President Biden has taken a number of actions to protect struggling homeowners and renters due to COVID-19.
On February 16, 2021, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Agriculture announced a coordinated extension and expansion of forbearance and foreclosure relief programs. These critical protections were due to expire in March, leaving many at risk of falling further into debt and losing their homes. 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 actions announced today will:
- Extend the foreclosure moratorium for homeowners through June 30, 2021;
- Extend the mortgage payment forbearance enrollment window until June 30, 2021 for borrowers who wish to request forbearance;
- Provide up to six months of additional mortgage payment forbearance, in three-month increments, for borrowers who entered forbearance on or before June 30, 2020.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Agriculture worked in lock-step to make sure that the above actions will reach the greatest number of Americans. Last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the independent agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, extended forbearance by three months for borrowers coming to the end of their forbearance period. These coordinated actions will cover 70 percent of existing single-family home mortgages.
President Biden requested agencies extend the federal eviction moratorium until March 31, 2021.
Renters living in public or assisted housing, or in a home or apartment whose owner has a federally backed mortgage, and who are unable to pay their rent, are protected from eviction. Property owners are prohibited from issuing a 30-day notice to a tenant to vacate a property until after the moratorium ends. This protection covers properties that receive federal subsidies such as public housing, Section 8 assistance, USDA rural housing programs, and federally issued or guaranteed mortgages. If a landlord is not abiding by the moratorium, renters should contact the relevant federal agency that administers their housing program or their local Legal Aid office.