GSE Borrowers In Forbearance Can Buy, Refi – Eventually

By Jim Perskie Borrowers are eligible to refinance or buy a new home three months after their forbearance ends and they have made three straight payments under their repayment plan, according to new temporary guidance issued Tuesday by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The guidance, announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, clarifies how lenders should handle loans for borrowers who are in forbearance but are looking to refinance or buy a new home with federally backed mortgages. “Homeowners who are in COVID-19 forbearance but continue to make their mortgage payment will not be penalized,” said Director Mark Calabria. “Today’s action allows homeowners to access record low mortgage rates and keeps the mortgage market functioning as efficiently as possible.” The $2…

FHFA Extends Eviction, Foreclosure Ban

Renters and borrowers who face being kicked out of their homes received at least a six-week reprieve on Thursday. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are extending their moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until at least June 30 as homeowners and renters struggle with the coronavirus pandemic. The foreclosure moratorium was set to expire on Sunday. It only applies to single-family mortgages backed by Fannie and Freddie. “During this national health emergency, no one should be forced from their home,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria said. “Extending the foreclosure and eviction moratoriums protects homeowners and renters with an Enterprise-backed mortgage and provides certainty for families.” FHFA said it will “continue to monitor the coronavirus situation…

FHFA Announces Deferral Option On GSE Mortgages

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Wednesday that homeowners in forbearance can now opt to repay missed payments on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans at the time their home is sold, when it is refinanced or at the end of the mortgage. “For homeowners in forbearance due to COVID-19, payment deferral allows them to make up missed forbearance payments when they sell their home or refinance,” said FHFA Director Mark Calabria. “This new forbearance repayment solution responsibly simplifies options for homeowners while providing an additional tool for mortgage servicers.”  Calabria added, “Borrowers who can pay their mortgage should, because missed payments remain an obligation that will ultimately have to be repaid.” Eric Kaplan, the Director of the Milken Institute…

Feds Launch COVID19 Housing Assistance Website

The U.S. federal government launched a new website Tuesday designed to provide information and resources to homeowners and renters impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The site – cfpb.gov/housing – includes resources from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It includes information about what mortgage relief options homeowners may have, explains how to access mortgage relief or forbearance, details on protection for renters, and tips on avoiding scams during the pandemic. “During these uncertain times, consumers need reliable, fair, and accurate information on the protections and relief options available to them. This joint website achieves this important goal for homeowners and renters, outlining clearly the changes that policymakers are…

Mnuchin Urges All Lenders To Offer Forbearance

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said Monday that all mortgage lenders should work to find ways to allow borrowers to pause their mortgages during the coronavirus pandemic and tack the payments on at the end of their loans. Mnuchin appeared on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street to discuss the government’s economic response to the pandemic – and said he is “quite pleased” about how support for mortgage borrowers is working. Jim Cramer of CNBC asked Mnuchin, “Could you please tell the mortgage companies, `Look, we think you ought to do mortgage forbearance, perhaps lengthen what the mortgages are.’ … What a great opportunity to be able to say, `Come on, this is a time for forbearance. This is a time…

“Please Help!” CFPB Flooded With Complaints

As the economic impact of the coronavirus fully took hold in April, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was deluged with calls from Americans looking for help as they struggled to pay their mortgages and other bills. In April, the bureau fielded 31,422 complaints about financial institutions – up from 29,538 in March and 22,915 in April 2019. Of those calls, 1,938 were concerning mortgage related-issues – the vast majority relating to struggles with paying their loans. A huge chunk of the complaints – 75 percent – were resolved with an explanation from the lender. A substantial portion of these complaints come from borrowers seeking forbearance, only to learn that their loans were not eligible. The $2 trillion CARES Act includes…

Analysis: Mortgage-Related CFPB Complaints In 2019

Bait and switch. Pleas for help with foreclosure. Accusations of a stolen mailbox. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau receives more than 1 million complaints from banking consumers across the country each year – including issues surrounding credit cards, debt collection, everyday banking transactions and mortgages.  The Mortgage Note conducted an analysis of the 22,708 mortgage-related complaints filed with the CFPB in 2019. The review found that a vast majority of the complaints are closed with an explanation from the mortgage lender, more than half are centered on payment issues, and very few result in any sort financial restitution. The analysis found that Wells Fargo led the way with 2,065 mortgage-related complaints filed by consumers against the bank. The San Francisco-based…

Mnuchin Asks Axl Rose What He Has Done For Liberia

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin on Wednesday took time out of dealing with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic to ask Guns N’ Roses front man Axl Rose what he had done for Liberia lately. The original Tweet above included the Liberian flag. Mnuchin later deleted the it and replaced it with a Tweet that concluded with the U.S. flag. Twitter, of course, had some fun with the Treasury secretary. Only one of them has brought us Chinese democracy though.— Mr. Fun Guy (@Mister_Fun_Guy) May 7, 2020 "We are the people that can find whatever you may need. If you've got the money, honey, we've got your disease."Who said that? Axl or Mnuchin?— Doug Sandlin (@dougsandlin) May 7, 2020…

FHFA Extends Flexible Loan Origination Policies

With the coronavirus pandemic firmly entrenched in much of the country, the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced Tuesday that it is extending flexible loan origination policies offered by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. FHFA extended the policies through at least June 30. They include: Alternative appraisals on purchase and rate term refinance loans;Alternative methods for verifying employment before loan closing;Flexibility for borrowers to provide documentation (rather than requiring an inspection) to allow renovation disbursements (draws); andExpanding the use of power of attorney and remote online notarizations to assist with loan closings.​ “These loan origination flexibilities will continue to facilitate loan closings and go a long way to keeping the market functioning effectively during this national emergency,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria…

DOJ: Guaranteed Rate To Pay $15M Fine

Mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate Inc. has agreed to pay a $15 million fine to resolve allegations it failed to properly and adequately underwrite federally backed loans, the Department of Justice announced. DOJ said Guaranteed Rate “knowingly failed to comply with material program rules that require lenders to maintain quality control programs to prevent and correct underwriting deficiencies, self-report any materially deficient loans that they identify, and ensure that the underwriting process is free from conflicts of interest.” Guaranteed Rate said in a statement that the company “worked with the DOJ to identify some mistakes and made the necessary improvements to our operations.” “Guaranteed Rate is committed to doing the right thing and serving the needs of our customers,” the company…