FHA issues Covid-19 measures to protect borrowers
On February 3, FHA issued a series of temporary measures in its Single Family Housing Policy Handbook, which waive provisions that, among other things, normally require in-person contact between mortgage servicers and borrowers. These waivers, FHA states, are intended to allow mortgage servicing activities to continue in a safe manner during the Covid-19 pandemic, and augment FHA’s recent extension of its foreclosure and eviction moratorium for borrowers through March 31, as well as the agency’s decision to extend the deadline for impacted borrowers to request a new forbearance (covered by InfoBytes here). Specifically, the waivers build upon previous waivers and will allow the following provisions through December 31, 2021:
- Rather than conducting face-to-face borrower interviews, the waiver will allow substitute methods (such as phone interviews, email, video calling services, and other conference technology) for servicers to conduct borrower interviews for FHA-insured forward and home equity conversion mortgages (HECM) when performing early default interventions for borrowers in danger of foreclosure.
- FHA is waiving the $5,000 property charge payment arrearages cap for HECM borrowers who are behind on their property charge payments.
- FHA is waiving the requirement for servicers to obtain a physical signature on an occupancy certification from a HECM borrower.