HUD/FHFA Halts Foreclosures and Evictions for 60 Days in Response to COVID-19

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In a continued effort to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus emergency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has authorized the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) to suspend foreclosures and evictions for 60 days. The suspension applies to any homeowner with a GSE-backed single-family mortgage. This follows FHFA's announcement from earlier this month providing forbearance for up to 12 months as an option to borrowers impacted by COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Local jurisdictions, including Los Angeles, New York City, and Miami-Dade County, have already announced the suspension of evictions. It is clear that federal, state, and local governments are seeking new ways to provide effective economic relief in response to the coronavirus.

The CFPB issued a press release stating Director Kathleen Kraninger's support for the decision, and reiterating the Bureau's call for "financial institutions to work with their customers affected by the coronavirus."

As financial services regulators begin to react to the COVID-19 pandemic, industry participants are encouraged to monitor agency guidance and evaluate existing processes and practices in light of this unique situation.