their hard-earned wealth, through no fault of their own, is a priority.”
As the pandemic continues to create uncertainty among homeowners, this extension is designed to provide a semblance of housing stability in the midst of economic uncertainty according to Dana Wade, commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
“For so many first-time homebuyers and others who relied on FHA insurance to achieve homeownership, this extension provides an additional measure of peace-of-mind and security, along with the fact that we do not require a lump sum payment at the end of any forbearance period,” said Wade in the announcement. “Right now, it’s important that those affected by COVID-19 focus on the immediate priorities of regaining their financial footing, without the additional stress of dealing with a foreclosure action.”
President Donald Trump announced in March that HUD and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) would first be suspending foreclosures and evictions. The moratorium was first extended in mid-May through the end of June, and was extended again through the end of August before the current extension was handed down.
Reverse mortgage servicers largely lauded the move when it was first handed down.
“We feel that HUD made the right decision by placing a ‘hold’ on foreclosure and post-foreclosure eviction activity for a 60-day period,” said Ryan LaRose, COO of Celink to RMD in March. “Obviously, this is a very challenging time for borrowers, servicers, attorney firms, courts, etc., so this 60-day moratorium provides some temporary relief for all parties.”
Read ML 2020-27 at HUD.