~ U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today they would extend foreclosure and forbearance protections and improve options available to help borrowers during COVID-19 pandemic ~
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, today released a statement after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an extension of foreclosure and forbearance relief programs to help people stay in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic:
“More than 10 million homeowners are currently behind on their mortgage payments, and one in five renters is behind on their rent. Communities of color in particular are being disproportionately hurt by the ongoing health, economic and housing crises. I’ve been fighting in Congress to help Americans in danger of losing their homes, and I applaud the Biden administration for taking this step to help those who are struggling financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Sen. Warner has fought to protect homeowners and renters facing eviction as a result of the economic crisis. In May, Sen. Warner introduced legislation to create a $75 billion Housing Assistance Fund to help protect renters, homeowners, and communities by preventing avoidable foreclosures, evictions, and utility shut offs.
During bipartisan negotiations over the COVID-19 relief legislation that Congress passed in December, Sen. Warner secured an extension of a federal eviction moratorium until January 30, 2021 – giving the new Biden administration time to put in additional policies, such as those announced today, to help keep Americans in their homes during the pandemic. Sen. Warner also successfully fought to ensure that the relief bill, which was signed into law by President Trump on December 27, 2020, included $25 billion in federal assistance for renters facing financial insecurity as a result of COVID-19.
The actions announced today by the Biden administration will help homeowners with HUD, VA and USDA loans by:
· Extending the foreclosure moratorium for homeowners through June 30, 2021;
· Extending the mortgage payment forbearance enrollment window until June 30, 2021 for borrowers who wish to request forbearance;
· Providing up to six months of additional mortgage payment forbearance, in three-month increments, for borrowers who entered forbearance on or before June 30, 2020.
Last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would extend their foreclosure moratorium through March 31, 2021. Together, the actions taken by the Biden administration will cover 70 percent of existing single-family home mortgages.