Biden extending mortgage relief, moratorium on foreclosures through June
The White House on Monday announced a program to extend mortgage relief and a moratorium on home foreclosures through June as thousands of Americans continue to struggle to keep up with payments during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a housing affordability crisis,” the White House said in a statement. “Now, homeowners will receive urgently needed relief as we face this unprecedented national emergency. Today’s action builds on steps the President took on Day One to extend foreclosure moratoriums for federally guaranteed mortgages.”
The joint effort between the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs, and Agriculture will extend the foreclosure moratorium for homeowners, keep open the mortgage payment forbearance enrollment window and provide up to six months of additional mortgage payment forbearance, in three-month increments, for borrowers who entered forbearance on or before June 30.
Those protections were set to expire on March 30.
Just over 10 million homeowners are behind on mortgage payments, according to White House estimates. An estimated 13.2 million adults living in rental housing — nearly 1 in 5 adult renters — were also not caught up on rent, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
These figures are disproportionately steep for minority homeowners and renters.
“President Biden is committed to protecting homeownership and housing stability as America begins to turn a painful crisis into a robust recovery,” the White House said. “Today’s extended forbearance and foreclosure programs are an important step towards building stronger and more equitable communities.”
Former President Trump initially issued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moratorium in September, and Congress extended it in December. The Federal Housing Finance Agency last week extended forbearance by three months for borrowers coming to the end of their forbearance period.
The Biden administration called on Congress to pass the American Rescue Plan, which would implement a Homeowners Assistance Fund of $10 billion to help struggling homeowners catch up on mortgage payments and utility bills.
“This relief is critical for homeowners with mortgages in the private market who are not able to take advantage of today’s actions and may face longer term challenges,” the White House said.
Updated at 7:44 a.m.
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