FHFA: Protecting Borrowers After COVID-19 Moratoriums End
June 29, 2021
Servicers of Enterprise-backed mortgages will be prohibited from making most first filings for foreclosure before new CFPB rules take effect August 31
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) servicers will not be permitted to make a first notice or filing for foreclosure that would be prohibited by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Protections for Borrowers Affected by the COVID-19 Emergency Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Regulation X Final Rule before the CFPB rule takes effect.
The CFPB final rule prohibits servicers from making a first notice or filing for foreclosure in most cases covered by the rule before December 31, 2021. Servicers will still be able to make a notice or filing for foreclosure on abandoned properties and those that had a foreclosure referral prior to March 2020, along with certain other exceptions. CFPB’s final rule will take effect August 31, 2021. The Enterprises’ moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) evictions will expire on July 31, 2021. Requiring Enterprise servicers to follow the CFPB’s new protections a month before the CFPB rule takes effect will protect borrowers from foreclosure and provides certainty for servicers about Enterprise expectations.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created many financial challenges for families. Through no fault of their own, many of these families had to rely on COVID-19 forbearance to stay safe in their homes during the pandemic. Today, many families’ finances are improving allowing them to exit forbearance. The protections FHFA is putting in place today will protect vulnerable families as they begin their financial recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting Director Sandra L. Thompson.
This action is the latest step FHFA has taken to benefit homeowners and the mortgage market during the pandemic. FHFA continues to monitor the effect of the COVID-19 servicing policies on borrowers, the Enterprises and their counterparties, and the mortgage market. FHFA may extend or sunset its policies based on updated data and health risks. Homeowners and renters can visit consumerfinance.gov/housing for up-to-date information on their relief options, protections, and key deadlines.