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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

CFPB issues guidance for Covid-19 mortgage relief options

Federal Issues CFPB Mortgages Debt Relief Consumer Finance Covid-19 CARES Act Foreclosure Forbearance

Federal Issues

On March 31, the CFPB released guidance for consumers who have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and may have difficulty making mortgage or rent payments. Pursuant to the recently passed CARES Act, for homeowners with federally backed mortgages, no foreclosures may be initiated for 60 days beginning on March 18, and homeowners financially impacted by Covid-19 have the right to a forbearance of up to 180 days. The guidance lays out mortgage relief options as well as the process for homeowners to determine the programs for which they qualify. According to the guidance, the CARES Act also protects renters by suspending evictions for 120 days beginning on March 27 if the landlord has a federally backed mortgage. The guidance notes that even if the landlord does not have a federally backed mortgage, most states have also suspended evictions during the pandemic. The guidance also includes information on how homeowners can request mortgage relief from their servicers, including sample questions and other tips. Further, the guidance cautions homeowners to carefully monitor their mortgage statements and credit reports and describes how to avoid scams.

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