07 Apr Housing Help for Renters and Homeowners During the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Many states declared a moratorium on evictions, but not the suspension of rent.
- Most federally held mortgages offer a forbearance for up to 12 months.
- FHFA covered loans offer help for landlords provided the owner works with the affected renters.
Nearly 10 million Americans lost their job in the last two weeks of March. Yet, a new month arrives along with housing payments due on the first of every month. With limited or no income, many wonder how to pay the rent or mortgage for the coming months ahead.
Due to the widespread concern over housing, federal agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have worked with lenders to arrange for renter and mortgage assistance.
Where Can You Turn for Help if You Rent and Cannot Make the Payment?
Renters in multifamily housing units with commercial loans secured through the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) can qualify for assistance through the renter relief plan. The FHFA insures 27,000 properties or 43% of all US multifamily units. The program offers landlords loan deferral payments for up to 90 days in exchange for halting non-payment evictions on affected properties.
Tenants in public housing or living in residences with federally backed mortgages receive protection through a temporary HUD (Housing and Urban Development) moratorium on evictions.
City and statewide orders banning eviction for lack of payment are also in place throughout the country, offering protection at a regional level.
In all cases, relief does not suspend or eliminate the payments due, it merely delays the eviction process for up to 90 days.
What Help Is Available if You Own a Home?
Federally held mortgage loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can qualify for assistance, including a forbearance for up to 12 months, waived late fees, and the suspension of foreclosure procedures. Lenders must also stop reporting delinquencies to the credit bureaus and work with borrowers to catch up payments at the end of the forbearance period.
The agreements do not explicitly cover all types of mortgage. However, lenders are offering similar forms of relief to qualified borrowers.
What Agencies are Helping Landlords Who Waive Rent for Tenants?
The FHFA renter relief plan helps renters by offering payment relief to landlords. The program delays monthly mortgage payments on qualified commercial properties, allowing landlords to ease payment requirements for tenants impacted by COVID-19 and the business shutdowns that followed.
Many mortgage lenders now provide payment forbearance programs for both personal and commercial properties, giving landlords the flexibility to help tenants who are unable to make the rent for the next few months.
Not all homeowners and renters fall under the mandatory federal protections. But due to the widespread nature of the health and economic crisis, most lenders are enacting programs to help everyone impacted by COVID-19. To get payment relief, contact your landlord or lender and be prepared to catch up payments when the forbearance or moratoriums end.
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