The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced earlier this week new and extended COVID-19 relief options for borrowers recently or newly struggling to make their mortgage payments because of the pandemic and for senior homeowners with Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) who need assistance to remain in their homes. The measures respond to the continued impacts of the pandemic and are part of FHA’s continuing evolution of its COVID-19 policies so that the right tools are in place to help borrowers.
Specifically, FHA made the following changes, effective September 27:
- A new COVID-19 Forbearance or HECM Extension period for borrowers who may be newly affected by the pandemic: FHA is now providing up to six months of COVID-19 Forbearance for borrowers requesting an initial COVID-19 Forbearance or HECM Extension from their mortgage servicer between October 1, 2021, and the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency, and an additional six months if the COVID-19 Forbearance or HECM Extension is exhausted and expires before the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency.
- An additional COVID-19 Forbearance or HECM Extension period for borrowers recently seeking assistance: FHA is now providing up to six months of additional forbearance for borrowers who requested or will request an initial COVID-19 Forbearance or HECM Extension from their mortgage servicer between July 1, 2021, and September 30, 2021, allowing these borrowers up to a maximum of 12 months of COVID-19 Forbearance or HECM Extension.
FHA urges those who are behind on their mortgage payments or are having difficulty complying with the terms of their Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), and have not yet contacted their mortgage servicer, to do so immediately. By contacting their servicer, homeowners can obtain a mortgage payment COVID-19 forbearance or a HECM extension. FHA also urges homeowners to engage with their mortgage servicer when their mortgage servicer contacts them about the new COVID-19 Advance Loan Modification (ALM) or any other COVID-19 loss mitigation home retention options. Homeowners who are seeking more information on the options available to them should also consider contacting a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.
The announcement and a helpful chart summarizing available FHA Forbearance programs is available here.