FHA issues presidentially declared major disaster area guidance
On September 10, FHA issued FHA INFO 21-7, which reminds mortgagees originating and/or servicing FHA-insured mortgages in the U.S. and its territories of guidance applicable in the event of a presidentially declared major disaster area (PDMDA) during the Covid-19 pandemic. For PDMDAs issued in connection with Covid-19, mortgagees must continue to follow existing guidance for borrowers already on a Covid-19 loss mitigation or recovery option. For all other borrowers, mortgagees must evaluate borrowers for all loss mitigation options available to them, which includes any applicable “PDMDA or COVID-19 Loss Mitigation Options or COVID-19 Recovery Options,” based on the reason for hardship. In addition, for all “mortgaged properties in areas covered by PDMDA declarations not related to the COVID-19 National Emergency,” FHA provides a number of other reminders to mortgagees, including: (i) FHA-insured forward mortgages secured by properties in a PDMDA are subject to a 90-day foreclosure moratorium after a disaster declaration; (ii) mortgagees should reach out to borrowers who may need loss mitigation assistance as soon as possible following the presidential declaration; and (iii) FHA-insured HECM loans secured by PDMDA properties that are due and payable for reasons other than the death of the last surviving borrower or the end of a deferral period due to the death of an eligible non-borrowing spouse are subject to a 90-day HECM foreclosure timeline extension.