FHFA extends multifamily forbearance indefinitely

FHFA extends multifamily forbearance indefinitely
Multifamily property owners who are struggling to make mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic now will have access to forbearance programs indefinitely in the case of loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced today.

Forbearance options for multifamily mortgages backed by the GSEs were set to expire on Sept. 30, but the FHFA has extended until needed. On October 1, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue offering COVID-19 forbearance to qualified multifamily owners, unless otherwise instructed by FHFA. But landlords must:

Inform tenants in writing about tenant protections available during the property owner’s forbearance and repayment periods; andAgree not to evict tenants solely for the nonpayment of rent while the property is in forbearance.

Eligible landlords must also:

Allow the tenant flexibility to repay back rent over time and not in a lump sum;Not charge the tenant late fees or penalties for non-payment of rent; andGive the tenant at least a 30-day notice to vacate.

Sandra Thompson, acting director at FHFA, said in a statement that the fourth extension announced today is due to the uncertain nature of this pandemic. “FHFA is taking further action to protect renters, property owners, and the mortgage market.”

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The Freddie Mac’s most recent report shows 304 forborne securitized multifamily loans, representing $2.3 billion as of Aug. 25, or 1.1% of the total securitized loans as measured by unpaid principal balance. 

“While we have seen only a few loans start a new forbearance program recently, we remain positioned to support the market and renters who may be impacted by the unpredictability of the pandemic going forward,” said in a statement Debby Jenkins, head of Multifamily at Freddie Mac.

In the single-family mortgages, the U.S. forbearance rate decrease last week to 3.00%, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Single-family loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that were in forbearance dropped five points to 1.47%.

The data shows that exits remained elevated compared to requests or re-entries last week. However, during the last 15 months, 16% of exits were borrowers who did not make their monthly payments and did not have a loss mitigation plan.
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