As the COVID-19 virus has spread, many individuals and businesses have been financially impacted. As Governor Brown’s Executive Orders around COVID-19 have caused many businesses to close, many residents find themselves out of work and unable to pay for housing. The City of Portland adopted an Ordinance establishing an eviction moratorium within City limits effective March 18, 2020. Residents who cannot pay rent because of COVID-19 will not be evicted for rent non-payment for the next three months. We partnered with Multnomah County on this action, and Governor Brown recently took action statewide.
With a moratorium on evictions, many homeowners and mortgage holders will likely face the inability to pay their mortgages. Below you will find information on mortgage relief for federal and private mortgage holders. Given each entity has established personalized assistance, we encourage mortgage holders to contact their lenders as soon as possible.
For answers to common questions in a Q&A format:
Information for Federal Mortgage Holders
The Secretary of United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) authorized a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for FHA-insured properties in response to the Presidentially-Declared COVID-19 National Emergency. Effective March 1,2020 the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has imposed a 60-day foreclosure and eviction moratorium for al FHA-insured Single-Family mortgages. This moratorium applies to:
- All FHA Title II Single-Family forward and Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (reverse) mortgage programs
- The initiation of foreclosures and to the completion of foreclosures in process
Deadlines of the first legal action and reasonable diligence timelines are extended.
At the direction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), forbearance is available to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage holders affected by the COVID-19 national emergency. Effective March 18, 2020, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac imposed a forbearance plan to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments up to 12 months. This forbearance plan includes:
- Suspension of credit bureau reporting of borrowers in a forbearance plan as results of hardships attributable to the national emergency
- Suspension of late fees for mortgage holders
When determining eligibility for a forbearance plan for a borrower impacted by COVID-19, the property securing the mortgage loan may be a principal residence, a second home, or an investment property.
This forbearance plan allows servicers to offer additional loss mitigation options that are typically only enacted to address natural disasters. This includes loan modifications.
Under the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs, landlords whose properties are financed with a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage loans can defer their payments for 60 days for single-family mortgages and 90 days for multi-family mortgages by showing hardship because of COVID-19 and by gaining lender approval. In turn, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are requiring landlords not to evict any tenant based solely on non-payment of rent during the forbearance period.
This foreclosure suspension does not apply to mortgages on properties that have been determined vacant or abandoned.
The FHFA has also authorized the Enterprises to support additional liquidity in the secondary mortgage market. Effective March 23, 2020, the FHFA has authorized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to enter into additional dollar roll transactions (dollar roll transactions provide mortgage-backed securities investors with short-term financing of their positions, providing liquidity to these investors). Eligible collateral is limited to Agency mortgage-backed securities and the transactions must be undertaken via an auction or similar mechanism to ensure that they occur at a fair market price.
Lastly, the FHFA has authorized the Enterprises to grant flexibilities for appraisal and employment verifications. Effective March 23, 2020, the FHFA has:
- Directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to provide alternative flexibilities to satisfy appraisal requirements and employment verification requirements through May 17, 2020.
- Authorized the Enterprises will leverage appraisal alternatives to reduce the need for appraisers to inspect the interior of a home for eligible mortgages. In the event lenders cannot obtain verbal verification of the borrower's employment before loan closing, the Enterprises will allow lenders to obtain verification via an e-mail from the employer, a recent year-to-date paystub from the borrower, or a bank statement showing a recent payroll deposit.
- Provided eviction suspension relief for renters in multi-family properties with the Enterprise-backed multi-family mortgages. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer multifamily property owners mortgage forbearance with the condition that they suspend all evictions for renters unable to pay rent due to the impact of COVID-19. The eviction suspensions are in place for the entire duration of time that a property owner remains in forbearance.
Oregon Division of Financial Regulation, on behalf of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS), is providing this guidance to their state-regulated lenders and servicers on reasonable measures that may be used in pandemic situations that prevent people from repaying loans. The division encourages its regulated lenders and financial service providers to take active measures to provide help to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Effective March 20, 2020, DCBS is:
- Forbearing mortgage payments for 90 days from their due dates
- Offering mortgagors an additional 90-day grace period to complete trial loan modifications
- Postponing foreclosures and evictions for 90 days
- Offering payment accommodations, such as allowing borrowers to defer payments, extending the payment due dates, or otherwise adjusting terms of existing loans, which would avoid delinquencies and negative credit agency reporting
- Easing credit terms for new loans
- Refraining from reporting late payments to credit rating agencies for 90 days
- Waiving late payment fees and any online payment fees for 90 days
- Ensuring that borrowers do not experience a disruption of service if the lender closes its office, including providing other avenues for borrowers to continue to manage their accounts and make inquiries
- Actively reaching out to borrowers via app announcements, text, email, or otherwise to explain the above-listed help being offered by lenders
- Waiving overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees for financial institutions
Lastly, the DCBS has imposed a health Insurance cost-share agreement where consumers with fully insured individual and group health plans will not be charged co-payments, co-insurance, or deductibles related to COVID-19.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) strongly encourages mortgage servicers to observe the following actions regarding home loan borrowers financially impacted or potentially impacted by COVID-19. Effective March 18, 2020, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) imposed a 60-day foreclosure moratorium for borrowers impacted by COVID-19 and strongly encourages lenders and servicers to employ the following relief for Veterans impacted by COVID-19:
- Forbearance Requests - Services should work with impacted borrowers who are unable to make their mortgage payments to ensure they are evaluated for VA Loss Mitigation options outlined in Chapter 5 of the VA Servicer Handbook M26-4, https://www.benefits.va.gov/WARMS/M26_4.asp.
- Late Charge Fee Waivers - Servicers are encouraged to waive late charges on affected loans.
- Credit and VA Reporting - To avoid damaging credit records of Veteran borrowers, services are encouraged to suspend credit bureau reporting on affected loans.
Information for Private Mortgage Holders
If you have been impacted by the COVID-19 national emergency, we urge you to contact your bank. Many banks have launched a comprehensive set of financial support initiatives to help the people and communities it serves to withstand the extraordinary pressures triggered by the COVID-19 health crisis and be better positioned to recover quickly from its effects. Below you’ll find the publicly announced steps banks are taking to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Effective March 18, 2020, Ally Bank has committed to deferring payments and suspending late fees (interest will accrue) for up to 120 days for existing customers.
Effective March 17, 2020, Bank of America has committed to deferring payments and forbearance with certain fees for qualified customers financially impacted by COVID-19.
Capital One has committed to personalized assistance for customers financially impacted by COVID-19 including minimum payment assistance, deferred loan assistance, and fee suppression.
Effective March 9, 2020, Citi Bank has committed to personalized assistance for customers financially impacted by COVID-19 including fee waivers, hardship programs, and additional small business support.
Fifth Third Bank has committed to providing assistance to customers experiencing hardship regarding a mortgage, home equity line or loan, auto loan or credit card balance due to COVID-19. Assistance includes payment forbearance with no late fees, suspension of all foreclosure activity on homes, no late fees, a range of loan modification options, and fee waivers.
First Fidelity Bank has committed to personalized assistance for customers financially impacted by COVID-19 including forbearance, fee waivers, early CD withdrawal, and low- or no-interest small-dollar accommodation loans on a case-by-case basis.
Effective March 23, 2020, JPMorgan Chase has committed to personalized assistance for customers financially impacted by COVID-19 including fee waivers or refunds, changing due dates, or extending credit lines on a case-by-case basis.
Effective March 23, 2020, Key Bank has committed to personalized assistance for customers financially impacted by COVID-19 including loan repayment plans, modification options, forbearance or extensions, short sales, mortgage release deed in lieu, and borrower Assistance programs on certain loans.
Effective March 23, 2020, PNC has committed to 90-day personalized assistance for customers financially impacted by COVID-19 including postponing payments with no late fees during postponement period, a range of modification options with no late fees, suspension of foreclosure sales, repression, and eviction activities, and a special emergency loan program for all Auto Loan, Unsecured Installment Loan, Credit Card, Unsecured Line of Credit, Mortgage, Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit, and small business customers financially impacted by COVID-19.
Effective March 13, 2020, US Bank has made temporary adjustments to several lending products and services that make them more affordable and accessible to qualifying existing customers who may be financial impacted by COVID-19 on a case-by-case basis.
Effective March 8, 2020, Wells Fargo Bank has committed to providing personalized assistance to customers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 including fee waivers, payment deferrals, and other expanded assistance. Wells Fargo has also suspended residential property foreclosure sales, evictions, and involuntary auto suppression.
If your bank wasn’t listed on this page, click here for the American Banker Association’s comprehensive list of bank response efforts.
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