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FHFA Extends Foreclosure and REO Eviction Moratoriums

Homeowners with mortgages held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac cannot be evicted until Feb. 28, 2021. The extension covers more than 50% of American owners with a mortgage.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will extend their moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) evictions until Feb. 28, 2021.

The foreclosure moratorium applies only to Fannie- or Freddie-backed, single-family mortgages. The REO eviction moratorium applies to properties Fannie or Freddie acquired through foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions. Before this latest extension, the moratoriums expired on Jan. 31, 2021.

“To keep our communities safe, and families in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, FHFA is extending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s foreclosure and eviction moratorium,” says Director Mark Calabria.

FHFA estimates that the bans with cost Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac $1.4 to $2 billion, and it says it will keep monitoring the effect of the foreclosure and eviction moratorium on borrowers, Fannie, Freddie, and the mortgage market.

FHFA also says it will “extend or sunset its policies based on the data and health risk,” suggesting the ban could again be extended past the current Feb. 28 date.

Both Fannie and Freddie offer loss mitigation programs for borrowers with eligible hardships. The programs, established pre-pandemic, have helped more than 4.5 million families stay in their home to date, and they’ll still be an option after COVID-19 forbearance options end.

Under the comprehensive loss mitigation programs, qualified borrowers with a financial hardship that affects their ability to pay their mortgage may be eligible for temporary forbearance of up to 12 months, whether their hardship was caused by COVID-19 or not. Qualified borrowers can also obtain loan modifications to assist their ability to resume regular monthly payments once their hardship is resolved.

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