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Federal Relief for Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19

In response to the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the associated national emergency, both the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have announced relief options for homeowners who obtained mortgages through certain federal programs.

Mortgage Relief through Forbearance Plans

The FHFA has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to provide forbearance plans, allowing borrowers with Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-backed mortgages to temporarily delay payments for up to 12 months. Homeowners who have entered into forbearance plans attributable to the COVID-19 national emergency will not be subject to late charges or penalties, and their related past-due payments will not be reported to credit bureaus. Following the end of the forbearance plan, servicers of those mortgages have also been directed to work with borrowers to devise a recovery plan, which may include mortgage modification.

The FHFA forbearance plans are designed to assist homeowners impacted by COVID-19, either directly or indirectly. Borrowers are eligible for forbearance regardless of whether their property is owner-occupied, a second home, or an investment property.

Mortgage Relief through Suspension of Foreclosures and Evictions

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the FHFA directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to temporarily suspend foreclosure and eviction actions for 60 days due to the COVID-19 national emergency. The suspension applies to homeowners with single-family mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Similarly, HUD has authorized the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to temporarily delay moving forward with foreclosures and evictions for single-family homeowners with certain FHA-insured mortgages for 60 days. The FHA has directed servicers of those types of mortgages to refrain from instituting new foreclosure actions, to suspend all current foreclosure actions, and to postpone all evictions from FHA-insured single-family properties.

To enter into a forbearance plan on your mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or to determine if your mortgage qualifies for temporary relief from foreclosure or eviction, contact your mortgage servicer, the company where you send your monthly mortgage payments, as soon as possible.

Governor Wolf’s Order does not prevent any businesses from working remotely.  Stock and Leader is conducting business by remote connections, by email, text and phone.  All in-person meetings, conferences, and will signings are temporarily postponed and will be rescheduled for a later date.  During this time, our attorneys, paralegals and staff members are still available to meet our clients’ needs.  Please contact them directly by phone or email.

The attorneys at Stock and Leader recognize that everyone is struggling with the disruption and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many individuals and businesses face decisions about how to move forward and function in a time of absolute uncertainty.  We are striving to learn as much as we can and quickly as we can.  Stock and Leader is here to help you through these difficult and uncertain times.  Our focus is on you. You can be confident that Stock and Leader stands beside its clients and will help you navigate these unchartered waters.

Stock and Leader is here to help you through these difficult and uncertain times. If you have any questions related to these updates, please contact our Real Estate team:

Jody Anderson Leighty, Esq.
Timothy P. Ruth, Esq.
Peter T. Ruth, Esq.
Dave A. Jones, Esq.
Victoria Woods, Esq.

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