VA issues circular on loss mitigation options for CARES Act forbearance cases
On September 14, the Department of Veterans Affairs issued Circular 26-20-33, which clarifies whether, due to the impact of Covid-19, servicers may offer deferment as a Covid-19 loss mitigation option. Deferment may be used if the veteran is able to resume making monthly payment as scheduled under the loan contract after the conclusion of the forbearance period. However, for the VA’s purposes, servicers do not need to, and should not, enter into a modification agreement that modifies the terms of the existing loan for the purpose of applying a deferment. To accommodate the deferment option, the VA has temporarily waived the usual requirement that the final installment on any loan not be in excess of two times the average of the preceding installments. This waiver applies only where the servicer offers a deferment as a Covid-19 loss mitigation option to a borrower who requested CARES Act forbearance, among other conditions in the circular. The circular is rescinded October 1, 2021.