NOTICE: The Federal Housing Finance Agency has ordered the suspension of foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days. Please visit this page to learn more.

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Additional, Specific Protections For Federally Owned Or Guaranteed Mortgages

Homeowners that do not know whether their mortgage fits this definition, should reach out to their mortgage servicer to find out. Your mortgage servicer is the company that you send your mortgage payments to each month. For context, 70 percent of mortgages in the current market are federally backed. If you are unsure of who owns your loan, here are some steps you can take to find out:

  1. If you have an FHA, VA, or RHS loan, it will be indicated in your loan closing documents. If you do not have a copy of those, you can call your servicer to ask, or for FHA loans, you can call HUD’s National Servicing Center at 877-622-8525.
  2. To check if you have a Freddie Mac loan, visit: https://ww3.freddiemac.com/loanlookup/
  3. To check if you have a Fannie Mae loan, visit: https://www.knowyouroptions.com/loanlookup#

A summary of additional protections based on the owner of your loan are summarized below.

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Loans:

  • All foreclosure sales and evictions are suspended for at least 60 days, though May 17, 2020. This applies to your principal residence, your second home, and your investment properties. However, it does not apply to any properties that are vacant or have been abandoned.
  • Borrowers impacted by COVID-19 should contact their mortgage servicer if they are unable to make their mortgage payments.
    • If you cannot reach your servicer to request assistance, you can call:
      • Freddie Mac at 1-800-FREDDIE (1-800-373-3343)
        Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 7:00 pm EST.
        Select option 2 to be connected to a live agent to assist.
      • Fannie Mae Disaster Response Network at 877-542-9723.
        Monday - Friday, 7:00 am - 7:00 pm EST. Call will be answered by “Porchlight Disaster Recovery Assistance Team.”
  • Borrowers impacted by COVID-19 can request a “forbearance,” meaning a suspension or reduction in their mortgage payments, for up to 12 months.
    • Borrowers placed in a forbearance plan will not incur late fees.
    • Servicers are not required to obtain documentation of the hardship.
    • Near the end of the forbearance period, servicers must work with borrowers to provide a permanent solution to bring the loan current, including review for a loan modification.
    • Any unpaid payments during a forbearance plan related to COVID-19 will not be reported to the credit bureaus.

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Loans:

  • Initiation of foreclosures, foreclosure sales, and evictions are suspended.
  • Borrowers impacted by COVID-19 should contact their mortgage servicer if they are unable to make their mortgage payments.
  • Loan servicers must review borrowers impacted by COVID-19 for both short and long-term forbearance options, loan modifications, and other options based on the borrower’s individual circumstances.

VA Loans

  • The VA has strongly encouraged loan servicers to establish a sixty-day moratorium on pending foreclosures and initiating new foreclosures on any VA loans. However, it is not a mandatory requirement, and is up to the individual servicer. Even if the servicer has elected not to participate in the moratorium, many states have halted all foreclosures and eviction actions.

RHA Loans

  • The USDA has encouraged Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) loan servicers to extend forbearance alternatives to borrowers whose health or employment has been impacted as a result of COVID-19. Contact your loan servicer to determine what help is available for your loan.
  • In addition, USDA Rural Development requires that servicers suspend all foreclosure activity, including new and existing foreclosure actions.

Contact your servicer

Although homeowners with mortgages that are not federally backed are not technically covered under the CARES Act and though you may not be in a state with strong protections, reputable lenders are voluntarily providing the same or better relief provided for federally backed mortgages.

It is critical that you reach out to your loan servicer to apply for a loan forbearance before you miss your monthly payment. Enrollment in these programs is not automatic. Please consult the list of servicers below for information on how to apply for a forbearance and what benefits may be available to you. Also, keep in mind that many of these companies are experiencing higher-than-usual call volumes, so wait times may be longer than you are used to. Depending on your servicer, you may be able to apply for loan assistance online, which may be faster than calling.

Your Credit Cannot be Harmed if You Receive a Payment Deferral from your Servicer or Lender.

Importantly, the COVID-19, or CARES Act, passed by Congress, prohibits negative credit reporting for consumers who receive a waiver, deferral or other relief from their lender. For example, if you request to skip three monthly payments (90-day deferral), and the lender agrees, as most will, the lender and credit bureaus are not allowed to report that deferral as a negative or derogatory event or payment status. It cannot harm your credit score. However, if you do not contact the lender and confirm its agreement, the missed payments may hurt your credit.

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