FHFA will allow borrowers to prolong forbearance plans

WASHINGTON — The Federal Housing Finance Agency is allowing borrowers with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to request an additional three months of forbearance, the agency said Tuesday.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed by Congress last year allowed borrowers with a federally backed mortgage to request up to 12 months of forbearance — divided into two 180-day increments — if they experienced financial hardship because of COVID-19.

But as of Feb. 28, borrowers who are in forbearance plans will be permitted to request an additional three-month extension, covering up to 15 months of mortgage payments overall for borrowers with Fannie and Freddie-supported loans, the FHFA said.

The agency also announced Tuesday that it is extending its moratorium on single-family home foreclosures and real estate owned evictions until March 31 in an effort “to keep families in their home during the pandemic,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria said in a news release.

Meanwhile, President Biden is pushing Congress to allow borrowers to request forbearance on federally backed loans through Sept. 30 in his administration’s sweeping stimulus package. That proposal also calls for the national foreclosure and eviction moratorium on federally backed properties to be extended until the end of September.

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