In the coming weeks and months, many protections that were set up to protect consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic will expire. We are working hard to prevent avoidable foreclosures by putting new protections in place. A record numbers of homeowners exit forbearances this fall, and mortgage servicers will need to work with borrowers to find more permanent solutions that work.
Updated rule requires most mortgage servicers to tell homeowners about their options
Today we finalized amendments to federal mortgage servicing rules to help ensure that mortgage servicers give homeowners a meaningful opportunity to pursue available foreclosure avoidance options while homeowners are recovering from the effects of COVID-19. Effective August 31, 2021, most mortgage servicers must tell you about your repayment or other options when they reach out to you. In general, they cannot start the foreclosure process before January 1, 2022 before reaching out or evaluating your complete application for options to help you avoid foreclosure. We also made it easier for servicers to offer certain options without collecting a complete application from you. With this flexibility, servicers can get you into affordable mortgage payment plans faster, with less paperwork for both the servicer and you.
Note that all of the changes to the rule are temporary, either because they include specific sunset dates or because they are linked to programs made available to borrowers with COVID-related hardships. You should act quickly to get in touch with your servicer while these special protections are in place.
Take action now to prevent foreclosure
While these rules should improve communication between you and your mortgage servicer, no one should wait to start the conversation. The longer you wait, or the further you fall behind on your payments, the harder it will be to find a solution. If your servicer is trying to reach you, it is important to make that connection—a servicer may be able to start the foreclosure process under these amendments if they are unable to reach you after trying for three consecutive months. If you don’t know who your mortgage servicer is, here’s how you can find out.
You can also talk to a housing counselor for help understanding your situation and what options are available to you. You may want to do this before reaching out to your mortgage servicer. Find a housing counselor.
Visit our housing resources for more important information about forbearance and your potential options for exiting forbearance.
Submit a complaint
If you have a problem with your mortgage, tell us about your issue—we'll forward it to the company and work to get you a response, generally within 15 days. Submit a complaint online or by calling 855-411-2372.
Updates from the White House and other agencies
On Thursday, June 24, 2021, the White House announced a who have been affected by the pandemic. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced they would be extending their foreclosure moratoria for one final month, to July 31, 2021. That means for borrowers whose mortgages are backed by these agencies, their servicers cannot start or continue a foreclosure action until that date.
If you have a mortgage with FHA, USDA, or VA and have not taken advantage of forbearance, you can now request a COVID-related forbearance until September 30, 2021.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced a for loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to July 31, 2021. If you have a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, there is currently no deadline to enter into a COVID-related forbearance.
If you are delinquent but not in forbearance, or in forbearance and about to exit, you should talk to your servicer to learn about your options.