Frequently Asked Questions
(And Answers)

These FAQs are meant to answer general questions for consumers and industry stakeholders who are directly impacted by COVID-19.

HUD: “Yes. Tribes and TDHEs that own or operate housing assisted under the IHBG program can choose to forgive rents owed by assisted families to prevent them from being evicted after the CDC eviction moratorium expires. Tribes and TDHEs that choose to forgive rents may not draw down the equivalent amount of unrealized program income to offset any reduction in program income from reduced rent receipts. However, Tribes and TDHEs can use their IHBG and IHBG- CARES funds to maintain normal operations, including covering operating expenses that would have otherwise been paid for with rent receipts/program income. For more information, please see the COVID-19 FAQs previously published by ONAP available here.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Yes. IHBG and IHBG-CARES funds can be used to provide rental assistance to IHBG-eligible families. This includes providing rental payments to landlords of residents living in privately- owned housing to prevent them from being evicted after the CDC eviction moratorium expires, including paying back-rent.”

Source | HUD

CDC: “AN communities with multi-generational households or those in rural or tribal areas may experience unique challenges with social distancing, access to grocery stores, water, and local and tribal health services. However, there are several steps individuals can take to keep your home and family safe.

Wash hands often following these steps:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands, palms, back, between fingers and around fingernails for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water. If you do not have running water, make sure your water source is clean.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
  • If you can’t wash with soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Place a dime-sized amount in your palm and rub hands together, covering all parts of the hand, fingers and nails until they feel dry
  • Remind everyone in the household to avoid touching their face and cover their coughs and sneezes with the inside of their elbow or with a tissue, and then throw the tissue away.
  • Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and electronics (see below for special electronics cleaning and disinfection instructions)) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants external icon that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions.
    • Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
  • It is important for people at higher risk for severe illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19, to limit time spent away from the home. People at higher risk for severe illness include older adults and those with certain underlying conditions.
  • Based on what we know at this time, pregnant women might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to people who are not pregnant. Pregnant women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness with other respiratory infections. There may be an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, among pregnant people with COVID-19. Therefore, if you are pregnant, be mindful about reducing your risk of getting sick. It is always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illness.
  • Lack of access to grocery stores, water and health services may require more frequent trips to the store. If possible, send individuals that are not at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 to gather essentials for the home.

Wear a mask in public settings, like grocery stores and pharmacies, where it may be more difficult to maintain social distancing.

Source | CDC

CDC: “AN communities with multi-generational households or those in rural or tribal areas may experience unique challenges with social distancing, access to grocery stores, water, and local and tribal health services. However, there are several steps individuals can take to keep your home and family safe.

Wash hands often following these steps:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands, palms, back, between fingers and around fingernails for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water. If you do not have running water, make sure your water source is clean.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
  • If you can’t wash with soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Place a dime-sized amount in your palm and rub hands together, covering all parts of the hand, fingers and nails until they feel dry
  • Remind everyone in the household to avoid touching their face and cover their coughs and sneezes with the inside of their elbow or with a tissue, and then throw the tissue away.
  • Regularly clean frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and electronics (see below for special electronics cleaning and disinfection instructions)) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants external icon that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions.
    • Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
  • It is important for people at higher risk for severe illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19, to limit time spent away from the home. People at higher risk for severe illness include older adults and those with certain underlying conditions.
  • Based on what we know at this time, pregnant women might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to people who are not pregnant. Pregnant women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness with other respiratory infections. There may be an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, among pregnant people with COVID-19. Therefore, if you are pregnant, be mindful about reducing your risk of getting sick. It is always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illness.
  • Lack of access to grocery stores, water and health services may require more frequent trips to the store. If possible, send individuals that are not at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 to gather essentials for the home.
    • Wear a mask in public settings, like grocery stores and pharmacies, where it may be more difficult to maintain social distancing.
Source | CDC

HUD: “If the people being served by the activity are Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA)-eligible families and the activity is NAHASDA-eligible without the need to apply the waivers outlined in HUD sub- regulation guidance at PIH Notice 2020-13 (which superseded PIH Notice 2020-05), then any fiscal year’s IHBG funding included in the IHBG 55 Grant can be used for activities to prevent, prepare for, or respond to COVID-19. Moreover, these funds would not need to be transferred to the 1620 COVID-19 Budget Line Item in LOCCS and would be reported on the FY 2020 Annual Performance Report (APR) as required of any NAHASDA-eligible activity. 

The waivers clarified in PIH Notice 2020-13 (which superseded PIH Notice 2020-05), are only available for FY 2020 IHBG funds and IHBG-CARES funds. Therefore, if the activity is only permitted pursuant to the waivers/alternative requirements or the families being served are only considered eligible as a result of the waivers, only FY 2020 IHBG and IHBG-CARES funds can be used to carry out such activities or serve such families. 

Accordingly, it is important to avoid using funds from years prior to FY 2020 to conduct activities that are only eligible under the waivers/alternative requirements as this would be non-compliant uses of those IHBG funds and such expenditures will be subject to repayment. 

This is why it is critical that before using FY 2020 IHBG grant funds on COVID-19 related activities only eligible under the waivers/alternative requirements, a recipient contacts its local Area ONAP, advises its Grants Management or Grants Evaluation Specialist how much FY 2020 IHBG grant funds it intends to use and makes certain that amount is transferred to the 1620 COVID-19 Budget Line Item in LOCCS by ONAP where the recipient can withdraw it. Multiple transfers can be made, as needed. Recipients wishing to use FY 2020 funds can call their local Area ONAP and should also consult ONAP guidance on doing so. 

If prior to the availability of the 1620 COVID-19 Budget Line Item, IHBG 55 funds have already been expended on COVID-19 activities that are only eligible uses with FY 2020 or CARES Act funds under a waiver, the recipient should immediately inform its local Area ONAP Office so that ONAP can ensure the funding came from the proper account. 

If the FY 2020 IHBG funds are expended on COVID-19 activities, the recipient should amend its 2020 IHP accordingly as soon as possible and then report the use when appropriate in its 2020 APR. The Abbreviated IHP and APR should only be used to report and track the use of the IHBG-CARES grant. 

Again, recipients wishing to use FY 2020 IHBG funds for activities only permitted under the waivers in HUD sub-regulation at PIH Notice 2020-13 (which superseded PIH Notice 2020-05), should also consult ONAP guidance on how to do so. 

Again, recipients wishing to use FY 2020 IHBG funds for activities only permitted under the waivers in PIH Notice 2020-05, superseded by PIH Notice 2020-13 should also consult ONAP guidance on how to do so.”

 

Source | HUD

Indian Health Service: “The first and best method for tribal and urban Indian organization health programs to seek supplemental staffing is to follow their usual process for hiring and contracting staff, as well as their processes for onboarding volunteers. Staffing companies and recruiting firms should be utilized first. If tribal and urban Indian organization health programs are not able to access critical staffing through their usual method, they should inquire if state and local government partners can perform or contract for the performance of the requested work. If an organization desires to request Direct Federal Assistance, and the request for personnel is a result of the COVID-19 emergency and not a pre-existing condition, then they should contact their IHS Area Emergency Management Point of Contact (EMPOC) who can facilitate submission of a FEMA Resource Request Form [PDF]   for a request for staffing. This is done through a request for a Mission Assignment.”

Indian Health Service: “IHS recently announced the expansion of telehealth services during the COVID-19 response  . Expanding telehealth allows more American Indians and Alaska Natives to access healthcare they need from their home, without worrying about putting themselves or others at risk. IHS service units and their clinicians who are using the system will obtain verbal consent from patients who meet with their provider via a telehealth appointment. Health care providers are required to verify the patient at the beginning of each encounter and are not authorized to record the session.

IHS is also working to rapidly deploy telehealth services to IHS hospitals as needed to respond to the potential surge in hospitalized and critically ill patients. This would allow critical care consultation for patients managed in an IHS intensive care unit, and for critically ill patients receiving care at hospitals without an ICU in the process of transfer to a higher level of care.

Many IHS facilities continue to use telehealth services by replacing office visits for things such as prescription refills for chronic conditions with phone calls for some patients. Service units are also screening individuals for COVID-19 either by phone or prior to the patient entering our health facilities to determine their risk for COVID-19 and to prevent additional infections within our facilities.

The expansion of telehealth services is in response to HHS announcing unprecedented steps   to expand Americans’ access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 outbreak. CMS expanded Medicare coverage for telehealth visits and the HHS Office for Civil Rights announced it will waive potential HIPAA penalties for good faith use of telehealth during the emergency.”

Indian Health Service: “Tribal governments and their members are an essential part of our nation’s emergency management team. FEMA is committed to supporting Indian Country in its efforts to build more resilient and better prepared communities. For additional questions, begin by contacting the FEMA Regional Tribal Liaisons   in your Area. FEMA’s liaisons help build relationships with tribes in their area, helping them understand and use FEMA’s programs — especially during times of disaster.”

Indian Health Service: “IHS headquarters is holding weekly conference calls with tribal and urban Indian health organization leaders from across the country to provide updates, answer questions, and hear concerns from tribal communities. Additionally, IHS area offices provide technical assistance and support to tribal and urban Indian programs. For federal staff, IHS headquarters is holding regular all-employee conference calls and communicating through email updates. Area chief medical officers are in regular communication with clinical directors at all IHS facilities. We are actively extending outreach to all within the federal, tribal and urban clinical communities regarding webinar and similar resources as they become available from the CDC.” 

 

Indian Health Service: “The Indian Health Service has been given priority access to rapid point-of-care COVID-19 test systems  as part of White House efforts to expand access to testing in rural communities. The IHS received 250 ID NOW COVID-19 rapid point-of-care test systems. This test allows for medical diagnostic testing at the time and place of patient care, provides COVID-19 results in under 13 minutes and expands the capacity for coronavirus testing for individuals exhibiting symptoms as well as for healthcare professionals and the first responder community. Additionally, this will save personal protective equipment and ensure our critical workforce is safe and able to support the response, as only gloves and a facemask are necessary to administer this rapid point-of-care test.”

Indian Health Service: “We encourage tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations to work through all local, state, and federal avenues for any potential resources. We also encourage tracking costs associated with COVID-19 response activities. This information will help identify needs across the Indian health system and inform discussions about any potential additional resources that may become available.”

HUD: “HUD understands that the current crisis is having a severe impact on all IHBG recipients’ ability to conduct and fund operations. The CARES Act (Pub. L. 116-136, enacted March 27, 2020) does provide additional IHBG funding. This funding must be used by IHBG recipients to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19, including to maintain normal operations and fund eligible affordable housing activities under NAHASDA during the period that the program is impacted by COVID-19.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “No, matching funds are not required for the ICDBG-CARES applications. However, applicants for economic development projects must provide an analysis which shows public benefit commensurate with the ICDBG-CARES assistance requested will result from the assisted project. This analysis should also establish that to the extent practicable: reasonable financial support will be committed from non-Federal sources prior to disbursement of Federal funds; the ICDBG-CARES grant provided will not substantially reduce the amount of non-Federal financial support for the activity; not more than a reasonable rate of return on investment is provided to the owner; and, that grant funds used for the project will be disbursed on a pro rata basis with amounts from other sources. For more information see HUD sub-regulation guidance at PIH Notice 2020-11.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “You should review the HUD sub-regulation guidance on ICDBG-CARES Implementation at PIH Notice 2020-11. HUD started accepting applications for ICDBG- CARES grants on Monday June 1, 2020. 

The ICDBG program provides ICDBG Imminent Threat (IT) funding to Tribes and TDHEs to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. In the same manner to other IT grants, there is no NOFA for the ICDBG-CARES grant, and the applications were accepted on a first come, first served basis. 

Presentation slides and recording of the ICDBG-CARES Implementation Training can be found here, at ONAP’s Code Talk.”

 

Source | HUD

HUD: “There has been a high level of demand thus far in the ICDBG-CARES program, and HUD has received many applications. At this time, funding requests far exceed available appropriations. While applicants may continue to submit applications for ICDBG- CARES funding awards, not all applications will be funded within current appropriations.”

Source | HUD

Fannie Mae: The loan is not subject to the requirements of the Lender Letter and is eligible for standard sale terms and conditions if the lender verifies and documents in the loan file the following requirements: • The forbearance plan ended or was terminated. • The borrower did not miss any payments before sale to Fannie Mae. • The borrower did not experience a change in circumstance or financial hardship after the note date. As a reminder, the loan must meet all requirements of the Selling Guide.

Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: “Certain loans that wentinto forbearance after loan closing and before sale to us became eligible for sale beginning May 1, 2020. All loans must have had note dates on or before Dec. 31, 2020 and be sold to us prior to Mar. 1, 2021. Refer to LL-2020-06, Selling Loans in Forbearance Due to COVID-19 for details.”

Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: “Hourly workers with fluctuating hours are covered under our variable income policy. The year-to-date income amount being used will account for a decline in income when determining the amount of income to be used for the trending analysis and when determining the amount to be used for qualifying purposes.”

Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: For loan applications dated Feb. 1 through Mar. 31, the profit and loss statement (audited or unaudited) must include a minimum three-month look back period to ensure there is sufficient information to determine the extent to which a business has been impacted by COVID-19. This may require reporting of prior and current year details.

Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: Yes. If the borrower has entered a loss mitigation solution described in LL-2021-03 and is required to make at least three timely payments as of the note date of the new transaction, those payments must be consecutive monthly payments. A lump sum payment containing all three payments does not satisfy the three timely payment requirements in LL-2021-03. The borrower’s eligibility to close on a new transaction is not solely based on how many payments have been remitted, but whether at least three consecutive monthly payment due dates have passed in accordance with the loss mitigation option.

Source | Fannie Mae

CFPB: “It depends. Small servicers do not have to comply with the early intervention and continuity of contact requirements described above because the rule exempts small servicers from those requirements. See Regulation X, 12 CFR 1024.30(b)(1).

In addition, small servicers do not have to comply with the majority of the loss mitigation requirements in the Bureau’s mortgage servicing rules, including those described above. Regulation X, 12 CFR 1024.30(b)(1). However, three prohibitions apply to small servicers. See Regulation X, 12 CFR 1024.41(j). Small servicers shall not:

  • Make the first notice or filing required to foreclose unless a borrower’s mortgage loan obligation is more than 120 days delinquent, the foreclosure is based on a borrower’s violation of a due-on-sale clause, or the servicer is joining the foreclosure action of a superior or subordinate lienholder,
  • Make the first notice or filing required to foreclose if a borrower is performing pursuant to the terms of a loss mitigation agreement, and
  • Move for foreclosure judgment or order of sale, or conduct a foreclosure sale if a borrower is performing pursuant to the terms of a loss mitigation agreement.
    Small servicers also must comply with the payoff statement provisions in Regulation Z, 12 CFR 1026.36(c)(3).
    A servicer is a small servicer if it:

    • Together with any affiliates, services 5,000 or fewer mortgage loans, and the servicer (or an affiliate) is the creditor or assignee for all of them;
    • Is a nonprofit entity, meaning it is designated as a nonprofit under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, that services 5,000 or fewer mortgage loans (including any mortgage loans serviced on behalf of associated nonprofit entities), for all of which it (or an associated nonprofit entity) is the creditor; or
    • Is a Housing Finance Agency, as defined in 24 CFR § 266.5.

Regulation Z, 12 CFR 1026.41(e)(4); Regulation X, 12 CFR 1024.30(b)(1).

For more information about small servicers, see section 3 of the Bureau’s Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Mortgage Servicing Rules Small Entity Compliance Guide.”

Source | CFPB

CFPB: Yes. Generally, when a servicer receives a written request for a payoff statement from a consumer or person acting on behalf of the consumer, the servicer must send the statement within a reasonable time, but in no case more than 7 business days. However, when a servicer is not able to provide the statement within 7 business days of the request because of natural disasters or other similar circumstances, the servicer does not need to provide the statement within 7 business days but must provide it within a reasonable time. Regulation Z, 12 CFR 1026.36(c)(3). Servicers can provide payoff notices in a reasonable time rather than within 7 business days if they cannot provide it within 7 business days due to the COVID-19 emergency.

For more information about payoff statements, review section 7 of the Bureau’s Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Mortgage Servicing Rules Small Entity Compliance Guide.

Source | CFPB

CFPB: Yes. Disclosures may be provided in electronic form, subject to compliance with the consumer consent and other applicable provisions of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act) (15 U.S.C. 7001 et seq.). Regulation X, 12 CFR 1024.3.

Source | CFPB

CFPB: No. In general, servicers must maintain policies and procedures reasonably designed to assign personnel to a delinquent borrower that can assist the borrower with loss mitigation options. Regulation X, 12 CFR 1024.40. A servicer has discretion to determine whether to assign a single person or a team of personnel. The personnel may be single-purpose or multi-purpose. Single-purpose personnel’s primary responsibility is to respond to a delinquent borrower’s inquiries, and as applicable, assist the borrower with available loss mitigation options. Multi- purpose personnel do not have primary responsibility for responding to a delinquent borrower’s inquiries, and as applicable, assisting the borrower with available loss mitigation options. Regulation X, Comment 40(a)-2.

For more information about the continuity of contact requirements, see section 12 of the Bureau’s Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Mortgage Servicing Rules Small Entity Compliance Guide.

Source | CFPB

CFPB: It depends. Borrowers can request a CARES Act forbearance regardless of their delinquency status. If the borrower is not delinquent, the early intervention requirements do not apply. If the borrower is delinquent, the servicer must comply with the early intervention requirements as discussed more below.

The CARES Act forbearance qualifies as a short-term repayment forbearance program under Regulation X. FAQ # 4 under “Early Intervention Requirements” below describes the early intervention requirements for delinquent borrowers in short-term payment forbearance programs and FAQ # 3 under “Short-term Loss Mitigation Programs” above describes the communication requirements for such programs under Regulation X, 12 CFR 1024.41.

Source | CFPB

CFPB: In general, yes. However, the April 3, 2020 Joint Statement on Supervisory and Enforcement Practices Regarding the Mortgage Servicing Rules in Response to the COVID-19 Emergency and the CARES Act (Joint Statement) released by the Bureau, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) ( “the agencies”) informs servicers of the agencies’ flexible supervisory and enforcement approach during this emergency regarding certain consumer communications required by the mortgage servicing rules. In addition, the rule itself already includes some flexibility that may be useful to servicers during the current crisis.

If a servicer receives an incomplete loss mitigation application, the servicer generally still has to comply with the requirement to provide an acknowledgement notice within 5 days of receipt of the application, even if the borrower has been offered or is in a short-term payment forbearance program or short-term repayment plan. See comment 41(c)(2)(iii)-2. However, in response to the COVID-19 emergency, as of April 3, 2020 and until further notice, the agencies do not intend to cite in an examination or bring an enforcement action against servicers for failing to provide the acknowledgment notice described in Regulation X, 12 CFR 1024.41(b) within five days of the receipt of an incomplete application (whether the servicer receives the incomplete application before or during the forbearance or repayment plan period), provided the servicer sends the acknowledgment notice before the end of the forbearance or repayment period. See April 3, 2020 Joint Statement.

The rule also requires servicers to provide two separate communications in connection with short-term payment forbearance programs and short-term repayment plans offered based on an evaluation of an incomplete application.

A servicer provides the first communication promptly after offering any short-term payment forbearance program or short-term repayment plan. Unless the borrower has rejected the offer, servicers must provide a written notice stating (1) the specific payment terms, (2) the duration of the program or plan, (3) that the servicer offered the program or plan based on an evaluation of an incomplete application, (4) that other loss mitigation options may be available, and (5) that the borrower has the option to submit a complete loss mitigation application to receive an evaluation for all available options regardless of whether the borrower accepts the short-term program or plan. Regulation X, 12 CFR 1024.41(c)(2)(iii).

A servicer provides the second communication if the borrower remains delinquent near the end of the forbearance program or repayment plan, the servicer must contact the borrower prior to the end of the forbearance period to determine if the borrower wishes to complete the loss mitigation application and proceed with a full loss mitigation evaluation. Regulation X, Comment 41-(b)(1)-4.iii. Servicers have flexibility about how to make this contact. For example, the servicer could share this information orally to a consumer on a telephone call or include a note on a consumer’s regular periodic statement.

The Bureau permits servicers to include additional language in either the first or second communication discussed above to clarify why they are offering the short-term option. Servicers offering the CARES Act forbearance or other short-term options due to concerns about the COVID-19 emergency, for example, could include language explaining as much to avoid borrower confusion.

Additionally, servicers do not have to tailor either the first or second communications described above to individual borrowers’ circumstances. In general, servicers may use similar content when corresponding with all affected borrowers if they offer multiple borrowers the same short- term option terms and duration. Being able to use similar content in these circumstances may help servicers conserve resources. For example, servicers could develop a form letter that they send to all borrowers enrolled in the same short-term forbearance programs as a result of hardships related to COVID-19.

For more information about the loss mitigation requirements, see section 13 of the Bureau’s Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Mortgage Servicing Rules Small Entity Compliance Guide.

Source | CFPB

CFPB: “Yes, the Bureau reminds servicers that the mortgage servicing rules already include an exception from certain loss mitigation procedural requirements for short-term options, such as certain short-term payment forbearance programs or short-term repayment plans, as defined in the rule (see below). This existing regulatory flexibility permits servicers to quickly offer relief to borrowers (whether affected by the COVID-19 emergency or not) without first having to collect a complete loss mitigation application.

Regulation X generally requires servicers to obtain a complete loss-mitigation application before evaluating a mortgage borrower for a loss-mitigation option, such as a loan modification or short sale. Servicers generally may not offer a loss-mitigation option based upon an evaluation of any information provided in connection with an incomplete application. Regulation X, 12 CFR 1024.41(c)(2)(i).

However, Regulation X permits servicers to offer a short-term payment forbearance program or short-term repayment plan (as defined below) based upon an evaluation of an incomplete application. Regulation X, 12 CFR 1024.41(c)(2)(iii). Servicers may also offer a short-term payment forbearance program to a borrower in conjunction with a short-term repayment plan. Comment 41(c)(2)(iii)-4.

In addition, a servicer may offer any loss-mitigation options to a borrower who has not submitted an application at all. A servicer also may offer loss mitigation options to a borrower when the offer is not based on any evaluation of information submitted by the borrower in connection with a loss-mitigation application.

For purposes of the rule, a payment forbearance program generally is a loss mitigation option pursuant to which a servicer allows a borrower to forgo making certain payments or portions of payments for a period of time. It allows forbearance of payments due over periods of no more than six months, but it is considered short-term regardless of the amount of time the servicer allows the borrower to make up the missing payments. Comment 41(c)(2)(iii)-1. Servicers can also offer multiple successive short-term payment forbearance programs under the rule. (For example, at the conclusion of a 180-day forbearance, the servicer can offer the borrower another 180-day forbearance).

In addition, for purposes of the rule, a short-term repayment plan generally is a loss mitigation option under which a borrower would repay all past due payments over a specified period of time to bring the mortgage loan account current. A short-term repayment plan allows for the repayment of no more than three months of past due payments and allows a borrower to repay the arrearage over a period lasting no more than six months. Comment 41(c)(2)(iii)-4.

For more information about the loss mitigation requirements, review section 13 of the Bureau’s Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Mortgage Servicing Rules Small Entity Compliance Guide.”

Source | CFPB

Freddie Mac: “In an ongoing effort to provide transparency to investors in valuing our mortgage securities, Freddie Mac continues to work toward developing disclosure that will provide insight into the mortgages affected by forbearance and Borrower assistance plans. 

On May 7, 2020, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae began providing at-issuance, daily disclosure files that include pool-level stratifications of the delinquency status and Borrower assistance plan participation of loans in the pool. The Freddie Mac daily file includes information for all newly issued Level 1 and MultiLender pools and for all products, including ARMs, modified mortgages and reinstated pools. The daily file is a temporary issuance disclosure process that will conclude with the expiration of the temporary purchase program for newly-funded forborne and delinquent loans. 

Beginning with the June 2020 monthly disclosures, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae implemented enhancements to our respective monthly supplemental files to include Borrower assistance plan information for all pools. Beginning with the March 2021 monthly disclosures, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will implement further enhancements to our respective disclosures to include Borrower assistance plan and delinquency information at a loan-level. 

Please see the New Delinquency and Borrower Assistance Plan Disclosures announcements from May 2021 and January 2021 for additional details, including disclosure file locations and formats.” 

Fannie Mae: “Beginning with our monthly MBS disclosure file published in June 2020, for all outstanding securities, market participants will see the number of loans, percentage of loans, UPB, and percentage of UPB reported as delinquent at the pool level. 2 This will include loans in temporary forbearance if the borrower is only making partial or no payments, although principal and interest payments are being advanced to the certificate holder. For re-performing loan (RPL) pools, we provide delinquency information at the loan level in addition to at the pool level in our monthly disclosure files. 

We also provide a Borrower Assistance Plan stratification for MBS at issuance and monthly that sets forth the number of loans, percentage of loans, UPB, and percentage of UPB for mortgages underlying each security that are in a forbearance plan, repayment plan, trial period plan, other workout option, or no workout option. This field in the monthly files will be published on a one-month delay due to the timing of our servicing reporting cycle. For example, the values populated in this stratification in the monthly MBS disclosures published in July correspond to the delinquency status represented in the Days Delinquent stratification in the monthly MBS disclosures published in June. 

In addition, Fannie Mae recently announced we are enhancing our MBS disclosures to provide Borrower Assistance Plan and Delinquency data at the loan-level, beginning with the March 2021 Business Day 4 MBS disclosure files. 

For Fannie Mae, servicers are required to report that a loan is in an active forbearance plan, even if the borrower is making contractual payments on such loan. As a result, a loan in an active forbearance plan that is making contractual payments and remains current will be included in the count and balance of loans in a forbearance plan as part of Borrower Assistance Plan disclosures. 

For Credit Risk Transfer (CRT), delinquency is disclosed at the loan-level. Beginning with the September 2020 remittance report (July 2020 activity), Fannie Mae replaced the loan-level forbearance indicator with the Borrower Assistance Plan attribute. The updated field will still be published on a two-month delay, which is aligned with current CRT disclosure timing. See Appendix A for additional details regarding the impact to CRT reporting.” 

Source | Freddie Mac
Source | Fannie Mae

Freddie Mac: “The Servicer must evaluate the Borrower to determine if the Borrower qualifies for one of our delinquency resolution options such as payoff, reinstatement or repayment plan, or loan modification. Our delinquency resolution options can range from a Payment Deferral solution or other loan modification home retention options or a short sale and a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Guide Bulletin 2020-10 provides more details.”

Source | Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae: “As noted in a previous FAQ, a forbearance plan is a retention option in our workout hierarchy for a borrower with an eligible hardship that is temporary in nature and has not been resolved. A forbearance plan provides for a period of reduced or suspended contractual monthly mortgage payments, followed by a full reinstatement, mortgage loan payoff, or another workout option to enable the borrower to resolve the delinquency. 

COVID-19 payment deferral is a retention option for borrowers with a hardship that is temporary in nature and that has been resolved. To receive a COVID-19 payment deferral, the borrower must be able to resume making his or her mortgage payments (among other eligibility criteria). This solution brings the mortgage loan current by “deferring” the borrower’s missed payments into a non-interest bearing balance. See Lender Letter LL-2021-02, Impact of COVID-19 on Servicing, LL-2021-07, COVID-19 Payment Deferral, and Servicing Guide D2-3.2-01, Forbearance Plan for additional information.”

Freddie Mac: “Announced in the Guide Bulletin 2020-6, the Payment Deferral solution is a servicing relief and loss mitigation solution to resolve delinquencies and help homeowners remain in their homes. Under the Payment Deferral solution, an eligible Borrower will be brought current by deferring delinquent principal and interest; the deferred amounts are placed in a non-interest-bearing forborne balance that will become due at the earlier of payoff of the interest-bearing balance, transfer or sale of the property, or the maturity date of the loan. 

With Guide Bulletin 2020-15, we announced the Freddie Mac COVID-19 Payment Deferral solution, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in response to Servicer feedback. 

While the COVID-19 Payment Deferral solution leverages a similar concept to the previously announced Payment Deferral solution, the COVID-19 Payment Deferral solution is designed specifically to assist Borrowers who have a COVID-19 related hardship. All of the relevant requirements are described in detail within Guide Bulletin 2020-15 and most recently updated in Guide Bulletin 2021-6. 

Servicers were to begin evaluating eligible Borrowers for a COVID-19 Payment Deferral solution on and after July 1, 2020. 

A loan will remain in its related mortgage security while the Payment Deferral solution is in effect provided the Payment Deferral solution is implemented following expiration of a forbearance plan.”

Source | Fannie Mae:
Source | Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae: “Yes. Borrowers with a COVID-19 related hardship are not restricted from eligibility for a forbearance plan based on previous hardships or completed workout options.”

Source | Fannie Mae

HUD: “No. FHA is unable to remove any loans in default or claim status from Neighborhood Watch Compare Ratio calculations, including loans in forbearance for borrowers affected by the COVID-19 National Emergency. FHA uses Compare Ratios to determine whether termination or suspension of certain Mortgagee authorities is warranted under the Credit Watch Termination and Lender Insurance (LI) Program monitoring processes. FHA will consider the impact of the COVID-19 National Emergency when a lender’s Compare Ratio is above the designated threshold for either process.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Mortgagees must review Borrowers that are impacted, directly or indirectly, by COVID-19, that do not qualify for a COVID-19 Home Retention Option or indicate that they cannot resume making the monthly or modified monthly Mortgage Payment, for the COVID-19 Home Disposition Options. The COVID-19 Home Disposition Options are available to Owner-Occupant and Non-Occupant Borrowers.

COVID-19 Pre-Foreclosure Sale (COVID-19 PFS)

A COVID-19 PFS option is available for Borrowers who are experiencing a hardship affecting their ability to sustain the Mortgage due to COVID-19.

To evaluate Borrowers for the COVID-19 PFS option, Mortgagees must follow the Streamlined PFS requirements (III.A.2.l.ii), except as noted below. 

COVID-19 PFS Eligibility

The Mortgagee must ensure that Borrowers and FHA-insured Mortgages meet the following requirements for a COVID-19 PFS.

For a Borrower to qualify for a COVID-19 PFS, the Mortgagee must ensure that:

  • The Mortgage was current or less than 30 Days past due as of March 1, 2020; 
  • The Borrower indicates a financial hardship affecting their ability to sustain the Mortgage due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 National Emergency; 
  • The Borrower does not qualify for any COVID-19 Home Retention Options; and
  • The Borrower and Mortgage must meet all PFS eligibility requirements except the Mortgagee is not required to review the Borrower for Borrower Eligibility (III.A.2.l.ii(B)(3)
  • COVID-19 PFS Program Requirements

The Mortgagee must ensure the COVID-19 PFS meets all other Streamlined PFS program requirements outlined in Pre-Foreclosure Sales (III.A.2.l.ii), with the following exceptions:

  • Under PFS Outreach Requirements (III.A.2.l.ii(C)), Mortgagees may utilize any available means of communication to provide the Borrower with form HUD-90035.
  • Mortgagee PFS Incentive (III.A.2.l.ii(P)) does not apply to COVID-19 PFS.

COVID-19 Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure (COVID-19 DIL)

A COVID-19 DIL is a COVID-19 Home Disposition Option in which a Borrower voluntarily offers the deed as collateral Property to HUD in exchange for a release from all obligations under the Mortgage.

A COVID-19 DIL option is available for Borrowers who are experiencing a hardship affecting their ability to sustain the Mortgage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and who were unable to complete a COVID-19 PFS transaction at the expiration of the PFS marketing period.

The Mortgagee must ensure that the Borrower and the eligible FHA-insured Mortgage meet the following eligibility and program requirements. To evaluate Borrowers for the COVID-19 DIL, Mortgagees must follow the Streamlined DIL requirements in DIL of Foreclosure (III.A.2.l.iii), except as noted below.

COVID-19 DIL Eligibility

The Mortgagee must ensure that the Borrower and the FHA-insured Mortgage:

  • Meet the requirements for COVID-19 PFS transactions; 
  • Was unable to complete a COVID-19 PFS transaction by the expiration of the PFS marketing period; and
  • Must meet all Streamlined DIL eligibility requirements except: 
    • the Borrower Eligibility Streamlined DIL Standards (III.A.2.l.iii(B)(2)(a)(ii)), which are not required for the COVID-19 DIL; and
    • for COVID-19 DIL, Mortgagees are not required to submit a request for National Servicing Center (NSC) approval via Extensions and Variances Automated Requests System (EVARS) for approval to offer a COVID-19 DIL Option to a Borrower who owns more than one FHA-insured Property as outlined in DIL Exceptions for Borrowers with More than One FHA-Insured Mortgage (III.A.2.l.iii.(B)(2)(d)).

COVID-19 DIL Program Requirements

The Mortgagee must ensure the COVID-19 DIL meets all other Streamlined DIL program requirements outlined in DIL of Foreclosure (III.A.2.l.iii), with the following exceptions:

  • Mortgagee DIL Compensation (III.A.2.l.iii(H)) does not apply to COVID-19 DIL.
  • Extensions for Foreclosure Time Frames (III.A.2.l.iii(I)): if the DIL follows a failed COVID-19 PFS, it must be completed, or foreclosure must be initiated within 90 days of the end of the COVID-19 Forbearance period.

Mortgagees must offer eligible Borrowers the COVID-19 Loss Mitigation Options and procedures set forth in Mortgage Letter 2020-22 no later than 90 days from July 8, 2020, but may begin offering the new options immediately.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Yes, however, this guidance only applies to the following COVID-19 Loss Mitigation options: 

  • COVID-19 Owner-Occupant Loan Modification; 
  • COVID-19 Non-Occupant Loan Modification; 
  • COVID-19 Combination Partial Claim and Loan Modification; or
  • COVID-19 FHA-HAMP Combination Loan Modification and Partial Claim with Reduced Documentation.

The Mortgagee may include an escrow shortage that falls below the target balance, calculated during an escrow analysis, that exceeds the amount of the Mortgagee’s advances already capitalized in the modified mortgage. 

The Mortgagee must document in the Servicing File, all Mortgagee advances, including the total amount paid out of the escrow account during the same period for taxes, insurance premiums, and other charges (as separately identified) that were capitalized into the mortgage modification. The Mortgagee must document the escrow shortage and the balance in the escrow account at the end of the same period.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “In addition to the requirements in SF Handbook 4000.1 Sections II.A.4.c.xii(I) and II.A.5.b.xii.(I) Rental Income (TOTAL and Manual) and Section 3.50 through Section 3.55 of the HECM Financial Assessment and Property Charge Guide; where a borrower is qualifying utilizing rental income, for each property generating rental income the Mortgagee must either:

  • Reduce the effective income associated with the calculation of rental income by 25%, or
  • Verify 6 months PITI reserves (this option is applicable for Forward Mortgages only), or
  • Verify the borrower has received the previous 2 months rental payments as evidenced by borrower’s bank statements showing the deposit.  (This option is applicable only for borrowers with a history of rental income from the property).” 
Source | HUD

COVID Help for Home: “The mortgage industry is concerned about our customers who have missed one or more payments and may be eligible for CARES Act assistance. Sometimes customers don’t call their mortgage company because they don’t have the funds to make a payment so they just don’t engage. But for almost all loan types, we have payment relief programs where mortgage companies could provide instant relief to struggling homeowners – but a conversation is needed. This campaign is supplemental to a company’s regular outreach efforts. The goal is to create more conversation in this space so that customers know that there are tools to help them.”

Freddie Mac: “The mortgage may be eligible for sale to Freddie Mac, if it meets the temporary requirements announced in Bulletin 2020-12 and last extended in Bulletin 2020-44. Otherwise, once the Seller/Servicer approves a forbearance plan the terms of the mortgage have been waived or changed and the mortgage would be ineligible under Guide Section 4201.2.”

Source | Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac: “The mortgage may be eligible for sale to Freddie Mac, if it meets the temporary requirements announced in Bulletin 2020-12, and last extended in Bulletin 2020-44. Otherwise, once the Seller/Servicer approves a forbearance plan the terms of the mortgage have been waived or changed and the mortgage would be ineligible under Guide Section 4201.2.” 

Source | Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac: “The mortgage may be eligible for sale to Freddie Mac, if it meets the temporary requirements announced in Bulletin 2020-12, and last extended in Bulletin 2020-44. Otherwise, it is not eligible for sale regardless of whether the Seller/Servicer approves or the borrower accepts the forbearance plan offer.” 

Source | Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae: “No. When completing an exterior-only or a desktop appraisal the appraiser must have a data source for all relevant characteristics, including interior condition, and reference the source used in the report. For example, it is unacceptable to assume the condition of the property is “average” or “similar to the exterior of the home.”

The Appraiser’s Certifications, approved for use with desktop and exterior-only appraisals prepared using the COVID-19 flexibilities, require the appraiser to report the condition of the improvements in factual, specific terms. The appraiser may rely on subject property information from third-party data sources. 

As previously communicated in LL-2020-04 and COVID-19 FAQs, if there is insufficient information about the property to complete the appraisal assignment, the mortgage is not eligible for sale to Fannie Mae.” 

Freddie Mac: “No. When completing an exterior-only or a desktop appraisal the appraiser must have a data source for all relevant characteristics, including interior condition, and reference the source used in the report. For example, it is unacceptable to assume the condition of the property is “average” or “similar to the exterior of the home”. 

The Appraiser’s Certifications, approved for use with desktop and exterior-only appraisals prepared using the COVID-19 flexibilities, require the appraiser to report the condition of the improvement in factual, specific terms. The appraiser may rely on subject property information from third-party data sources. 

As previously communicated in Bulletin 2020-05 and COVID-19 FAQs, if there is insufficient information about the property to complete the appraisal assignment, the mortgage is not eligible for sale to Freddie Mac.”

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae: “For states without an express and currently effective RON statute, we assessed the overall likelihood of that state’s recognition of valid RON acts performed out of state, and looked at a number of factors, including governors’ executive orders, applicable state laws, and applicability of the Full Faith and Credit clause of the U.S. Constitution (and any exceptions to its application). The state list was aligned with Freddie Mac. The passage of a federal law is also contemplated in the language and would potentially supersede the need for state-by-state analysis.”

Freddie Mac: “In determining the states to be included in Exhibit C of Guide Bulletin 2020-8, a state that has not enacted an express Remote Online Notarization statute is analyzed based on the likelihood that its overall legal structure will recognize RON. The issuance of a governor’s emergency executive order is one of several factors in such analysis.”

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac: “Yes. However, for the exterior-only appraisal to be eligible for reuse for a subsequent transaction, the existing mortgage (i.e., the mortgage being refinanced) must be owned by Freddie Mac. Additionally, the requirements of Guide Section 5601.8 must be met, including age of appraisal reports, appraisal update requirement and reuse of an appraisal report. The subsequent transaction must have an application received date that is prior to expiration of the flexibilities for appraisals allowed for COVID-19.”

Fannie Mae: “A credit report supplement may be acceptable to meet the requirements in LL-2020-03, depending on the information provided in the document, if it demonstrates that the borrower has made all mortgage payments due in the month prior to the note date of the new loan transaction no later than the last business day of the month. For example, a supplement that provides confirmation of the date of the last payment made by the borrower and the due date of the next payment would be acceptable. Credit report supplements that only provide the current status of the mortgage, such as “current” or “paid as agreed,” or are only reflective of the information that otherwise appears on the credit report, would not be sufficient to verify that the borrower meets the terms of LL-2020-03.” 

Source | Freddie Mac
Source | Fannie Mae

Freddie Mac: “Yes. However, for the exterior-only appraisal to be eligible for reuse for a subsequent transaction, the existing mortgage (i.e., the mortgage being refinanced) must be owned by Freddie Mac. Additionally, the requirements of Guide Section 5601.8 must be met, including age of appraisal reports, appraisal update requirement and reuse of an appraisal report. The subsequent transaction must have an application received date that is prior to expiration of the flexibilities for appraisals allowed for COVID-19.”

Fannie Mae: “No. The temporary COVID-19 appraisal flexibilities only permit a desktop appraisal to be used for a purchase transaction, and Selling Guide B4-1.2-02, Appraisal Age and Use Requirements requires that to be able to reuse an appraisal for a subsequent transaction, the new transaction must be a no-cash out refinance.”

Source | Freddie Mac
Source | Fannie Mae

Freddie Mac: “No. The temporary COVID-19 appraisal flexibilities only permit a desktop appraisal to be used for a purchase transaction and Guide Section 5601.8 requires that to be able to reuse an appraisal for a subsequent transaction, the new transaction must be a no-cash out refinance.”

Fannie Mae: “No. Although the 1004 Desktop (70D) and 1004 Hybrid (70H) are now available, they will only be used in a few instances for testing purposes and are not acceptable for use with the COVID-19 appraisal flexibilities. Appraisers should continue using the eligible forms for desktop appraisals using COVID-19 appraisal flexibilities as provided in LL-2020-04 (Forms 1004/70, 1073/465, 2090, 1025/72, and 1004C/70B).” 

Source | Freddie Mac
Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: “The update to record retention requirements applies to all loans delivered with remote online notarizations in accordance with the requirements set forth in LL-2020-03. For loans delivered prior to Aug. 27, 2020, lenders will not be required to store the notarial ceremony for the life of the loan and instead must maintain the notarial ceremony per the updated requirements of LL-2020-03.”

Freddie Mac: “The update to record retention requirements applies to all mortgages delivered with remote online notarizations in accordance with the requirements in Bulletin 2020-8.  For mortgages delivered prior to August 27, 2020, Sellers will not be required to store the notarial ceremony for the life of loan and instead must maintain the notarial ceremony in compliance with the updated requirements of Bulletin 2020-35.”

 

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae: “In accordance with Selling Guide, B3-6-05, Monthly Debt Obligations, non-mortgage debts paid by others can be excluded from the borrower’s DTI ratio with documented evidence that the other party has been making the payments for at least 12 months and the payment history indicates there are no delinquencies. 

Given that many student loans were placed into an automatic forbearance status and the other party may have missed payments due to the forbearance, we will allow exclusion of the monthly student loan payment if: 

  • the missed payments are resolved by the responsible party (not the borrower) prior to closing of the new mortgage loan; 
  • the responsible party had been making payments on the student loan for at least nine months prior to the automatic forbearance; 
  • the lender provides borrower documentation evidencing the student loan is in a COVID-related automatic forbearance, and any missed payments have been paid; and 
  • all other Selling Guide requirements have been met (for example, evidence of 12 total payments, either monthly or in aggregate, on the omitted debt).”
Source | Fannie Mae

ICBA: “Large volume lenders are relieved from new quarterly reporting; however, all entities should continue collecting and recording HMDA data in anticipation of making annual submissions in March 2021. On March 26, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) issued a statement that it will not expect quarterly information reporting by certain mortgage lenders as required under the HMDA and Regulation C (generally financial institutions that report for the preceding calendar year at least 60,000 covered loans and applications (excluding purchased loans) must report their HMDA data quarterly (except for the fourth quarter) in addition to annually).”

 

Source | ICBA

Fannie Mae: “A gap in employment or a reduction in income due to COVID-19 cannot be excluded from the calculation, and the year to date income must continue to be calculated over the entire time period. Refer to B3-3.1-01, General Income Information.”

Freddie Mac: “No.  For fluctuating employment earnings (e.g., fluctuating hourly employment earnings, overtime, bonus, commission, tips), and regardless of the earnings trend, all 2020 YTD income must be included in the calculation, in accordance with the requirements in Guide Section 5303.4(b) Employed income calculation guidance and requirements.  As the pandemic is ongoing, the income interruption/gap is not yet considered a one-time occurrence, such as an isolated injury may be; therefore, the period of income interruption must be considered in the overall YTD calculation.”

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae: “Yes. Lenders can continue to waive business income tax returns when the requirements of the Selling Guide are met.” 

Freddie Mac: “Yes; however, the seller may choose to obtain an additional year(s) of individual and/or business tax returns to support their underwriting decision.”

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

Is it acceptable to only use year-to-date income to calculate qualifying variable income? (added July 2 by Hollis Daniels)

Freddie Mac: “According to Guide Section 5303.4(b), if the income is consistent or the trend is increasing, the Seller must average the most recent year(s) and YTD income over the applicable number of months documented.”

“When the income trend is declining, the seller must use the YTD income and must not include the previous higher level unless there is documentation of a one-time occurrence (e.g., injury) that prevented the Borrower from working or earning full income for a period of time and evidence that the Borrower is back to the income amount that was previously earned. As the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, the income interruption/gap is not yet considered a one-time occurrence, such as an isolated injury may be.”

Fannie Mae: “When variable income is the source of income used in qualifying the borrower(s), lenders must follow the requirements as outlined in B3-3.1-01, General Income Information and perform a trending analysis. This includes determining the monthly year-to-date income amount and comparing that to prior years’ earnings to determine the appropriate amount of qualifying income for the loan transaction.

If the trend in the amount of income is stable or increasing, the income amount should be averaged. 

If the trend was declining but has since stabilized and there is no reason to believe that the borrower will not continue to be employed at the current level, the current, lower amount of variable income must be used (i.e., the monthly year to date income amount). 

If the trend is declining, the income may not be stable. Additional analysis must be conducted to determine if any variable income should be used.” 

 

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

FDIC: “No. Mortgage originations are typically subject to the CFPB’s Ability to Repay and Qualified Mortgage Rule (ATR/QM). The ATR/QM rule does not apply when you alter the terms of an existing loan without refinancing it. A loan modification that does not meet the definition of a refinancing in Regulation Z at § 1026.20(a) is not subject to the ATR/QM rule, and, accordingly, would not alter the QM status of a loan that was a QM at origination. As the CFPB notes in its Small Entity Compliance Guide: “The Truth in Lending Act applies to a loan modification only if it is considered a refinancing under Regulation Z. If a loan modification is not subject to the Truth in Lending Act, it is not subject to the ATR/QM rule. Therefore, you should determine if a loan modification is a refinancing to see if the ATR/QM rule applies. You will find the rules for determining whether a loan workout is a modification or a refinance in Regulation Z at § 1026.20(a) and accompanying Commentary.” 

 

Source | FDIC

HUD: “FHA has observed a significant increase in Early Payment Default (EPD) nationwide.  Most are likely caused by loss of employment and/or income due to the COVID-19 National Emergency, not the result of non-compliance with FHA Single Family origination and underwriting requirements.  Therefore, FHA is providing Mortgagees with flexibility by temporarily waiving its requirements found in Handbook 4000.1, Sections V.A.3.a.i(C) and V.A.3.a.iv(B)(2).  With this waiver, Mortgagees are not required to conduct QC reviews of EPDs that would have been selected as part of a Mortgagee’s May, June or July 2020 QC selections. Mortgagees must continue to meet all other loan-level QC requirements in Section V.A.3. For example, Mortgagees must select FHA-insured loans for review via random and discretionary sampling methods that meet the conditions described in Section V.A.3.a.iv. These random and discretionary samples may include EPDs.”

Source | HUD

Fannie Mae: “There is no pre-defined criteria or calculation for a claim amount from an investor. Investors can evaluate several factors on which they believe that they have been financially harmed due to an event, like a loan repurchase. You may contact your Fannie Mae account team to discuss.”

Freddie Mac: “In the event investors in Freddie Mac securities pay a premium that exceeds any premium paid to the Seller, the Seller will be responsible to pay the excess amount apportioned based on loan UPB and impacted investors that choose to make claims.”

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae: “No. Other than the specific instances where an LLPA is identified as a remedy, there will be no repurchase alternatives offered.” 

Freddie Mac: “No.”

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae: “Lenders should contact their Fannie Mae account team to make their respective election. Your account team will provide guidance on formalizing your remedy election.”

Freddie Mac: “Seller/Servicers should contact their Freddie Mac representative or call their Customer Support Contact Center at 800-FREDDIE how to make their election or if they have questions.”

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae: “Lenders must self-report any loan that did not meet the requirements for the sale of loan in forbearance set forth in LL-2020-06 in accordance with self-reporting provisions set forth in Selling Guide D1-3-06, Lender Post-Closing Quality Control Reporting, Record Retention, and Audit. 

Fannie Mae will require the responsible party (“lender”) to remedy the loan as described here.”

Freddie Mac: “Sellers must self-report any mortgage in forbearance that did not meet the requirements in Bulletin 2020-12 for the sale of a mortgage in forbearance following the QC reporting provisions set forth in Guide Section 3402.10 or through Quality Control Advisor®, and Freddie Mac will require the Seller to remedy the mortgage as described here.”

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

National Association of Realtors: “Yes. When an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, is associated with a specific population or nationality, fear and anxiety may lead to social stigma and discrimination.” Housing professionals “may not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their national origin, even if they are from other countries that have also been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

National Association of Realtors: “Federal and state fair housing laws remain intact during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those laws make it unlawful to discriminate on several protected bases, including disability and national origin. The pandemic provides a unique set of circumstances for navigating federal antidiscrimination provisions. First, each real estate professional must determine whether they will provide services during this time. To the extent they continue to make services available, the Fair Housing Act applies. Such services should be provided on an equal basis while recognizing that no one is required to engage in any transactions that put their health or safety, or the health and safety of others, at risk. If reasonable accommodations can be made to provide housing or services to individuals with COVID-19, without threatening the health or safety of others, the federal Fair Housing Act calls for such accommodations to be made.”

CFPB: “Yes. The ECOA Valuations Rule already includes flexibility that allows an applicant to waive certain timing requirements of the Rule. For valuations developed in connection with an application that are subject to the ECOA Valuations Rule, creditors must generally provide applicants with copies of all valuations promptly upon completion, or three business days prior to consummation of the transaction (for closed-end credit) or account opening (for open-end credit), whichever is earlier. However, as noted in a September 14, 2018 Statement on Supervisory Practices Regarding Financial Institutions and Consumers Affected by a Major Disaster or Emergency, the ECOA Valuations Rule permits an applicant to waive the timing requirement through an affirmative oral or written statement and agree to receive any copy at or before consummation or account opening, except where otherwise prohibited by law. This regulatory flexibility available under the ECOA Valuations Rule can expedite access to credit secured by a first lien on a dwelling for consumers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Source | CFPB

Freddie Mac: “When a borrower refinances a mortgage that with a payment deferral and the amount of the deferred payments is included in the new mortgage, the new mortgage is eligible for sale to Freddie Mac as a “no cash-out” refinance if it otherwise meets all of the requirements for an “no cash-out” refinance in the Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide. Funds applied to paying off the deferred portion are not considered cash out.” 

Fannie Mae: “When a borrower refinances a loan that has a payment deferral and the amount of the deferred payments is included in the new loan, the new loan is eligible to be sold as an LCOR if it otherwise meets all of the requirements for an LCOR in the Selling Guide. Funds applied to pay off the prior loan, including the deferred portion, are not considered cash out.” 

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac: “No. Missed payments during a forbearance may not be refinanced into the new loan amount in a no cash-out or cash-out refinance transaction. However, per the temporary requirements in Bulletin 2020-17, if the existing mortgage is in a repayment plan, Payment Deferral, trial period plan or other loss mitigation program and the borrower has either successfully completed the loss mitigation program or made at least three consecutive timely payments, as applicable, the proceeds may be used to pay off the existing mortgage.” 

Fannie Mae: “No. Missed payments during a forbearance may not be refinanced into the new loan amount in a limited cash-out or cash-out refinance transaction. However, if a borrower has initiated a repayment plan or accepted a loss mitigation solution (e.g., payment deferral, modification, etc.) and has made three timely payments, the entire existing loan amount, including any remaining outstanding payments under a repayment plan or deferred amounts, may be refinanced into the new loan. See Lender Letter LL-2021-03 for details.” 

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac: “If a borrower was not employed on the note date, the loan would be ineligible for sale to Freddie Mac regardless of the temporary flexibilities set forth in Bulletin 2020-12. The loss of employment would constitute a significant defect and the mortgage would be subject to repurchase unless there is other eligible documented income that would satisfy our qualification requirements. Freddie Mac’s standard QC process, including a seller’s opportunity to provide additional information or documentation in the rebuttal process, would apply.” 

Fannie Mae: “If a borrower was not employed on the note date, the loan would be ineligible regardless of the temporary flexibilities in LL-2020-06. We would cite a significant defect and the loan would be subject to repurchase unless there was other eligible income documented and the loan satisfies our qualification requirements. Our standard QC process includes an opportunity for lenders to provide additional information or documentation in the rebuttal process.”

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac: “If the forbearance begins on the settlement date of the loan, the Credit Fee in Price will be assessed. Please refer to the Post Fund Data Correction instructions to add the IFI.” 

Fannie Mae: “If the forbearance begins any time on the sale date of the loan, the LLPA is due to Fannie Mae. For whole loans, the sale date is the date that Fannie Mae sends funds via wire transfer to the lender. For MBS, the sale date is the date that Fannie Mae issues MBS securities to the lender or to the investor designated by lender (also known as the settlement date) and takes ownership of, and title to, the loan. See Receiving Sale Proceeds or Securities in the C1-2-01, General Information on Delivering Loan Data and Documents.”

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae: “When the mortgage loan has an escrow account, the servicer must ensure the timely payment of all escrow and related charges in accordance with applicable law. 

However, without regard to whether the mortgage loan has an escrow account, the servicer must protect Fannie Mae’s mortgage lien and the property securing the mortgage loan by monitoring the status of all escrow and related charges; this includes advancing escrow to protect Fannie Mae’s mortgage lien.  See Servicing Guide B-1-01, Administering an Escrow Account and Paying Expenses for additional information.”

Freddie Mac: “When the mortgage loan has an escrow account, the servicer must ensure the timely payment of all escrow and related charges in accordance with applicable law. 

However, regardless of whether the mortgage has an escrow account, the servicer must protect Freddie Mac’s first lien position and the property securing the mortgage by monitoring the status of all escrow and related charges; this includes advancing escrow to protect Freddie Mac’s first lien position.” 

Source | Freddie Mac
Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: “Yes. Specifically for COVID-impacted borrowers, the CARES Act states that a forbearance plan must be provided to any borrower who requests a forbearance with an attestation of the financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 emergency; and no additional documentation other than the borrower’s attestation to a financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 emergency is required. In the event that the servicer is unable to achieve full QRPC and offers a forbearance plan to a borrower impacted by COVID-19 in compliance with the CARES Act, the servicer is considered to be in compliance with Fannie Mae’s Servicing Guide.  The servicer must approve forbearance plans for borrowers impacted by COVID-19 in accordance with the CARES Act. 

If the servicer determines the borrower is not eligible for a forbearance plan per the requirements in the Servicing Guide or in Lender Letter LL-2020-02, Impact of COVID-19 on Servicing, but there are acceptable mitigating circumstances, it must request our prior written approval following the existing process. This process requires completion of the Forbearance Exception Request Template and submission to loss_mitigation@fanniemae.com. The subject line must Include “Forbearance.” See Servicing Guide D2-3.2-01, Forbearance Plan for additional information.”

Freddie Mac: “Yes, Borrowers impacted by COVID-19 must be offered forbearance under the information required by the CARES Act and Bulletin 2020-10, which do not require a borrower response package.”

Source | Freddie Mac
Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: “At the request of a borrower impacted by COVID-19, the servicer must provide an initial forbearance plan for a period up to 180 days, and that forbearance period may be extended for up to an additional 180 days at the request of the borrower.  In accordance with Servicing Guide D2-3.2-01, Forbearance Plan, the servicer may provide an initial forbearance period, and any extended forbearance period, in separate, shorter increments.  If the borrower’s COVID-19 related hardship has not been resolved during an incremental forbearance period, the servicer must extend the borrower’s forbearance period, not to exceed 12 months total.  For a borrower impacted by COVID-19, Fannie Mae is temporarily eliminating the requirement that the servicer must receive Fannie Mae’s prior written approval for a forbearance plan that would result in the mortgage loan becoming greater than 12 months delinquent.”

Freddie Mac: “Freddie Mac’s COVID-19 forbearance is available for up to six months initially (in increments if needed), and up to 12 months in total. The Servicer should discuss with the borrower the nature of the hardship and let that inform the decision of how long the forbearance should last, to the extent possible under applicable law. In the event that either a six-month term is what is agreed upon by the Servicer and borrower, or the borrower directly requests a six-month term, then the Servicer must offer a six-month term.”

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

HUD: “Mortgagees should report Status Code 06 – Formal Forbearance for the COVID-19 Forbearance and Status Code 10 – Partial Claim Started for the COVID-19 National Emergency Standalone Partial Claim, in the Single Family Default Monitoring System (SFDMS).

FHA continues to revise its FHA Single Family COVID-19 Q&A as needed to keep stakeholders updated with the latest information about FHA’s response to the Presidentially-declared COVID-19 national emergency. Refer to the Single Family main page on hud.gov for updates.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Mortgagees should also use the Single Family Default Monitoring System (SFDMS) existing Delinquency/Default Reason Codes available to report the Reason for Default accurately. For example: 002 Illness of Principal Borrower or 003 Illness of Borrower’s Family Member if the default is due to a primary borrower or family member that is ill; 001 Death of Principal Borrower or 004 Death of a Borrower’s Family Member if the illness results in death; 016 Unemployment if the borrower is laid off and has no job to go back to; or 006 Curtailment of Income if the borrower’s income is otherwise affected, including furlough. For further reporting questions, please contact sfdatarequests@hud.gov.

FHA continues to revise its FHA Single Family COVID-19 Q&A as needed to keep stakeholders updated with the latest information about FHA’s response to the Presidentially-declared COVID-19 national emergency. Refer to the Single Family main page on hud.gov for updates.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Yes. The FHA lender approval process is electronic, so lenders may continue to submit these requests.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “For borrowers included in the COVID-19 Moratorium published in Mortgagee Letter 2020-04, mortgagees should report the existing Delinquency/Default Status Code HUD Issued Moratorium (AS) for the applicable reporting cycle(s). Please do not report Natural Disaster (34). Borrowers otherwise affected by COVID-19 that require Loss Mitigation assistance should be reported as initially as Delinquent (42).

FHA continues to revise its FHA Single Family COVID-19 Q&A as needed to keep stakeholders updated with the latest information about FHA’s response to the Presidentially-declared COVID-19 national emergency. Refer to the Single Family main page on hud.gov for updates.”

 

Source | HUD

HUD: “HUD encourages servicers to consider the impacts of COVID-19 on borrowers’ financial situations and any flexibilities a servicer may have under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and CARES Act § 4021.d.(F) when taking any negative credit reporting actions. Borrowers with FHA-insured mortgages who are performing as agreed under FHA’s COVID-19 Forbearance option are not considered to be delinquent for purposes of credit reporting.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Only one COVID-19 Standalone Partial Claim is available to each borrower.  If the borrower requires additional assistance, Mortgagees must evaluate the borrower for HUD’s Loss Mitigation Options.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “FHA permits a Borrower to designate an attorney-in-fact to use a POA to sign documents on their behalf at closing, including page 4 of the final Form HUD-92900-A, HUD/VA Addendum to Uniform Residential Loan Application, and the final Fannie Mae Form 1003/Freddie Mac Form 65, URLA.  Detailed requirements on the use of a POA to execute closing documents can be found in Handbook 4000.1 Section II.A.6.a(xiii).  Included in this section are specific requirements for use of a POA, which has a connection to the transaction.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “FHA does not regulate the use or format of the notarization of documents. The Mortgagee must ensure that the Mortgage and Note comply with all applicable state and local requirements for creating a recordable and enforceable Mortgage, and an enforceable Note, including the requirements for notarization of these documents. Generally, the state law governs what requirements are applicable for proper notarization of a document.”

Source | HUD

Fannie Mae: “If a lender discovers a loan was in forbearance after the loan data was submitted to Loan Delivery but prior to the sale date (the date funds or the security is swapped), the lender must self-report the loan. These situations include: 

  • The loan was sold before Lender Letter LL-2020-06 was published or prior to May 1. 
  • The loan data was delivered after May 1 but did not include the SFC 919 because the borrower went into forbearance while the loan was in Fannie Mae acquisitions processing. 
  • The loan data was delivered after May 1 and the sale was consummated, but the loan data did not include the SFC 919. 

All self-reporting takes place in Loan Quality ConnectTM. This includes creating and submitting the self-report,  uploading all supporting documentation, and tracking a loan’s status as we make a decision as to how to  proceed. To facilitate the self-reporting process for COVID-19 loans, we added “COVID forbearance” to the self- reporting process for COVID-19 loans, we added “COVID forbearance” to the self-report reason menu in Loan Quality Connect. 

As a reminder, the lender must notify us within 30 days of identifying loans not eligible for delivery. Refer to D1-3-06, Lender Post-Closing Quality Control Reporting, Record Retention, and Audit, for all our self-reporting requirements.

A Job Aid on how to self-report is available to assist lenders with this process.”

Freddie Mac: “A Seller must self-report the mortgage through the post-fund data correction process or, alternatively, through the QC reporting process, within thirty days of discovery, as set forth in Bulletin 2020-14.” 

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae: “Certain types of temporary leave may be eligible for qualifying. See B3-3.1-09, Other Sources of Income; Temporary Leave Income. However, please note that furloughed borrowers are currently ineligible under the temporary leave policy. See Lender Letter LL-2020-03.”

Furloughed income being received for a specified period of time, such as four weeks,is not stable, predictable, or likely to continue and therefore does not meet the requirements in Selling Guide B3-3.1-01, General Income Information; Continuity of Income.”

Freddie Mac: “The requirements for Income while on temporary leave do not extend to employer-initiated actions, such as furloughs and layoffs regardless of whether there is an expected return to work date.”

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac: “Yes. Temporary alternative methods of verifying the borrower’s employment were introduced in Bulletin 2020-5.”

Fannie Mae:“Yes, reference the guidelines and flexibilities contained in LL-2021-03.”

Source | Freddie Mac
Source | Fannie Mae

FHFA: On April 21, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced:

“The alignment of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s (the Enterprises) policies regarding servicer obligations to advance scheduled monthly principal and interest payments for single-family mortgage loans. Once a servicer has advanced four months of missed payments on a loan, it will have no further obligation to advance scheduled payments. This applies to all Enterprise servicers regardless of type or size…

When a mortgage loan is in a Mortgage-Backed Security (MBS), Fannie Mae servicers with a scheduled payment remittance are responsible for advancing the principal and interest payment regardless of borrower payments. Freddie Mac servicers, who are generally responsible for advancing scheduled interest, are only obligated to advance four months of missed borrower interest payments. Today’s instruction establishes a four-month advance obligation limit for Fannie Mae scheduled servicing for loans and servicers which is consistent with the current policy at Freddie Mac.

FHFA is also instructing the Enterprises to maintain loans in COVID-19 payment forbearance plans in Mortgage Backed Security (MBS) pools for at least the duration of the forbearance plan.”

Source | FHFA

CFPB: “Yes, the CARES Act forbearance qualifies as a “short-term repayment forbearance program” under Regulation X. The mortgage servicing rules already include an exception from certain loss mitigation procedural requirements for short-term payment forbearance programs, such as the CARES Act forbearance. This existing regulatory flexibility permits servicers to quickly offer borrowers CARES Act forbearances. FAQs # 2 through 4 under “Short-term Loss Mitigation Options” below describe this flexibility.” 

Source | CFPB

Fannie Mae: No, Fannie Mae’s existing policies related to disasters do not apply to loans impacted by COVID-19. Instead, lenders can follow the guidance in Lender Letters LL-2021-03, Impact of COVID-19 on Originations and LL-2021-03, Impact of COVID-19 on Appraisals. All guidance specific to COVID-19 will be communicated through Lender Letters and FAQ documents such as this.

Freddie Mac: “No. While we are aware the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has made certain declarations that would potentially lead this national emergency to also be considered an “Eligible Disaster’ in certain areas, we have created specific requirements related to servicing mortgages impacted by COVID-19. Servicers must follow those specific requirements in Guide Bulletins 2020-4, 2020-6, 2020-7, 2020-10, 2020-15 and 2020-16.”

 

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

CFPB: “Not immediately. In general, if a borrower submits an incomplete loss mitigation application 45 days or more before a foreclosure sale, servicers generally must exercise reasonable diligence to obtain documents and information to complete the borrower’s loss mitigation application. Regulation X, 12 CFR 1024.41. However, servicers may suspend reasonable diligence efforts to complete a borrower’s loss mitigation application while the borrower is performing under a short-term payment forbearance program until near the end of the program, unless the borrower requests additional assistance (e.g., longer term relief, such as a loan modification). Regulation X, Comment 41(b)(1)-4.iii. In the case of a 180-day CARES Act forbearance, for example, a servicer could suspend these efforts until near the end of the 180 days. If, for example a servicer extended the CARES Act forbearance an additional 180 days, the servicer could suspend these efforts until near the end of the second 180 days. 

For more information about the loss mitigation requirements, see section 13 of the Bureau’s Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Mortgage Servicing Rules Small Entity Compliance Guide.” 

Source | CFPB

HUD: “FHA will continue to process claims during the COVID-19 National Emergency; however, servicers may experience slightly longer processing timeframes if there are office closures, particularly for any claims submitted manually and Title I claim submissions and Title I manufactured housing endorsements.”

Source | HUD

OCC: “On April 3, 2020, the OCC, along with the other federal financial institution regulatory agencies and the state banking regulators, issued an interagency statement on mortgage servicing that provides needed regulatory flexibility to enable mortgage servicers to work with struggling consumers affected by COVID-19. The statement clarifies the application of the Regulation X mortgage servicing rules to Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act forbearance and describes the agencies’ flexible approach to supervision and enforcement with respect to certain Regulation X provisions that require consumer notices and loss mitigation provisions.”

Source | OCC

HUD: For Borrowers who do not qualify for the COVID-19 Standalone Partial Claim, the Mortgagee must review the Borrower for a COVID-19 Owner-Occupant Loan Modification, which modifies the rate and term of the Mortgage.

The Mortgagee must ensure that the Borrower and the FHA-insured Mortgage meet the following requirements for a COVID-19 Owner- Occupant Loan Modification. 

Source | HUD

HUD: “Mortgagees must offer the COVID-19 Forbearance to all borrowers who experience a financial hardship adversely impacting their ability to make on-time mortgage payments due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 National Emergency, if requested by the borrower.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “FHA-insured Single Family mortgages, excluding vacant or abandoned properties, are subject to an extension to the moratorium on foreclosure through June 30, 2020. The moratorium applies to the initiation of foreclosures and to foreclosures in process.

Separate from any eviction moratorium applicable to lessors provided under the CARES Act, evictions of persons from properties securing FHA-insured Single Family mortgages, excluding actions to evict occupants of legally vacant or abandoned properties, are also suspended through June 30, 2020.

Deadlines for the first legal action and reasonable diligence timelines are extended by 90 days from the date of expiration of this moratorium for FHA- insured Single Family mortgages, except for FHA-insured mortgages secured by vacant or abandoned properties.”

HUD: “FHA announced it is extending the foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family FHA-insured mortgages through June 30, 2021.”

Source | HUD
Source | HUD
Source | HUD
Source | HUD
Source | HUD

HUD: “Mortgagees do not need to provide a re-verification of employment within 10 days of the Note date as described in Handbook 4000.1, Sections II.A.4.c.ii(C)(1)-(2) Traditional and Alternative Current Employment Documentations, provided that the Mortgagee is not aware of any loss of employment by the borrower and has obtained:

  •       For forward purchase transactions, evidence the Borrower has a minimum of 2 months of Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance (PITI) in reserves; and 
  •       A year-to-date paystub or direct electronic verification of income for the pay period that immediately precedes the Note date, or 
  •       A bank statement showing direct deposit from the Borrower’s employment for the pay period that immediately precedes the Note date.”

 

Source | HUD

HUD: “When applicable, the appraiser may amend the scope of work to perform an Exterior-Only (viewing from the street) or Desktop- Only. The Appraiser may rely on supplemental information from other reliable sources such as Multiple Listing Service (MLS), and Tax Assessor’s Property Record to prepare an appraisal report. The Appraiser may rely on information from an interested party to the transaction (borrower, real estate agent, property contact, etc.) with clear appraisal report disclosure when additional verification is not feasible. The appraisal report must contain adequate information to enable the intended users to understand the extent of the inspection that was performed.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “No. The mortgagee must obtain the borrower’s signature on the appropriate IRS form to obtain tax returns directly from the IRS for all credit-qualifying mortgages at the time the final Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) is executed. If FHA requires tax returns as required documentation for any type of effective income, in lieu of signed individual or business tax returns from the borrower, the mortgagee may obtain a signed IRS Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, IRS Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, or IRS Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization, and tax transcripts directly from the IRS.”

Fannie Mae: “If verbal or electronic reverifications cannot be completed, lenders can complete the file review without the reverification. However, lenders must: 

  • internally track all loans that did not have a successful reverification attempt during this time, and 
  • conduct a special discretionary sample of such mortgages and perform the required reverifications on the sample population upon the expiration of the flexibilities contained in Lender Letter LL-2020-03, Impact of COVID-19 on Originations 

As a reminder, the reporting requirements of D1-3-06, Lender Post-Closing Quality Control Reporting, Record Retention, and Audit continue to apply with respect to this special discretionary sample(s). 

Reminder: Lenders should prioritize execution of IRS Form 4506-T in the special discretionary sample(s) based on the expiration date of the IRS Form 4506-T.” 

Freddie Mac: “Freddie Mac does not require IRS transcripts to be obtained in connection with origination of the Mortgage.”

Source | HUD
Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

HUD: “Yes. The FHA TOTAL Scorecard will be available.”

Source | HUD

Human Rights Watch: “While many large institutional landlords can absorb losses stemming from unpaid rent, many small landlords are struggling and need their tenants to receive rental assistance. Though some moratoriums, like the one passed in New York, temporarily prevent mortgage lenders from foreclosing on small landlords who miss payments due to economic hardship, many could be financially distressed after the pandemic ends.

This could have serious consequences for the rental market. Small property owners typically evict at lower rates and charge lower rents than large corporate landlords. Many advocates are concerned that, without financial relief, large corporations will purchase millions of distressed properties, making housing less affordable and more insecure. This exact dynamic occurred after the 2008 financial crisis, and major private equity firms are reportedly viewing the Covid-19 economic downturn as another opportunity to cheaply acquire rental properties.”

Human Rights Watch: “No. The CDC’s moratorium has been a crucial stopgap measure that has potentially saved millions from losing their homes. However, there have still been numerous reports of evictions for inability to pay across the country. This is due to serious flaws in the moratorium.

First, and most crucially, many of the moratorium’s provisions are vaguely worded. Because it is ultimately enforced in local courts, individual judges in different localities have varied greatly in how protectively they have interpreted it. For example, some judges have held it does not extend to “holdover evictions” in which a tenant’s lease ends and the landlord refuses to renew.

Second, in some cases, judges have required tenants to prove that they suffered substantial economic hardship and that they made “best efforts” to obtain government assistance and pay rent, a process that can be overly burdensome for tenants. Finally, the moratorium does not require landlords to inform tenants that they are protected, leading some to leave their homes because they are unaware of their rights, sometimes without ever going to court.

Another major flaw in the CDC moratorium is that, even when it keeps tenants in their homes, it often still allows landlords to file for eviction, which initiates the process of removing a tenant. Between January 10 and January 16 alone, there were 4,901 new eviction filings in just the 27 cities across the country tracked by Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. Because these records are often public, the impacts of an eviction filing can follow people for many years, making it significantly harder for them to find housing. Landlords often refuse to rent to those with an eviction filing on their record, and in some cases, will use the threat of filing for eviction to coerce tenants into leaving their homes.”

Treasury: “Yes, to the extent administratively feasible, grantees must require applicants to document that they have (i) qualified for unemployment benefits or (ii) experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to COVID-19 that threaten the household’s ability to pay the costs of the rental property when due. 

Grantees must also require applicants to demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which may include past due rent and utility notices and eviction notices, if any, as part of the application process.”

Source | Treasury

Treasury: “The statute provides that grantees may determine income eligibility by reference to either (i) household total income for calendar year 2020 or (ii) sufficient confirmation of the household’s monthly income at the time of application, as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury (Secretary). 

With respect to each household applying for assistance, grantees may choose between using the definition of “annual income” as provided by HUD in 24 CFR 5.609 and using adjusted gross income as defined for purposes of reporting under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1040 series for individual Federal annual income tax purposes. 

For determining annual income, grantees should obtain at the time of application source documents evidencing annual income (e.g., wage statement, interest statement, unemployment compensation statement), or a copy of Form 1040 as filed with the IRS for the household. 

For determining monthly income, grantees must obtain income source documentation, as listed above, for at least the two months prior to the submission of the application for assistance. If an applicant qualifies based on monthly income, the grantee must redetermine the household income eligibility every three months for the duration of assistance.”

Source | Treasury

Treasury: “Grantees must make reasonable efforts to obtain the cooperation of landlords and utility providers to accept payments from the ERA program. Outreach will be considered complete if a request for participation is sent in writing, by certified mail, to the landlord or utility provider, and the addressee does not respond to the request within 21 calendar days after mailing; or, if the grantee has made at least three attempts by phone or email over a 21 calendar-day period to request the landlord or utility provider’s participation. All efforts must be documented. The cost of the mailing would be an eligible administrative cost.”

Source | Treasury

Treasury: “No. The statute does not prohibit the enrollment of households for only prospective benefits. Section 501(c)(2)(B)(iii) of Division N of the Act does provide that assistance to reduce rental arrears, if any, must be provided before prospective rental benefits may be provided. The statute also provides a limitation on prospective benefits of three months at one time.”

Source | Treasury

National Association of REALTORS®: “The December COVID-relief package included $25 billion for rental assistance. The monies will be allocated to states through the Department of Treasury. State allocations will be based on population, no state will receive less than $200 million. The language allows landlords to apply for funds on behalf of tenants (but requires the tenant to sign the application form). Rental payments may include rent in arrears as well as utilities and other expenses related to housing.

In addition, a number of states are already providing some limited rental assistance through previous COVID-relief funds. More information can be found here under ‘State Rent Or Mortgage Relief Programs’.”

Experian: “It might be appealing to collect rewards or preserve cash by paying rent with a credit card, but it might be a bad idea. Here are three reasons:

(1) A processing fee of around 2.5% to 2.9% might be added to your monthly rent payment when you pay with a credit card. This could add to your financial burden or wipe out any credit card rewards you receive.

(2) Your credit utilization ratio could go up, which then can harm your credit score. This ratio shows how much of your available credit you’re using. The lower your ratio, the better, but it’s smart to keep the overall utilization ratio and the ratio on each card below 30%. Going above that percentage could really start to hurt your credit scores. Your credit utilization ratio is an important factor in your scores, second only to your payment history with most scoring models.

(3) You might max out a credit card, which would prevent you from using it for other purchases, and—as stated above—have big credit score consequences.”

Source | Experian

Experian: “Many people pay rent with a credit card because they want to earn travel, cash back or other credit card rewards. Cash back rewards range from 1% to 3%. So, if you pay $1,400 in rent, you could earn $14 to $42 in cash back if you put that monthly payment on your credit card. Depending on the fees your landlord charges, however, rewards may not be enough to justify paying with your card.

Paying rent with a credit card could also help you build credit as some services, including RentTrack, will report your on-time rent payments to the three major credit bureaus. On-time rent payments aren’t typically reported to credit bureaus, and their presence could help you build a positive history and lift your credit scores. 

Some renters might want to put rent on a credit card to take advantage of the card’s sign-up bonus. Let’s say you’re approved for a card that gives you a $250 bonus if you spend $5,000 on the card within your first three months with the card. You could go a long way toward scoring that bonus if you put $1,400 a month in rent payments on that card over the three-month bonus period (a total of $4,200). Just be sure to pay down this balance immediately so it doesn’t tank your credit utilization, which is a big factor in your credit scores.

Still other renters might be strapped for cash—as we’ve seen a lot during the pandemic—and must depend on a credit card to pay rent. This can preserve cash for other expenses, but it could turn into a bad habit if you let your credit card balance roll over from one month to the next. That’s because interest will continue to be assessed as long as you maintain a balance. If you’ve already done everything you can to reduce expenses and increase your income, paying your rent with a credit card could be a good option to prevent missed payments and eviction. 

Putting your rent on a credit card also might let you avoid taking out a payday loan. Taking into account the sky-high fees, the effective APR (annual percentage rate) on a short-term payday loan can exceed 1,000%. By comparison, the typical APR on a credit card was roughly 16.5% in August 2020.”

Source | Experian

Experian: “Many landlords refuse to accept credit cards as a method of paying rent. But if you make monthly rent payments to a big property management company or use a third-party service, you might be able to do it. 

Putting your rent payment on a credit card often results in an extra fee, however. For instance, the New York City Housing Authority lets tenants pay rent with a Visa or Mastercard credit card, but it imposes a convenience fee of 2.25%.

Why does paying rent by credit card result in fees being charged? Anytime a credit card transaction is made, the merchant must pay a processing fee. In many cases, merchants protect their profits by making you pay a little more.

A landlord normally requires you to pay a credit card processing fee on top of your rent and any other fees. The processing fee typically ranges from 2.5% to 2.9%. So, if you pay $1,400 a month for rent and the processing fee is 2.5%, an extra $35 will be tacked onto the payment. Over a year’s time, those fees would add up to $420, which represents about 30% of a single month’s rent payment.

If your landlord doesn’t accept credit card payments, you might be able to pay with a credit card through an online service like Plastiq, RadPad or RentTrack. These services could help you build credit and avoid late payments, but they’ll charge a fee to convert your credit card payment into a payment to the landlord. The fee is 2.85% for Plastiq, 2.99% for RadPad and 2.95% for RentTrack.

If you don’t want to put your rent on a credit card, your landlord likely offers other payment methods. They include:

  • Check (personal, certified or cashier’s)
  • Automated ACH payment from a bank account
  • Cash
  • Money order
  • Payment apps like Venmo, Zelle, Apple Pay, PayPal and Square”
Source | Experian

MarketWatch: “How courts handle eviction cases varies from state to state, but legal experts stressed that tenants must make every effort to appear on the court date they are assigned.

“Some states have adopted rules that require landlords to disclose whether a CDC declaration has been received,” said Eric Dunn, director of litigation at the National Housing Law Project. “But for the most part, if the tenant doesn’t appear and inform the court that they presented a declaration, the court won’t be aware of that and will likely enter a default judgment against the tenant.”

Because there is no specified deadline by which a renter must make their declaration to their landlord, the renter could even theoretically present it in court and be protected from eviction, Dunn argued, though that final decision would be a judge’s to make.

Beforehand, tenants should retain a lawyer to argue on their behalf in court or ask a judge to appoint counsel for them. Many legal aid groups across the country offer pro-bono services to renters in matters like these. 

A lawyer will advise renters of what documentation they need, especially if they expect their landlords will challenge the truthfulness of their attestation under the CDC moratorium.

“Renters should gather as much proof as they can of all the eligibility requirements in the declarative statement,” Yentel said. This can include anything from pay stubs to unemployment paperwork to emails showing they sought out rental assistance.

Renters should also make sure they have access to an internet connection and video conferencing software like Zoom, because many courts are holding eviction cases virtually amid the pandemic.”

Source | MarketWatch

CDC: “The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has coronavirus-related resources for renters available on its website

In addition, there are state and local resources available for renters and landlords. HUD has allocated and made available $4 billion in Emergency Solutions Grants and $5 billion in Community Development Block Grants, including $2 billion in grants focusing on areas with increased eviction risk. State and local authorities are able to use these funds for rental assistance. Tenants and landlords are encouraged to connect with local and state authorities to find out how to access these funds. Contact information for many of these authorities can be found on the HUD website

HUD has also released guidance on rent repayment plans for tenants and landlords, though that guidance is not specific to requesting protection from eviction under this order. 

In addition, the HHS Administration for Children and Families administers the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program. The CSBG funds States, territories, tribes, and local nonprofit Community Action Agencies (CAAs) that provide a variety of services for low-income families and individuals. Based on needs identified within the community, CSBG funds flexible support that territories, tribes, CAAs and other eligible entities can use to meet the unique needs of children, youth, and families, including housing-related needs. To access these resources, individuals and families may wish to contact their state and local authorities at:

  • https://communityactionpartnership.com/find-a-cap/
  • https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/resource/state-officials-and-program-contacts”
Source | CDC

CDC: “The Order applies only in states (including the District of Columbia), localities, territories, or tribal areas that do not have in place a moratorium on residential evictions that provides the same or greater level of public-health protection than the CDC’s Order. Relevant courts deciding these matters should make the decision about whether a state order or legislation provides the same or greater level of public health protection. The Order does not apply in American Samoa, which has reported no cases of COVID- 19. Should COVID-19 cases be reported in American Samoa, the Order would then be applicable to American Samoa. 

CDC is aware of the following websites for more information on state-by-state eviction moratoriums: 

CDC is providing these links for your awareness only. CDC has not evaluated and does not endorse these websites.”

 

Source | CDC

CDC: “The effective date of the CDC Order is September 4, 2020. That means that any evictions for nonpayment of rent that may have been initiated prior to September 4, 2020, but have yet to be completed, will be subject to the Order. Any tenant who qualifies as a “Covered Person” and is still present in a rental unit is entitled to protections under the Order. Any eviction that occurred prior to September 4, 2020 is not subject to the Order.” 

Source | CDC

CDC: “Yes. CDC has issued a declaration form that is compliant with the Order. CDC recommends that eligible persons use this declaration form. The declaration form is available here.

Individuals are not obligated to use the CDC form. Any written document that an eligible individual presents to their landlord will comply with the Order, as long as it contains the same information as the CDC declaration form.

All declarations, regardless of the form used, must be signed, and must include a statement that the covered person understands that they could be liable for perjury for any false or misleading statements or omissions in the declaration. 

In addition, people are allowed to use a form translated into other languages. Even though declarations with other languages may satisfy the requirement that a covered person must submit a declaration, CDC cannot guarantee that they in fact do satisfy the requirement. However, declarations in languages other than English are compliant if they contain the information required to be in a declaration, are signed, and include a statement that the covered person understands that they could be liable for perjury for any false or misleading statements or omissions in the declaration. 

To seek the protections of the Order, each adult listed on the lease, rental agreement, or housing contract should complete and sign a declaration and provide it to the landlord where they live. Individuals should not submit completed and signed declarations to the CDC or any other federal agency. In certain circumstances, such as individuals filing a joint tax return, it may be appropriate for one member of the residence to provide an executed declaration on behalf of other adult residents party to the lease, rental agreement, or housing contract at issue.” 

Source | CDC

CDC: “’Eviction’ means any action by a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or a possessory action, to remove or cause the removal of a covered person from a residential property. State and local laws with respect to tenant-landlord relations vary, as do the eviction processes used to implement those laws. The judicial process will be carried out according to state and local laws and rules. Eviction does not include foreclosure on a home mortgage. 

As indicated in the Order, courts should take into account the Order’s instruction not to evict a covered person from rental properties where the Order applies. The Order is not intended to terminate or suspend the operations of any state or local court. Nor is it intended to prevent landlords from starting eviction proceedings, provided that the actual eviction of a covered person for non-payment of rent does NOT take place during the period of the Order. State and local courts may take judicial notice of the CDC Order, and the associated criminal penalties that may be imposed for non-compliance in making a formal judgment about any pending or future eviction action filed while this Order remains in effect.”

Source | CDC

HUD: “HUD has not waived the requirement in 24 CFR 960.253 that says the family may not be offered a choice of rent more than once a year. However, 24 CFR 960.253(g)(1) states that a family paying “flat rent may at any time request a switch to payment of income-based rent (before the next annual option to select the type of rent) if the family is unable to pay flat rent because of financial hardship.” If the PHA determines that the family is unable to pay the flat rent because of financial hardship, the PHA must immediately allow the requested switch to income-based rent pursuant to 24 CFR 960.253(g)(2). 

If the family reports that their income increased after they switched to income-based rent, the PHA is not required to conduct a reexamination immediately to increase their rent. Pursuant to 24 CFR 960.257(a)(1), a PHA must conduct a reexamination of a family paying income-based rent at least annually. However, if a PHA ACOP requires a reexamination to occur immediately upon a family’s income increase and the PHA does not want to increase the rents for these families, a PHA could revise its policies to allow the family to stay at their current rent until the next annual reexamination.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Since this is not counted as part of the family’s adjusted income it would not be included in the calculation for these purposes. Under 24 CFR 982.305(a), the PHA may not give approval for the family of the assisted tenancy, or execute a HAP contract, until the PHA has determined that all listed program requirements have been met, including 982.305(a)(5), that the family share does not exceed 40 percent of the family’s monthly adjusted income.”

Source | HUD

National Association of REALTORS®: “In addition to the eviction moratorium in the CARES Act, Many other state and local governments have adopted various types of eviction moratoriums or other measures to slow or prevent tenant evictions. Housing providers need to be familiar with any such state or local anti-eviction provisions to avoid violating the law and complicating evictions later. Also, in addition to eviction moratoriums adopted by federal, state, and local governments, many state courts have adopted restrictions on judicial proceedings, including eviction actions. That means that even when eviction moratoriums have ended, it may be very difficult to initiate eviction filings and schedule court proceedings to complete the eviction process.”

National Association of REALTORS®: “There is no timeframe specified in the notice. The declaration/attestation is simply provided to the landlord before the tenant has been evicted. There is no waiting period or time requirement provided by the Notice. There is a form provided in the Notice, but the tenant is not required to utilize that form. They can supply the declaration in any written form they prefer.”

National Association of REALTORS®: “No: The moratorium prohibits housing providers from evicting, but does not forgive the rent that is due. In fact, for tenants who have attested and received the eviction moratorium, a property owner or agent may charge penalties, late fees and interest, per the lease.”

National Association of REALTORS®: “The moratorium began on September 4, 2020. After that date,  a housing provider may not evict for failure to pay, any tenant who submits a signed attestation, per the Notice through January 31, 2021.”

New York Times: “It takes effect as soon as it is published in the Federal Register. The order says that will happen on Sept. 4. The order applies through Dec. 31, and it’s possible that it could be extended.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “No. The order specifically excludes hotels and motels.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “Seek counsel. You can search for a low- or no-cost legal assistance office near you via the Legal Services Corporation’s online map. Just Shelter, a tenant advocacy group, also offers information on local organizations that can help renters.

A lawyer can also help if a landlord tries a different approach. For instance, a landlord might try to sue in small claims court over partial payments, without filing an eviction notice that might be illegal under the order, Mr. Dunn said.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “No. Aside from the income caps, your local rules may apply instead. If you’re in a state, territory or tribal area that already has a moratorium in place that provides the same or better level of protection, then that more local action will take its place. Local jurisdictions are also still free to impose stronger restrictions than the federal order. California’s moratorium goes through the end of January, for example.

The federal moratorium doesn’t apply in American Samoa, though it will if it reports its first coronavirus cases.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “Yes, according to administration officials.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “You might. The order specifically mentions this possibility. And the National Rental Home Council, a trade group for landlords who own single-family properties, said in a statement Wednesday that “once the moratorium expires, renters will owe back rent for several months.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “The order does not prevent landlords from charging fees, penalties or interest “under the terms of any applicable contract.” Nor does it place any restrictions on how high they can go. Check your lease to see if there is any mention of such charges.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “Yes. All the usual rules about criminal behavior or disruptions or destruction of property still apply. And it’s possible that a landlord will look hard for some other reason to start the eviction process, so it’s wise to follow every term of the lease, as well as any other building or property rule.

Amy Woolard, a lawyer and policy coordinator for the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, Va., warned of one issue that she and her colleagues frequently see cited in eviction cases: people not on the lease who are living at the property. This could be an issue if you’re hosting guests — like a family member who has already been evicted elsewhere.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “Keep paying as much as you can. Otherwise, you risk failing the eligibility test, which says you should be trying to make partial payments to the best of your ability.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “The order does not deal with roommates directly, but the officials clarified that the income cap was $99,000 per roommate. As for who should pay what if just one person can’t pay in full, the specifics may depend on the terms of the lease, any written agreement between you and your roommate, and applicable state or local law.

Eric Dunn, director of litigation for the National Housing Law Project, said it was possible that housing court judges would interpret the order expansively in this context. For example, consider a scenario where one roommate would become homeless if evicted but the other could move in with parents in an uncrowded home. In that instance, he said, the second roommate could not truthfully sign the declaration.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “Email, send or hand them to the landlord in a way that allows you to get proof that the landlord received them. That way, there will be no question as to whether you did what you were supposed to do. Make sure you keep a copy for yourself.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “The order says every adult who is on the lease should draft and sign a separate declaration.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “You can use the declaration form that the C.D.C. published on its website.

Soon after the order appeared, the Legal Innovation and Technology lab at Suffolk University Law School created an interactive tool that can help people determine if they are eligible. It can also generate a declaration to give to a landlord.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “Landlords who disagree with renters’ self-assessments could try to evict nonpaying tenants by arguing that they are not a “covered person” within the order’s scope and dare them to fight back legally. Then it could be up to a housing court judge to decide if a renter is eligible or if the landlord can, in fact, evict.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “You must meet a five-pronged test.

  1. You need to have used your “best efforts” to obtain any and all forms of government rental assistance.
  2. You can’t “expect” to earn more than $99,000 in 2020, or $198,000 if you’re married and filing a joint tax return. If you don’t qualify that way, you could still be eligible if you did not need to report any income at all to the federal government in 2019 or if you received a stimulus check this year.
  3. You must be experiencing a “substantial” loss of household income, a layoff or “extraordinary” out-of-pocket medical expenses (which the order defines as any unreimbursed expense likely to exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income this year).
  4. You have to be making your best efforts to make “timely” partial payments that are as close to the full amount due as “circumstances may permit,” taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses.
  5. Eviction would “likely” lead to either homelessness or your having to move to a place that was more expensive or where you could get sick from being close to others.”
Source | New York Times

National Association of REALTORS®: “The moratorium ended on July 25, 2020. At that point, a housing provider may initiate eviction proceedings. However, the CARES Act says that a housing provider cannot require a tenant to vacate a unit for 30 days after providing a notice to vacate a unit. So, if a housing provider gives a notice to vacate on July 25 (a Saturday), the earliest date a tenant can be evicted is Monday, August 24, 2020.”

National Association of REALTORS®: “Yes, a landlord may refer tenants with overdue rent to a collection agency, being mindful that eviction still requires the 30-day notice with respect to rents that accrued prior to July 25th.”

 

HUD: “To provide relief for Multifamily property owners, HUD has extended the audited financial reporting deadlines until September 30, 2020. This waiver is limited to entities which are required to submit the referenced annual financial information on or before June 30, 2020. Consequently, entities required to submit financial information on or before June 30, 2020 are now required to submit their financial information no later than September 30, 2020, and as otherwise provided by law. Projects with annual financial due dates after June 30, 2020, are still required to submit the financial information within 90 days of the owner’s fiscal year end date. 

Note that this waiver does not apply to submissions of financial information that were delinquent as of March 20, 2020.”

 

Source | HUD

Washington Post: Eviction laws are complicated and can differ by state, city and courthouse. For renters unfamiliar with the process, finding an attorney could be helpful. 

A legal aid attorney may be able to help a renter determine whether the landlord is violating any federal programs. For example, the Federal Housing Finance Agency granted additional relief for property owners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, allowing them to temporarily skip some payments. 

Those landlords were barred from filing eviction complaints or charging late fees while receiving that help. But it may be difficult for a renter to determine what protections should cover them without legal help, housing advocates say.

Many legal-aid attorneys work pro bono or for a small fee and can be found on LawHelp.org or through a local housing rights group.”

Source | Washington Post

Washington Post: “Yes, the moratorium prevents landlords from evicting tenants, but the rent continues to accumulate. However, depending on the type of moratorium, landlords may be prevented from charging late fees or other penalties to delinquent renters.

Some states and cities have set up local rental-assistance programs to help tenants cover their missed payments. Austin, for example, distributed $1.2 million in an emergency rental relief fund in May, helping about 1,600 of the 11,000 who applied. In July, it announced another $17 million program.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition is tracking local rental-assistance programs here.”

Source | Washington Post

Washington Post: “Yes, eviction court hearings are still going on in pockets of the country. In some cases, judges are allowing renters and landlords to attend hearings by phone or video conferencing. Others are holding in-person hearings and attempting to maintain social distancing within the courtrooms.

“If you have a notice to appear, pay attention” and read all the court paperwork carefully, said Roller of the National Housing Law Project. If a tenant does not appear for a scheduled hearing, the judge can grant a default order against them, allowing the landlord to move forward with the eviction, he said.

Many renters leave their homes as soon as they receive an eviction notice, but that may not be necessary, housing advocates say. There is a huge backlog of cases across the country that could take months to get through, they say.”

 

Source | Washington Post

CityLab: “Renters who live in a property backed by the federal government cannot be evicted for the time being. This eviction moratorium applies to a vast web of mortgages financed, insured or securitized by federal agencies (such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) as well as homes subsidized through federal aid programs (like Section 8).

For tenants in apartment buildings, there are a few tools available to figure out whether the eviction moratorium applies where they live. On May 4, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both launched look-up tools: Renters can enter their building name and address to find out whether the property is federally backed. The National Low Income Housing Coalition put out a similar tool in April.”

Source | CityLab

CityLab: “Maybe! But before you ask, you might want to remember that many landlords report spending more on maintenance costs, hiring cleaners ‘round the clock to scrub mailrooms and common spaces. Rent abatements are subject to normal lease rules. Rent increases are frozen in a few cities and states for now.”

Source | CityLab

Realtor.com: “While it varies by state, in most cases, the coronavirus has not affected long-term rental prices, says Sheryl Jenks, licensed real estate salesperson for Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Sayville, NY.

She says short-term rental demand increased significantly due to people from city centers seeking more space and outdoor areas to shelter in place.”

 

Source | Realtor.com

Realtor.com: “Relocating during a pandemic may not seem like the best timing, but if you must, it is doable.

“With proper safety precautions and the use of online tools to assist in the process, there isn’t any reason why delaying would be necessary,” says Stinson. “Unless, of course, there are restrictions in a renter’s area.”

Hardeman says it should be a personal decision after weighing the pros and cons involved with relocating during a pandemic.”

 

Source | Realtor.com

Realtor.com: “Renting a home sight unseen is not a new concept, but it’s not ideal. Thankfully, there are a variety of workarounds online that will give you a realistic feel for the rental.

Tools such as photos, online tours, and virtual walk-throughs on FaceTime or Zoom are the next best option to actually touring the property and will give you a sense of the layout and amenities.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Stinson says the best way to learn about a property is to develop a relationship with your future landlord.

She says future tenants could also ask to speak with a current or past resident to determine if the home is a good fit for them. If possible, she recommends driving by the location to get a feel for the neighborhood.”

Source | Realtor.com

Realtor.com: “Physically walking through a home or apartment to view it is riskier now more than ever, but it is still possible—with some precautions.

“With proper social distancing, masks, and hand sanitizing, having an in-person showing can still be a safe option,” says Sarah Stinson, a spokesperson for Turbo Tenant.

‘In-person apartment tours are allowed now, but with occupancy restrictions,’ says Pisani. ‘We are not conducting open houses or showings en masse for the foreseeable future.’”

 

Source | Realtor.com

HUD: “Rent is still due during this time period and will accumulate if unpaid.”

Freddie Mac: “Rent payments are still due during any temporary moratorium on eviction filings.”

Source | HUD
Source | Freddie Mac

Washington Post: Renters unable to pay should immediately alert their landlords. Housing advocates and property owners agree this is the best first step. Landlords are typically more willing to negotiate with tenants who contact them quickly, rather than those who hunker down and stay quiet, they say.

‘A lot of landlords are willing to work with people in this situation. They would rather keep a tenant who can pay less than try to get someone new in,’ said Shamus Roller, executive director of the National Housing Law Project.

Some property managers are waiving late fees or providing other types of help, said Bob Pinnegar, chief executive of the National Apartment Association, but it depends on their finances. Property managers ‘are helping when and where they can, but they must take in enough revenue to ensure that the property remains financially viable,’ he said.

NHC: If you need further support, we suggest you visit the following resources:

  • One of the biggest recent developments for renters experiencing financial hardship is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) agency order halting evictions for certain renters through the end of the year. This order extends eviction protections for many renters. To learn more about the requirements, take a look at the helpful overview the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has developed. NLIHC has also created a set of FAQs for renters related to this order. Both documents include a template for the declaration that all renters are required to complete and submit to their landlord if they want to receive protections under the CDC’s eviction moratorium. If you qualify and are in need of rental assistance, we encourage you to complete this form and send to your landlord as soon as possible.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a federal government agency dedicated to supporting consumers and overseeing their interactions with financial service providers, including landlords and property managers. The agency has developed a site dedicated to renters, which explains the protections available under the CARES Act and other COVID-19 related policies.
  • The NLIHC COVID-19 emergency rental assistance tracker allows you to locate state and local rental assistance programs available in your area.
  • Often state housing finance agencies have additional information and programs to support residents’ housing needs. You can look up your state’s housing finance agency on the National Council of State Housing Agencies’ website.
  • The deadlines and coverage of federal, state and local eviction moratoriums can be difficult to navigate. You can easily figure out what moratoriums are in place in your area (in addition to the CDC’s federal moratorium mentioned above) by searching Eviction Lab’s up-to-date eviction tracker.
  • If you are facing eviction, we implore you not to go at it alone and to reach out to an organization that can help. LegalFAQ allows you to search local legal information by state, county or city.
  • If you are looking for legal counsel, you can visit the Legal Services Corporation; their website offers a search tool to find legal aid organizations in your area.
  • For an extensive list of the community organizations dedicated to preventing eviction and homelessness in your state, use Just Shelter’s search tool.
  • If you’re not sure where to start or want to speak to an individual over the phone, try your state 211 hotline. Dialing “211” from your local service area will provide a shortcut through the maze of health and human service agency phone numbers. By simply dialing 211, those in need of assistance can be referred, and sometimes connected, to appropriate agencies and community organizations. You can also look up the toll free number for 211 assistance at 211.org.”
Source | Washington Post
Source | NHC

National Low Income Housing Coalition:” The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has created a searchable database and map of multifamily properties covered under the federal moratoriums to help renters know if they are protected.”

Freddie Mac: “The moratorium on eviction filings related to non-payment of rent established by the CARES Act expired on July 25, 2020. The moratorium applied to properties with federally-backed loans, including those purchased by Freddie Mac.

Although the moratorium has now expired, landlords for eligible properties are still required to provide 30-days’ notice of any eviction related to non-payment of rent.

Renters may also not be assessed late fees or other charges due to non-payment of rent for the period covered by the moratorium – March 27, 2020 to July 24, 2020.

Similar tenant protections may also apply to properties with 4 or fewer units (for example: a single-family home, duplex, triplex, etc.) financed with a Freddie Mac single family loan.

Separately, Freddie Mac also established a forbearance plan for multifamily borrowers that includes additional protections for renters in properties with a forbearance agreement. To determine if you may be eligible for these protections, first check our lookup tool to determine whether you are in a property with a loan purchased by Freddie Mac.  If so, please check with your property management office or landlord to determine whether the additional protections apply to your property.

It is important to remember that rent payments are still due despite any temporary moratorium on eviction filings. This means that if you are unable to pay rent during the moratorium, you will need to work with your landlord to establish a repayment plan for unpaid rent.  If you are continuing to experience financial difficulty, reach out to your landlord or property manager to discuss your situation.”

Source | Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae: “If you’re a renter facing financial challenges as a result of COVID-19, a natural disaster, or other difficulties, we’re here to help. Use our Renters Resource Finder to learn what kinds of support may be available, including:

  • Access to personal assistance from HUD-approved housing counselors
  • Information on Federal and state housing assistance and other programs
  • Tips on communicating with your landlord, and more

If the Renters Resource Finder confirms that Fannie Mae financed the apartment complex where you live, you may also be eligible for COVID-19-related tenant protections. Please reach out to your landlord or property manager to determine if these protections are applicable to you. If your landlord or property owner has received payment relief on the financing we provided (this is known as forbearance), these protections could include:

  • Protection from eviction solely for failure to pay your rent
  • At least a 30-day notice to vacate your rental unit
  • A suspension of late fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent
  • Flexibility to repay back-rent over time, and not in a lump sum”
Source | Fannie Mae

National Housing Law Project: The federal eviction moratorium took effect on March 27, 2020 and extends for 120 days. See Sec. 4024(b). Landlords that receive forbearances of federally backed multifamily mortgage loans must respect identical renter protections for the duration of the forbearance. See Sec. 4023(d)

HUD: “FHA announced it is extending the foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family FHA-insured mortgages through June 30, 2021.”

Source | HUD

National Housing Law Project: “The eviction moratorium operates by restricting lessors of covered properties (discussed in more detail below) from filing new eviction actions for non-payment of rent, and also prohibits “charg[ing] fees, penalties, or other charges to the tenant related to such nonpayment of rent.” Sec. 4024(b). The federal moratorium also provides that a lessor (of a covered property) may not evict a tenant after the moratorium expires except on 30 days’ notice—which may not be given until after the moratorium period. See Sec. 4024(c). The federal eviction moratorium does not affect cases: a) that were filed before the moratorium took effect or that are filed after it sunsets b) that involve non-covered tenancies (see below), or c) where the eviction is based on another reason besides nonpayment of rent or nonpayment of other fees or charges. The moratorium does not explicitly state whether evictions “for nonpayment of rent or other fees or charges” includes evictions motivated by a tenant’s nonpayment of rent (or other fees or charges) but formally based on a “no-cause” lease termination notice or refusal to renew a term tenancy. Sec. 4024(b)(1). However, advocates should assert that the moratorium bars the filing of any eviction case that is motivated (wholly or in part) by a tenant’s nonpayment of rent or other fees or charges, whether or not the action is formally based on such non-payment. Allowing landlords to skirt the moratorium by using “no cause” eviction cases for delinquent rent or fees would frustrate the purpose of the statute. And, such a reading would lead to an absurd result, because a landlord could more quickly and easily evict a tenant without cause during the moratorium period than after the moratorium expires (at which point a 30-day notice would be required). 2 For cases that are not barred (or not clearly barred) by the federal moratorium, advocates should next check to see whether any state or local eviction moratorium protects the client. Advocates should also check to see if any state or local moratorium provides more expansive protections than provided by the federal moratorium.”

Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF): “Immunization with a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is a critical component of the United States’ strategy to reduce COVID-19-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths and to help put an end to the pandemic. Even as people get the vaccine, it will be important for everyone to continue to use all the tools available to help stop this pandemic, like covering their mouth and nose with a mask, washing their hands, and staying at least 6 feet away from others. You may direct residents to the resources above or CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage to learn more.”

HUD: “The CDC’s Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID- 19 Notice and Order (the Order) imposes a temporary halt in residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 between September 4, 2020 through March 31, 2021. The Order applies to all tenants, lessees, or residents of residential property in the country who are subject to eviction for nonpayment of rent and who sign and submit a declaration, as described in the Order, under penalty of perjury. Translated versions of the declaration are posted on HUD’s website, available here.

The Order only applies in states (including the District of Columbia), localities, territories, or tribal areas that do not have a moratorium on residential evictions in place that provides the same or greater level of public-health protection than the CDC’s Order. The Order does not apply in American Samoa, which has reported no cases of COVID-19, until such time as cases are reported. The Order applies to all PIH programs, including the: 

  • Public Housing program 
  • Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program 
  • Moderate Rehabilitation program 
  • Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program 
  • Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) program 
  • Indian Home Loan Guarantee (Section 184) program 
  • Native Hawaiian Housing Loan Guarantee (Section 184A) program 
  • Title VI Loan Guarantee program, the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG) program 
  • All other programs administered by the Office of Native American Programs 

Under the Order, HUD-assisted residents must sign and submit a declaration to become a “covered person” and receive the Order’s protection. The signed declaration must be submitted to the owner of the residential property where they live or to another person who has a right to have them evicted or removed from where they live. A resident cannot be required to complete the declaration. However, without the declaration, residents are not protected from eviction under the Order. This means that until the declaration is signed and submitted to their Public Housing Agency (PHA), landlord, Tribe or Tribally Designated Housing Entity (TDHE), the CDC eviction protection is not in place. 

 This Order is separate from the now expired eviction moratorium in Section 4024 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and any other eviction moratoriums afforded to federally insured or guaranteed loans. 

Under the Order, HUD-assisted residents must sign and submit a declaration to become a “covered person” and receive the Order’s protection. The signed declaration must be submitted to the owner of the residential property where they live or to another person who has a right to have them evicted or removed from where they live. A resident cannot be required to complete the declaration. However, without the declaration, residents are not protected from eviction under the Order. This means that until the declaration is signed and submitted to their Public Housing Agency (PHA), landlord, Tribe or Tribally Designated Housing Entity (TDHE), the CDC eviction protection is not in place. 

This Order is separate from the now expired eviction moratorium in Section 4024 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and any other eviction moratoriums afforded to federally insured or guaranteed loans.” 

Source | HUD
Source | CDC

National Association of REALTORS®: “Maintenance requests are a good example of the practical problems posed by the virus. Since the virus began to spread, many housing providers have announced that they would only undertake “emergency” maintenance and repairs. Maintenance staff and, grudgingly, most residents accepted this solution to avoid contacts that could spread the virus. But exactly what constitutes an “emergency” varies widely, and some residents report that repairs to important fixtures –refrigerators, water heaters, ovens – have not been treated as “emergency” matters. As the weather warms, air conditioning needs also will become urgent. And housing providers do not want their residents to undertake DIY fixes that may present fire, flood, and electrical hazards. Over time, wider availability of personal protective equipment (“PPE”) for both repair crews and residents may make people more comfortable about permitting in-unit repairs to take place. If units are occupied, repair crews should plan to wear their own PPE – at a minimum, masks and gloves – and bring similar PPE for any occupants in the unit while the repairs are performed.”

National Association of REALTORS®: “Except in extraordinary cases, no: HUD guidance is that in most cases, persons who have tested positive can successfully isolate themselves in their unit until they recover. If a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 refuses to self-isolate, however, housing provider should consider taking additional action. Housing providers should check with their legal counsel to determine whether their lease form and applicable landlord/tenant law allows additional action against non- compliant tenants. While it does not expressly discuss grounds for eviction, the Fair Housing Act does not protect persons from discrimination claims who present a “direct threat” to the health or safety of others. Conceivably, someone who fails to comply with direction to self-isolate may present such a direct threat. But courts advise that each “direct threat” claims must be based on an “individualized assessment” of the specific facts of each case, including whether some action less than eviction may persuade the person who has tested positive to follow self-isolation guidance. In serious cases, it may be appropriate to seek advice from local public health or law enforcement officials.” 

National Association of REALTORS®: “If they have not done so already, housing providers should communicate frequently with 

residents, providing them with regular updates about the steps they are taking to maintain a healthy environment. Signs and posters should be placed around the property to encourage personal hygiene (wash your hands!) and other steps individual tenants can take to make themselves and the property safer. Examples are available on the CDC website (cdc.gov). 

If they have not done so already, housing providers should explain to residents that the COVID-19 virus is still spreading rapidly through the population and that they should assume that other people – including other residents at the property – may be carrying the virus and take appropriate precautions. Residents should be reminded that if everyone takes precautions to protect themselves from the virus, it will improve the health prospect of all residents.” 

FHA: Owners and agents are encouraged to follow the updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for multifamily housing, any directions given by local health officials for emergency preparedness, and Chapter 38 of Handbook 4350.1, Emergency and Disaster Guidance. Another useful resource is the Capacity-Building Toolkit for including Aging & Disability Networks in Emergency Planning for Aging and Disabled communities from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

Source | FHFA

MarketWatch: “Landlords are hurting right now, for sure. Many property owners have gone months, even half a year, without receiving full rental payments from their tenants. Without those funds, many are struggling to pay their mortgages, cover upkeep of their properties and handle taxes.

Rental industry experts have said as much as $100 billion in rental assistance is needed to aid tenants and landlords alike. 

It’s reasonable that some landlords would want to sell their properties to exit the business given the challenges they’re facing. 

But experts say that a landlord cannot evict a tenant to do so — nor is it even necessary.

Someone who purchases a property that’s occupied by the tenant takes over the landlord’s end of the existing lease agreement. “So unless the tenant has committed one of the enumerated lease violations, the purchaser would not have grounds to evict the tenant during the CDC order,” Dunn said.”

Source | MarketWatch

MarketWatch: “The original CDC order didn’t cover a host of possible scenarios, like ones where a traditional lease was not involved, such as month-to-month arrangements or situations where relatives live with family members rent-free. Unfortunately, the FAQ the CDC recently released didn’t clarify matters either.

The CDC’s moratorium did spell out certain scenarios where evictions can still proceed, such as in a case where a renter threatens their neighbors’ safety or damages property. Dunn argues that evictions shouldn’t be permitted except in those cases. Ultimately, though, the discretion on this matter lies with judges.

“Those are complicated scenarios and highly dependent on the particular facts and state law,” Dunn said.”

Source | MarketWatch

CDC: “CDC issued this Order because evictions threaten to increase the spread of COVID-19. During a pandemic, calling a temporary halt to evictions can be an effective public health measure to prevent the spread of disease. A temporary halt of evictions can help people who get sick or who are at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 protect themselves and others by staying in one place to quarantine. These orders also allow state and local authorities to more easily implement stay-at-home and social distancing measures to lessen the community spread of COVID-19. Housing stability helps protect public health because homelessness increases the likelihood that people may move into close quarters in homeless shelters or other settings. These crowded places put people at higher risk of getting COVID-19. People who are homeless and not in a shelter also have increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”

Source | CDC

CDC: “CDC issued this Order under the authority of section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. § 264) and federal regulations codified at 42 C.F.R. § 70.2. Under 42 U.S.C. § 264, the HHS Secretary is authorized to take measures to prevent the entry and spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the United States and between U.S. states and U.S. territories. The authority for carrying out these functions has been delegated to the CDC Director. Under long-standing legal authority found at 42 C.F.R. § 70.2, the CDC Director can take public health measures to prevent the interstate spread of communicable diseases in the event of inadequate local control.” 

Source | CDC

CDC: “The U.S. Department of Justice prosecutes violations of this Order.”

Source | CDC

CDC: “Anyone who falsely claims to be a covered person under this Order by attesting to any material information which they do not believe to be true may be subject to criminal penalties under 18 U.S.C. § 1621 (perjury) or other applicable criminal law.” 

Source | CDC

CDC: “Several laws ( 18 U.S.C. §§ 3559 and 3571, 42 U.S.C. § 271, and 42 C.F.R. § 70.18) say that a person who violates the Order may be subject to a fine of no more than $100,000 or one year in jail, or both, if the violation does not result in death. A person violating the Order may be subject to a fine of no more than $250,000 or one year in jail, or both, if the violation results in a death or as otherwise provided by law. An organization violating the Order may be subject to a fine of no more than $200,000 per event if the violation does not result in a death or $500,000 per event if the violation results in a death or as otherwise provided by law. These are criminal penalties and are determined by a court of law. CDC has no involvement in these penalties.” 

Source | CDC

CDC: “The Order does not preclude a landlord from challenging the truthfulness of a tenant’s declaration in any state or municipal court. The protections of the Order apply to the tenant until the court decides the issue as long as the Order remains in effect.” 

Source | CDC

CDC: “Yes. The effective date of the CDC Order is September 4, 2020. That means that any evictions for nonpayment of rent that may have been initiated before September 4, 2020, and have yet to be completed, will be subject to the Order. Any tenant who qualifies as a “Covered Person” and is still present in a rental unit is entitled to protections under the Order. Any eviction that occurred before September 4, 2020, is not subject to the Order.” 

Source | CDC

CDC: “Covered persons located in jurisdictions in which this Order applies may not be evicted for non-payment of rent solely on the basis of the failure to pay rent or similar charges at any time during the effective period of the Order. You may continue to charge rent and accept partial payments from your tenant during this time. If local laws permit, you may also agree to a repayment schedule with your tenant for back rent payments that have accumulated during this time. Tenants retain all existing rights and protections against eviction under applicable state law.” 

Source | CDC

CDC: “The Order applies only in states (including the District of Columbia), localities, territories, or tribal areas that do not have in place a moratorium on residential evictions that provides the same or greater level of public-health protection than the CDC’s Order. Relevant courts deciding these matters should make the decision about whether a state order or legislation provides the same or greater level of public health protection. The Order does not apply in American Samoa, which has reported no cases of COVID- 19. Should COVID-19 cases be reported in American Samoa, the Order would then be applicable to American Samoa. 

CDC is aware of the following websites for more information on state-by-state eviction moratoriums: 

CDC is providing these links for your awareness only. CDC has not evaluated and does not endorse these websites.”

 

Source | CDC

CDC: “The effective date of the CDC Order is September 4, 2020. That means that any evictions for nonpayment of rent that may have been initiated prior to September 4, 2020, but have yet to be completed, will be subject to the Order. Any tenant who qualifies as a “Covered Person” and is still present in a rental unit is entitled to protections under the Order. Any eviction that occurred prior to September 4, 2020 is not subject to the Order.” 

Source | CDC

CDC: “Yes. CDC has issued a declaration form that is compliant with the Order. CDC recommends that eligible persons use this declaration form. The declaration form is available here.

Individuals are not obligated to use the CDC form. Any written document that an eligible individual presents to their landlord will comply with the Order, as long as it contains the same information as the CDC declaration form.

All declarations, regardless of the form used, must be signed, and must include a statement that the covered person understands that they could be liable for perjury for any false or misleading statements or omissions in the declaration. 

In addition, people are allowed to use a form translated into other languages. Even though declarations with other languages may satisfy the requirement that a covered person must submit a declaration, CDC cannot guarantee that they in fact do satisfy the requirement. However, declarations in languages other than English are compliant if they contain the information required to be in a declaration, are signed, and include a statement that the covered person understands that they could be liable for perjury for any false or misleading statements or omissions in the declaration. 

To seek the protections of the Order, each adult listed on the lease, rental agreement, or housing contract should complete and sign a declaration and provide it to the landlord where they live. Individuals should not submit completed and signed declarations to the CDC or any other federal agency. In certain circumstances, such as individuals filing a joint tax return, it may be appropriate for one member of the residence to provide an executed declaration on behalf of other adult residents party to the lease, rental agreement, or housing contract at issue.” 

Source | CDC

CDC: “’Eviction’ means any action by a landlord, owner of a residential property, or other person with a legal right to pursue eviction or a possessory action, to remove or cause the removal of a covered person from a residential property. State and local laws with respect to tenant-landlord relations vary, as do the eviction processes used to implement those laws. The judicial process will be carried out according to state and local laws and rules. Eviction does not include foreclosure on a home mortgage. 

As indicated in the Order, courts should take into account the Order’s instruction not to evict a covered person from rental properties where the Order applies. The Order is not intended to terminate or suspend the operations of any state or local court. Nor is it intended to prevent landlords from starting eviction proceedings, provided that the actual eviction of a covered person for non-payment of rent does NOT take place during the period of the Order. State and local courts may take judicial notice of the CDC Order, and the associated criminal penalties that may be imposed for non-compliance in making a formal judgment about any pending or future eviction action filed while this Order remains in effect.”

Source | CDC

HUD: “Yes, those can be eligible expenses for preventing and responding to COVID-19, per PIH Notice 2020-07.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Yes, the funds can be used for COVID-19 testing for public housing staff and residents participating in the public housing or Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs per PIH Notices 2020-07 and 2020-18.” 

Source | HUD

HUD: “For the HCV Program, in the recently published PIH Notice 2020-18, HUD has expanded the use of CARES Act HCV Administrative Fees to include as an eligible use of these funds: 

Costs to facilitate and coordinate with local schools and local governments receiving funds from the U.S. Department of Education for the education of students in the program. 

Costs for the technological needs of program participants with school aged children being homeschooled as a result of the pandemic that are not and will not be provided through other Federal, state, or local governments. 

For the public housing program, as provided in PIH Notice 2020-07, the PHA can use federal funds authorized under the CARES Act to facilitate and coordinate with local schools and local governments receiving funds from the Department of Education for the education of students in public housing households including internet connection infrastructure and tablets or other low- cost computers for students.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “If a resident has zero income but did not report the decrease of income in a timely manner due to COVID-19, HUD strongly encourages PHAs to consider extenuating circumstances in their interim reexamination policy to allow for retroactive adjustments. This PHA policy may reduce the potential hardship on families and eliminate or significantly reduce the amount a family may owe for back rent. See FAQ OC16 for further detail. 

PHAs have discretion to establish local policies for repayment agreements (e.g., the term of the monthly payment amount and length of agreements), including instances where a resident’s income may become zero. When setting the monthly repayment amount, PIH Notice-2018-18 recommends that the monthly retroactive rent payment plus the amount of rent the tenant pays at the time the agreement is executed should be affordable and not exceed 40 percent of the family’s monthly adjusted income. Per this Notice, the PHA has discretion to establish a different threshold in their policy. For example, if a family’s income decreased to zero income, the PHA would still execute a repayment agreement for both parties agreeing to the retroactive rent amount owed, but the PHA could (1) suspend the agreement for a set period of time, (2) schedule quarterly check-ins with the family to reevaluate circumstances, or (3) wait until the family reports an increase in income. The PHA could also execute a repayment agreement for an amount that does not exceed the PHA’s minimum rent or an amount that is determined affordable to the family per the 24 CFR Part 5. 

PHAs are reminded that the terms of the agreement may be renegotiated and the monthly payment amount for existing repayment agreements can be restructured if there are changes (decrease or increase) in the family’s income.” 

Source | HUD

HUD: “As described in PIH Notice 2020-07, supplemental Operating Funds may be used to pay for regular operations of the public housing program. They can cover unexpected increases in operating costs or cover normal operating costs, whether or not there are unplanned reductions in revenues related to increased unemployment. 

For residents that experience a loss in income, the PHA is required to process requests for interim reexaminations commensurate with such lost income; therefore, PHAs should not have significant Tenant Accounts Receivable due to COVID-19. However, residents are still responsible for all rent charges. If residents still do not pay their rent, PHAs can set up repayment agreements to catch up on unpaid rent. The CARES Act eviction moratorium prohibited pursuing evictions or assessing fees for unpaid rent until July 24, 2020. 

Write-offs of tenant account receivables as bad debt is a separate issue. The allowance method is the prevailing method for writing off receivables pursuant to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Using the allowance method, as long as there is still a possibility that a receivable could be collected, it would remain on the Balance Sheet. PHAs would normally write off the receivable only when the tenant moved and was no longer reachable.” 

Source | HUD

HUD: “HUD is working on a CARES Act web portal that will be used for the required quarterly reporting to HUD based on Section 15011. Further guidance is in PIH Notice 2020-24. 

As described in PIH Notice 2020-07 and PIH Notice 2020-08 (later superseded by PIH Notice 2020-18), the CARES Act requires that recipients of $150,000 or more of CARES Act funding submit certain information regarding the use of CARES Act funds. Additional information is in PIH Notice 2020-24. 

This reporting is required for “covered recipients,” defined as any entity that receives covered funds that amount to more than $150,000. PHAs that receive CARES Act funds that amount to more than $150,000 will be subject to this additional reporting requirement based on the total amounts awarded, not each individual grant award. 

As outlined in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memorandum, M-20-21, existing reporting requirements are anticipated to meet the requirements of Section 15011, but the content and format for this reporting is still under development and will need to be reviewed against current program practices. The Department will work in coordination with OMB to ensure that this requirement can be fulfilled by recipients of CARES Act funding in a manner that utilizes to the greatest extent possible existing reporting streams, providing the necessary transparency and accountability with minimal additional burden.” 

Source | HUD

HUD: “While this software would help the PHA maintain social distance, which prevents transmission of COVID-19, it also improves the operational efficiency of the Public Housing and HCV management and operations. As such, it is a normal Operating Fund and HCV Administrative fee expense, and eligible for CARES Act funds. See PIH Notice 2020-07 for public housing and PIH Notice 2020-18 for HCV Administrative fees.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Yes, as long as the funds are used by the applicable expiration dates. For public housing, funds must be expended by December 31, 2021 as described in PIH Notice 2020-24. For HCV Administrative fees, PIH Notice 2020-18 extends the period of availability for the CARES Act HCV Administrative fees through June 30 , 2021; and the CARES Act HAP funding for per unit cost (PUC) increases is likewise available through June 30 , 2021. The period of availability for supplemental HAP funding for shortfalls is December 31 , 2020, and for funds awarded for per unit cost increases is June 30 , 2021. This option is available for all PHAs, not just small PHAs. 

Source | HUD

HUD: “There is no requirement that PHAs target those who are directly affected by COVID-19. The funding is intended to support new Mainstream vouchers for eligible families— those that include a non-elderly person with a disability. PHAs will use their regular waiting list for these additional Mainstream vouchers just as PHAs do with their existing Mainstream vouchers. PHAs may add or modify preferences based on the needs in their community but it is not required. 

Source | HUD

HUD: “PHAs still need to use the waiting list to serve families in the Mainstream voucher program, however, PIH Notice 2020-13, REV-1 provides several waivers that would allow your agency to create a new preference and more easily open the waiting list to those that meet the preference criteria. 

Waiver HCV-1 allows PHAs to implement changes to their administrative plan without board approval, as long as the change can be revised on a temporary basis through September 30 ,2020 and formally adopted no later than December 31 , 2020. Waivers PH and HCV-7 allows PHAs to provide a limited public notice when opening the waiting list, requiring that PHAs update the voice message on their main phone line and announce the update on the PHA’s website. The PHA must ensure effective communication with persons with disabilities and meaningful access for persons with limited English proficiency. This waiver is available until December 31 , 2020. 

Under normal circumstances, PHAs are able to open the waiting list for those who meet certain criteria, such as shelter residents. In this case, the PHA could informally adopt a preference for shelter residents immediately and open the waiting list for those that meet the new preference criteria by announcing on the PHA’s voice message and website. Please review PIH Notice 2020-13, REV-1 if you are interested in adopting these waivers and alternative requirements.” 

Source | HUD

HUD: “HUD has not waived the requirement in 24 CFR 960.253 that says the family may not be offered a choice of rent more than once a year. However, 24 CFR 960.253(g)(1) states that a family paying “flat rent may at any time request a switch to payment of income-based rent (before the next annual option to select the type of rent) if the family is unable to pay flat rent because of financial hardship.” If the PHA determines that the family is unable to pay the flat rent because of financial hardship, the PHA must immediately allow the requested switch to income-based rent pursuant to 24 CFR 960.253(g)(2). 

If the family reports that their income increased after they switched to income-based rent, the PHA is not required to conduct a reexamination immediately to increase their rent. Pursuant to 24 CFR 960.257(a)(1), a PHA must conduct a reexamination of a family paying income-based rent at least annually. However, if a PHA ACOP requires a reexamination to occur immediately upon a family’s income increase and the PHA does not want to increase the rents for these families, a PHA could revise its policies to allow the family to stay at their current rent until the next annual reexamination.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Since this is not counted as part of the family’s adjusted income it would not be included in the calculation for these purposes. Under 24 CFR 982.305(a), the PHA may not give approval for the family of the assisted tenancy, or execute a HAP contract, until the PHA has determined that all listed program requirements have been met, including 982.305(a)(5), that the family share does not exceed 40 percent of the family’s monthly adjusted income.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “PHAs can restrict visitors from public housing properties and require that certain persons in common areas or the office wear cloth face coverings or their own masks. If a PHA plans to implement a reasonable visitor ban through amended PHA policies, HUD recommends it be done as part of a broader, publicly announced plan to respond to the COVID-19 National Emergency. PHAs should consider that residents will still need to receive essential services, such as food deliveries, medications, and direct service professionals (DSP) [e.g., personal care assistants (PCAs) or home health aides (HHAs)] responsible for caring for older adults and/or persons with disabilities. PHAs should also allow workers from the US Census to complete their surveys. Restrictions should track with CDC guidance and recommendations from state or local health officials. Regarding cloth face coverings, follow CDC guidance. Now that many cities and states have adopted mask policies, the policy should reference them. Once those policies are adopted, HUD regulations at 24 CFR 966.4(f)(4) requires tenants to abide by them as a condition of the lease. Under the HCV program, including PBVs, PHAs and owners should review the lease, state and local laws to determine the permissibility of banning visitors or requiring cloth face coverings in common areas.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “As described in PIH Notice 2020-13, REV-1 PHAs must post publicly or otherwise make available to the public a list of all waivers and alternative requirements the PHA chooses to apply in addition to notifying affected residents and owners of the impact of applicable waivers and alternative requirements. This posting could be on a website, the PHA’s social media page, or on a bulletin board in the PHA office.”

Source | HUD

National Association of REALTORS®: “The order does not place any affirmative obligation on a housing provider.”

National Association of REALTORS®: “The order by the CDC is based under Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act, and is designed to “prevent the further spread of COVID-19.” Legal challenges are anticipated.”

New York Times: “Yes. An individual landlord could be subject to a fine up to $100,000 if no death (say from someone getting sick after eviction) results from the violation, or one year in jail, or both. If a death occurs, the fine rises to no more than $250,000. If it’s an organization in violation, the fines are $200,000 or $500,000.”

Source | New York Times

National Association of REALTORS®: “Yes, a landlord may refer tenants with overdue rent to a collection agency, being mindful that eviction still requires the 30-day notice with respect to rents that accrued prior to July 25th.”

 

National Association of REALTORS®: “The moratorium ended on July 25, 2020. At that point, a housing provider may initiate eviction proceedings. However, the CARES Act says that a housing provider cannot require a tenant to vacate a unit for 30 days after providing a notice to vacate a unit. So, if a housing provider gives a notice to vacate on July 25 (a Saturday), the earliest date a tenant can be evicted is Monday, August 24, 2020.”

 

 

National Association of REALTORS®: “In most cases, no. Owners are under no federal requirements when it comes to counting unemployment assistance as income in connection with lease applications. In addition, the one-time $1200 check received by many taxpayers was a tax rebate or credit and should not be included in calculating a tenant’s income. If you are in a state or locality that has “source of income” provision in its discrimination laws, owners should check with legal counsel to determine how to treat unemployment compensation to avoid discrimination claims. 

If you participate in HUD-assisted housing, the amount of assistance a family receives may be affected by the amount of income they receive and so it is important to know how to count unemployment assistance. Recent HUD guidance says that different types of unemployment assistance is treated differently in calculating a family’s “annual income”: 

  • Regular payments of unemployment insurance are treated as annual income. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (“PUA”, CARES Act §2102): this is unemployment assistance for individuals who are self-employed, seeking part time employment or who otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment assistance. HUD says PUA payments are included in annual income. 
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (“FPUC,” CARES Act §2104): This is the payment of $600 that supplemented regular unemployment compensation and that ended at the end of July 2020. HUD has determined FPUC payments are “temporary income” that is not included in annual income. 
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (“PEUC”, CARES Act §2017): This program provides up to a 13-week extension of unemployment compensation (from 26 weeks to a total of 39 weeks). HUD has determined that PEUC payments are included in annual income.” 

 

 

National Association of REALTORS®: “Common law allows landlords to prohibit trespassers on their properties, but also gives tenants the right to invite guests. If a property owner wants to limit non-resident access to the property, there are several steps they can take. Landlords can require that all persons on the property (including contractors hired by tenants) must confirm they have no current COVID-19 symptoms and have not traveled to any place where the virus is prevalent. If possible, there should be some sort of check-in procedure. Posted signs should also say that visitors are subject to getting their temperature taken before being admitted. Landlords may also require that all deliveries be made to a central location (rather than throughout the property). Posting signs like that will discourage a lot of unwanted people from coming in. Staff should be familiar with the requirement and, to avoid subsequent claims of discrimination or other types of liability, should apply it uniformly. 

 

With respect to housing for older persons, the CDC has said for months that at “retirement communities” and “independent living facilities,” non-essential visitors should be limited (one visitor per day) and should be restricted to persons “who are essential to preserving health, including mental health, well-being and safety of residents.” 

 

With respect to federally-assisted housing, including Section 8, Section 202 and Section 811 housing, to the extent that HUD’s new FAQs require changes in house rules to implement a mask requirement on tenants, that guidance also suggests that owners should consider changing house rules if they want to restrict visitors. The same requirements for 30 or60 day notice, referenced above, and HUD approval apply.” 

 

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Source Link: https://narfocus.com/billdatabase/clientfiles/172/26/4033.pdf

 

National Association of REALTORS®: “Again, owners have latitude with respect to admitting outside persons onto their properties, which would include taking the temperature of visitors. Signs notifying visitors that they may be required to have their temperature taken should be posted at entrances to the property, and, as with other precautions, staff should be familiar with the requirement and apply it uniformly. 

However, as with other requirements for wearing masks and restricting visitors, HUD’s recent FAQs suggest that owners of Section 8, Section 202 and Section 811 housing wishing to require visitors to submit to temperature testing should adopt applicable house rules, subject to the same 30- or 60- day notice and HUD approval requirements.” 

 

National Association of REALTORS®: “Just as a restaurant can adopt a “no shoes, no shirts, no service” rule, landlords generally can adopt rules restricting the use of their public and common use areas, including requiring tenants and visitors to wear masks. Owners’ decision to require masks in public places will be strengthened to the extent that state or local governments have adopted rules requiring masks in public places. 

The rules may be slightly different for federally assisted properties including Section 8, Section 202 and Section 811 properties. According to recent HUD guidance, owners of these properties can update their house rules to require face coverings, but must give existing renters at least 30-days’ notice of any such change (persons within the initial lease term must be given notice 60 days prior to the end of their lease terms). The changes must be approved by HUD and “must be within the bounds of common sense [and] not excessive or extreme.” The FAQs state that rules concerning face coverings “must be consistent with state and local law and directives from public health officials,” suggesting that approval is less likely in places that have not adopted requirements to wear masks in public.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Source Link: https://narfocus.com/billdatabase/clientfiles/172/26/4033.pdf

 

National Association of REALTORS®: “Social distancing remains the best method to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Managing social distancing will vary from property to property. The solutions will be different for a high-rise, elevator-serviced apartment in an urban setting from a garden-style property in a suburban location. But some common themes apply to everyone.

To the maximum extent possible, housing providers should continue to restrict access to common and public areas. The virus spreads through social contact, and common and public areas are the most likely place in your property for those contacts to take place. Until effective prevention or treatment is available, housing providers should continue to restrict access to common and public areas. Encourage your residents to use common and public areas like lobbies as briefly as possible and to treat them as places for transit only and not as places for socializing. Some owners have removed furniture from lobbies to discourage residents from lingering there. Social spaces, such as community rooms and game rooms, should stay closed. Continue to restrict deliveries and, where possible, visits from non-residents. 


That’s easier said than done. In response to resident requests and improving weather conditions, some owners are experimenting with methods to relieve restrictions on common and public area. This could include limiting the number of persons who can occupy a space, or assigning appointment times for use of picnic, playground and similar areas. The problem is “social creep” – once areas are opened, residents will want to use them, and it will be very difficult to enforce any remaining restrictions. 


If it is okay to have six people in a grill area, why not 8 or 10? In a lot of respects, a flat prohibition on use is a much easier policy to enforce than relaxed restrictions that rely on residents policing themselves.

Should all public and common areas be treated alike? Yes: In particular, housing providers need to be aware that facilities that are used frequently by children – for example, recreational areas, playgrounds, and tennis and basketball courts – must be treated like any other common/public areas. Otherwise, imposing additional restrictions on facilities predominantly used by children (compared to those areas used by adult residents) may lead to charges of violations of the prohibitions of the Fair Housing Act against discrimination based on familial status.”

 

 

National Association of REALTORS®: “The language of the CARES Act says that a housing provider may not, during the period of the eviction moratorium, “charge fees, penalties, or other charges to the tenant related to such nonpayment of rent.” So, during the eviction moratorium, housing providers cannot charge fees or penalties for nonpayment. Although not expressly forbidden by the CARES Act, it seems inconsistent with the operation of the statute for owners to charge fees retroactively at the end of the moratorium period that they were forbidden to charge during the moratorium itself. However, to the extent that the tenant owes accrued but unpaid rent at the end of the moratorium period, the CARES Act does not prohibit an owner from charging fees and penalties that accrue after the expiration of the moratorium period. Please remember there are two eviction moratoriums—a 120- day period starting March 27th (ending July 25th, plus at least another 30-day notice period) and up to a 90-day period (plus at least 30-day notice period) that tracks any mortgage forbearance pursuant to the CARES Act. These periods likely, if not entirely, may overlap. 

As a practical matter, courts are themselves reopening and will be swamped with caseload. If a housing provider intends to initiate foreclosures at the end of the moratorium, it may be desirable to keep its evictions as simple as possible, to avoid legal complications such as attempting to collect fees that accrued during the moratorium period. Anything that requires judicial consideration could delay an otherwise straight-forward eviction proceeding. The more complicated the eviction claim, the more likely that claim will be delayed.” 

National Association of REALTORS®: “In addition to providing a notice of nonpayment, many owners are asking tenants to execute a formal rent forbearance agreement. These documents constitute a contractual agreement between the housing provider and the tenant, identifying the amount of rent that is unpaid and providing terms for repayment in the future. If a tenant has a good rental history in the past, it may be desirable to work out terms for repayment after the moratorium, rather than go through the effort to evict a tenant now and try to re-rent the unit in a very uncertain market. From the tenant’s point of view, many are eager to enter into a forbearance agreement that establishes a mechanism to pay accrued rents to avoid having to pay all accrued but unpaid rent in a lump sum at the end of the moratorium period. A forbearance agreement clarifies what the tenant owes and when it will be paid, and provides remedies that the housing provider can exercise if the repayment terms are not met. Again, housing providers need to consult with legal counsel to make sure that the forbearance agreement complies with state and local landlord/tenant laws in general.” 

 

 

National Association of REALTORS®: “Yes, but with some caveats: the moratorium prohibits initiation of eviction proceedings but it does not prohibit an owner from sending the tenant a notice that the rental payment is late or incomplete. Among other things, if an owner wants to initiate collection or eviction proceedings after the moratorium ends, it is wise to have a copy of these notices on hand, making clear that the housing provider documented the nonpayment and provided information to the tenant. If you send such a notice, you should consult with your legal counsel about the wording. Among other things, the notice needs to indicate that it is not itself a notice of eviction and does not include charges or fees for late or nonpayment of rent, both of which are forbidden under the terms of the eviction moratorium.”

payments that became due during the 120-day eviction moratorium; many owners entered into repayment agreements with tenants during the moratorium, making clear the amount due and the terms for repayment. In the absence of such an agreement, the owner can now give a renter an eviction notice but is still subject to the 30-day notice requirement for any pre-July 25 rents. In addition, a property owner may seek relief other than eviction – such as suing for a money judgment.” 

 

HUD: “Owners and agents may amend their lease terms and/or house rules in accordance with state and local law and HUD requirements (see chapter 6 of HUD Handbook 4350.3 for guidance on lease amendments and house rules) and Notice H12-22. Section 6-9.B.1.a of the Handbook states that house rules should be “within the bounds of common sense, […and] not excessive or extreme.” Notice H 2012-22 states that owners and agents must notify existing tenants, who have completed their initial lease terms, of modifications to the House Rules 30 days prior to implementation. Tenants who have not yet completed their initial lease terms must be notified 60 days prior to the end of their lease terms. 

House rules pertaining to face coverings must be reasonable and consistent with state and local law and directives from public health officials. Changes to house rules may be sent to the local Multifamily Office or Performance-Based Contract Administrator (PBCA) for review. While neither HUD nor the PBCA approves house rules, they can advise if any rules violate HUD statutory, regulatory, or programmatic requirements. Failure to comply with face covering requirements may be treated as a lease violation only if house rules are reasonable and consistent with state and local law and directives, and if the house rules are identified in the lease as an attachment to the lease agreement.” 

Source | HUD

HUD: “Following the instructions found in HUD Handbook 4350.3, REV-1, paragraph 7-10, B, tenants may request an interim recertification due to any changes in family income that may affect their Total Tenant Payment (TTP) or tenant rent and assistance payment occurring since the last income recertification. Following a recertification, owners/agents must then retroactively apply any reduction in rent starting with the first day of the month after the date of the action that caused the decrease in income. For example, if a tenant lost their job on March 4, 2020, then the owner/agent would reflect this change in income starting with the first day of the following month, which would be April 1, 2020. See the policy in HUD Handbook 4350.3, REV-1, paragraph 7-11 for further information on owner/agent responsibilities when a tenant reports a decrease in income.” 

 

 

 

Source | HUD

HUD: “There is no regulatory or statutory basis under the Section 8, 202, or 811 programs for an owner or agent to require tenants to take a health or medical test and disclose results as a condition of tenancy. If an owner or agent believes there is a basis in state or local law to require testing and disclosure, their counsel should provide the local HUD Multifamily Office with the legal authority. Owners and agents can encourage, but not require, tenants to get testing and disclose the results. However, tenant testing cannot be classified as a project expense.” 

Source | HUD

HUD: “HUD understands that the in-person interview is essential during the application process and allows the owner to verify the identity of the applicant. State and local social distancing requirements may impact the ability to conduct an in-person interview. Owners and agents may choose to conduct the interviews remotely using available technology or appropriate social distancing barriers. Owners and agents may accept electronic signatures on owner-adopted verification forms in order to perform both owner-adopted and HUD-required screening criteria in accordance with Notice H 20-4. Owners and agents utilizing the provisions of this Notice must do so in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.”

Source | HUD

Wall Street Journal: “As more hotels and national and state parks reopen across the country, road trip vacations are picking up speed. Only Florida currently has checkpoint[s], on Interstate 95, just south of the Georgia border, to screen travelers. Those visitors arriving from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are required to quarantine for 14-days. New Mexico has a checkpoint on US 64, leading in and out of Taos Pueblo, which is closed indefinitely to nonresidents. For other roadside travel restrictions, see AAA’s Covid-19 map at TripTik.AAA.com. And for more road trip guidance, including tips on how to safely get gas and food along your drive, read “Expert Advice for a Safe Road Trip.”

HUD: “PHAs may choose to resume HQS inspections at any time they believe it is safe and appropriate to do so. PHAs have the option of applying the waivers in PIH 2020-05, REV-1 related to HQS inspections until the period of availability expires (currently December 31, 2020). PHAs also have the option to perform remote video inspections (RVI) as detailed in the Remote Inspection section of this FAQ and HUD encourages PHAs to do so.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “A Remote Video Inspection (RVI) can be utilized to meet regulatory inspection requirements for the Housing Choice Voucher. As described in PIH Notice 2020-13, REV-1 PH-12, an RVI can be an option for PHA self-inspections. RVI is a regular HQS/public housing inspection performed remotely with a “proxy” inspector with the PHA HQS/PH inspector remotely directing the inspection. The Department will issue additional guidance for best practices that PHAs can follow. HUD envisions that, once the process is mature, this method can be used by PHAs into the future (not just through the COVID-19 response period).”

Source | HUD

HUD: “When residents are temporarily unable to pay their utility bill, many utility companies offer accommodations such as flexible repayment plans and/or no shut off policies. 

Residents and PHAs are encouraged to reach out to local utility companies to identify these accommodations. Recently, a number of state and local governments have passed ordinances prohibiting utility companies from shutting off utilities due to a resident’s inability to pay the utility bill. When researching no shut off policies, PHAs and residents should identify (1) if there is an expiration date for the no shut off policy, and (2) if there are conditions for customers to qualify for the no shut off policy such as contacting the utility company and/or making a minimum payment. 

When residents are not able to pay their utility bill and are able to work out a repayment plan with the utility company, they are encouraged to pay what they can now so that when they are able to pay their utility bill they are not overwhelmed with a large utility bill.”

 

Source | HUD

HUD: “In an effort to prevent evictions for non-payment of rent, the PHA could: (1) process a retroactive interim reexamination if the family had a decrease in income (see FAQ OC14 for additional information on retroactive interims), (2) encourage an owner to enter into a repayment agreement for the unpaid rent, and/or (3) use CARES Act Administrative fees to offer a retention incentive to owners who, as an alternative to filing the eviction, are willing to work with the family and/or PHA (for example, entering into a repayment agreement with the family, providing time for the PHA to update its interim reexamination policy or retroactive interim reexaminations, etc.). HUD strongly encourages owners enter into repayment agreements so that families may continue to be housed after the eviction moratorium expires, and the family can come back into compliance with the terms of their tenancy. 

On July 1, 2020, the Department provided PHAs with an “Eviction Prevention and Stability Toolkit,” which was built by innovative practices that many housing authorities are already taking and includes several specific PHA examples and best practices. We encourage PHAs to review the toolkit, as it includes relevant HUD guidance on repayment agreements, interim reexamination policies, hardship exemptions, example repayment agreements and a ready-to-use tenant flyer and an HCV landlord flyer.”

 

Source | HUD

HUD: “For any unpaid rent during the moratorium, the family has the option to repay the PHA or owner the amount of unpaid rent due or sign a repayment agreement to pay any amount owed after the moratorium has ended. If the amount owed by the public housing resident is not repaid, the PHA is authorized to terminate the family’s assistance and proceed with a legal action to evict. See FAQ question EM16, 24 CFR 966.4(l)(2) and Section 16 of Notice PIH 2018-18. However, HUD strongly encourages PHAs enter into repayment agreements so that families may continue to be housed after the eviction moratorium expires, and the family can come back into compliance with the terms of their tenancy. PHAs should also review their state and local laws, as many state and local jurisdictions are also enacting their own moratorium on evictions that may last longer than the 120-day period of the CARES Act. 

On July 1, 2020, the Department provided PHAs with an “Eviction Prevention and Stability Toolkit,” which was built by innovative practices that many housing authorities are already taking and includes several specific PHA examples and best practices. We encourage PHAs to review the toolkit, as it includes relevant HUD guidance on repayment agreements, interim reexamination policies, hardship exemptions, example repayment agreements and a ready-to-use tenant flyer and an HCV landlord flyer.”

 

Source | HUD

National Association of REALTORS®: “Your mortgage may be covered by the moratorium on foreclosure, which applies to all federal mortgage (FHA, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae), but hopefully it won’t get to that. You may also be eligible for mortgage forbearance. That means that your payments are frozen while under the forbearance period. You must contact your servicer to request forbearance, though. There are no fees and after the forbearance period you can request a modification to have the missed payments extended onto your payment term. NAR has worked with a coalition of organizations to lobby for security in all of the real estate waterfall. We are trying to ensure that when evictions are stopped for tenants, relief is provided for property owners.”

Multi Housing News: “Resident retention is always top of mind during spring leasing season. It’s almost always more profitable to keep a resident than to have to turn the apartment and close a new lease. So hopefully the excellent rapport that you’ve established with residents in the weeks leading up to, and during, the pandemic will positively impact resident retention. Interestingly, the coronavirus does not seem to have hindered new leasing activity as much as expected. Some operators actually saw a surge in leasing, with good results enabled by technology.

Leasing agents have been leading virtual walk throughs of communities and model units for remote prospects. On-site self-guided tours have also been offered and are expected to really take off as stay-at-home restrictions are removed. Using doors enabled with remote locking and unlocking technology, prospects are able to practice social distancing as they view the property and see the model without having to meet with a leasing associate. Other strategies include offering renewals at current rental rates or offering extensions on renewals upwards of three months, without charging any type of short-term fees. Care packages with toilet paper, hand sanitizer, masks and nonperishable food go a long way in generating goodwill, and make good tenants think twice about moving.”

 

Multi Housing News: “There will be many takeaways from this health crisis, but one of the most important from an operations standpoint is the necessity to have all residents on board with electronic rent payment. At the onset of the pandemic, with in-person interactions curtailed, it became clear that rent collection was one service that could potentially be disrupted. Communities that have historically welcomed residents stopping by the office with a check had to pivot quickly, reminding residents that there are other options. Right now, operators should continue reminding residents that there generally are no fees to pay by bank transfer, in case this is why they are hesitant to take advantage of online payments. And, if fees are involved, consider limiting or waiving them. There are even ways for renters who prefer to pay rent with cash to use electronic-pay systems.

Apartment companies that have been processing rent payments electronically through their existing online portals are happy they transitioned long ago. Owners are finding that online rent payers have been more likely to maintain rent payments during the crisis. It seems that even tech-phobic residents who are now exploring other options will likely emerge from the health crisis with a new appreciation for touchless rent pay. Online rent collection keeps everyone socially distanced, helps prevent the spread of germs and is also a huge time saver for property managers.”

 

Multi Housing News: “Every fulfilled rent payment helps keep properties afloat and property owners able to pay their mortgages. It’s important to communicate to renters who haven’t been financially impacted by the pandemic that they’re responsible for the rent in full. This is not a rent holiday—everyone has to do their part to help those around them. Thankfully, many apartment residents have kept their jobs during the pandemic, have been able to work from home and are paying rent on time. According to NMHC, 93 percent of renters had paid full or partial rent for June by the third week of June.

One way to ensure a continuation of this model behavior is through payment incentives. Residents who are able to pay their rent on time will want to keep doing so, especially if they’re recognized with an incentive such as a gift card for a local takeout business, a future discount or a special offer that can be redeemed once the pandemic is over. Online payment applications can also increase the degree to which tenants meet their obligations in a timely fashion.”

HUD: “For any unpaid rent after the moratorium has ended, the family can repay unpaid rent in a lump sum to avoid eviction. The PHA could also set up a repayment agreement, but that is at the discretion of the PHA. Currently, if the amount owed is not repaid either in a lump sum or is not in a repayment agreement after July 24, 2020, then the PHA would determine if there is a serious lease violation. If the PHA finds a serious lease violation, the PHA is authorized to terminate assistance and proceed with a legal eviction. See 24 CFR 966.4(l)(2). If the PHA decides to execute a repayment agreement with the household, see the repayment agreement guidance listed in Section 16 of Notice PIH 2018-18.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Yes, if you filed with the court of jurisdiction, you can continue the action if the court is operating, subject to any local eviction moratorium requirements.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “This answer would depend on the language in the state or local law. For example, if the state has prohibited all evictions, then that more stringent requirement would apply to the PHA and HCV landlords in that state. If the state has ordered an eviction ban, there may also be a limit on court enforcement of evictions.

Source | HUD

HUD: “To provide relief for Multifamily property owners, HUD has extended the audited financial reporting deadlines until June 30, 2020. This waiver is limited to entities which are required to submit the referenced annual financial information on or before June 30, 2020. Consequently, entities required to submit financial information on or before June 30, 2020 are now required to submit their financial information no later than 180 days after the end of the fiscal year of the reporting period, and as otherwise provided by law.

This waiver is limited in scope and does not apply to the submission requirements for financial information that was delinquent as of March 23, 2020.”

 

Source | HUD

HUD: HUD will temporarily permit suspension of Residual Receipts Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) offsets, as outlined in H 2012 – 14 and 4350.1 Chapter 25, section 10, in certain circumstances. All Project Rental Assistance Contracts (PRACs) may suspend offsets for Residual Receipts through December 31, 2020. Owners of properties receiving Section 8 HAP assistance payments must receive approval in advance to suspend offset payments. Asset Management Division Directors in the Multifamily Regional and Satellite Offices are authorized to suspend such offsets through December 31, 2020, for properties where COVID-19 expenses are anticipated to exceed available resources. After December 31, 2020, all properties must offset HAP vouchers for all Residual Receipts in excess of the minimum allowed retainable balance.

Source | HUD

National Apartment Association: “For most employers, protecting workers necessitates emphasizing basic infection prevention measures. All employers should implement good hygiene and infection control practices, including promoting frequent and thorough hand-washing, encouraging employees to stay home if they are sick and reinforcing respiratory etiquette, including properly covering coughs and sneezes. 

Maintaining regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment and the overall work environment should remain a priority. When choosing cleaning chemicals, employers should consult information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant labels with claims against emerging viral pathogens. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 based on data for aggressive viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use of all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, PPE). 

Additionally, employers should develop an “Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan” that includes a section on transitioning employees back into the workplace. The following guidance is offered to help your organization understand the most important factors of this plan to ensure an effective and safe transition back to the workplace for all employees.” 

 

National Apartment Association: “While rent collection should continue in accordance with your lease agreement, we ask that you recognize that some residents have been or will be financially impacted by COVID- 19, and you may consider working with those residents on alternate payment schedules, considering waiving late fees and providing financial resources to residents where applicable. In addition, remember to check applicable emergency orders in your jurisdiction(s) that may direct further operations regarding rent collection. To prevent continued exposure, residents should be encouraged to pay rent online if this option is available at their community. If the leasing office is closed, or if an online payment option is not available, a drop box or other method for money collection should be available for residents. Employees should handle all money collection with disposable gloves and wash their hands accordingly.”

 

HUD: “Until federal, state, or local public health officials counsel otherwise, owners and agents should follow published guidance covering apartment inspections. In this case, Paragraph 20 of the HUD Model Lease covers the rules governing the landlord’s access to a tenant’s apartment.” 

Source | HUD

HUD: “In accordance with the U.S. Housing Act of 1937, PHAs must conduct an examination of family income at least annually. PHAs may conduct limited annual reexaminations of income for families where the family’s income consists of 90% or more from fixed income sources, but the PHA would still have to perform a full examination in the initial year, and then every three years thereafter. During the second and third years after the initial income recertification, PHAs can adjust fixed sources of income based on the cost of living adjustment associated with that source of income. Also, the PHA must have policies in place on how they will adjust any non-fixed sources in the intervening years.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Allowing families to switch from flat rent to income-based rent should be covered in your agency’s hardship policy. If the PHA determines that the family is unable to pay the flat rent because of financial hardship, the PHA must immediately allow the requested switch to income-based rent (24 CFR 960.253(g)). HUD requires PHAs to adopt written policies for determining when payment of flat rent is a financial hardship for the family and will issue additional guidance to assist PHAs with this process.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “All Section 3 related questions should be sent to section3@hud.gov.  Issues related to SPEARS should be sent to 60002questions@hud.gov.  Please refrain from sending the same question to both mailboxes as they are managed by the same staff.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “No, the Section 3 statutory and regulatory requirements have not been waived. We encourage Section 3 covered recipients to take every precaution to remain safe during this difficult time and follow the directives of the CDC, WHO, and state and local guidelines. However, if Section 3 covered recipients are engaging in Section 3-related hiring or contracting during this time, the Section 3 covered recipients are still required to meet the Section 3compliance requirements outlined in 24 CFR 135. Section 3 residents and businesses are the most vulnerable at this difficult time, so we strongly encourage Section 3 covered recipients to make every possible effort “to the greatest extent feasible” to make employment and contracting opportunities.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “PHAs should follow all state and local health department guidance as well as the CDC’s COVID-19 communication resources in both print and digital form at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/index.html”

HUD: “Residents are not required to notify administrators if they have or may have a positive case of COVID-19. However, if you do receive information of a positive case, in coordination with local health officials, communicate the possible COVID-19 exposure to all residents and workers, volunteers, and visitors. This can be done by placing signage in common areas and entrances/exits and by letter to all residents, delivered to their doors. Messages should attempt to counter potential stigma and discrimination. Residents could be advised to inform their recent personal visitors of potential exposure. Owners and agents must maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Privacy Act. Owners and agents may provide notification of positive COVID-19 cases, but they must ensure the notification does not disclose any names, apartment numbers, and other personally- identifiable information to residents, workers, volunteers, and visitors. Owners and agents should also consult local and state health and privacy laws before making any disclosure. CDC COVID-19 printable materials for community-based settings are available on the CDC website.”

Source | HUD
Source | HUD

HUD: “For new residences, the United States Housing Act of 1937 requires that for each dwelling unit for which a housing assistance payment (HAP) contract is established, the PHA shall inspect the unit before any assistance payment is made to determine whether the dwelling unit meets housing quality standards. HUD is currently considering waivers and alternative requirements to provide administrative flexibilities around HQS inspections. This guidance will be informed by the CARES Act.

Currently, PHAs can utilize the following existing HQS inspection flexibilities:

PHAs can move to biennial inspections following the streamlining notice (PIH 2016-05) or triennial inspections if they are small rural PHAs under the established definition (Notice FR- 6115-N-02).

PHAs can accept alternative inspections for periodic inspections (PIH 2016-05) and accept alternative methods for validating the correction of a deficiency (for example- a photo or owner certification).

PHAs can adopt the HOTMA Non-Life threatening (NLT) provision (PIH 2017-20) to allow families to move into units before unit has passed HQS, if it failed for non-life-threatening deficiencies. Additionally, PHAs, can adopt the HOTMA Alternative Inspection provision, allowing families to move in before an HQS inspection has been completed, as long as it has passed an acceptable alternative inspection.

If, for any reason, any of these change to inspections would require an update to a PHA’s Admin Plan, HUD can waive the requirement for the Admin Plan changes to be formally adopted by the board in order to become effective (24 CFR § 982.54(a)). HUD is considering inclusion of waivers around updating the Admin Plan updates in the waiver notice. PHAs are encouraged postponing submission of such waivers at this time because on March 27, 2020, the President signed the CARES Act. This legislation provides HUD the ability to waive statute or regulations and impose alternative requirements to provide PHAs with flexibilities necessary to respond to COVID-19. Guidance on these waivers and alternative requirements will be forthcoming.”

Source | HUD

American Apartment Owners Association: “While standard insurance provisions may not help you now, there are a few newer insurance solutions that could be helpful in this sort of situation. These supplemental programs can cover loss of rent due to the tenant’s inability to pay, although it would be a separate coverage with an additional cost that depends on the amount of coverage that is needed.

An increasingly popular option is the establishment of a master renters insurance policy. It’s imperative that landlords require their tenants to carry renters’ insurance, mostly to protect yourself against potential claims due to the tenant-caused claims that would otherwise fall under the landlord’s policy without the layer of protection that renter’s insurance provides. But it can be more hassle than it’s worth to make sure that all your tenants are complying and not letting their coverage lapse when you’re not looking.

A master renters insurance policy is not that different than a standard renters policy. The biggest difference is that the policy is controlled by you, the landlord, so there is never a worry of whether your tenant is carrying proper coverage. Typically, for the cost of approximately $10.00 per tenant, per month (a cost that can be easily passed down to your tenant via rent collection), a master renters policy will provide a limited amount of personal property coverage for the tenant, along with the important tenant liability coverage, as well as a capped payout amount ($1,000 per tenant, per year, is normal) to the landlord to recoup lost rents due to the tenants’ inability to pay.

Another potential solution is having a separate loss of rents policy where you as the landlord can determine the coverage amount you feel is necessary. For example, you may be able to get one month, three months, or six months of loss of rent covered based on the monthly income you want covered. This is a more tailored solution to the loss of rents issue since you get to choose the income you want covered and the amount of time you want covered. However, it can be more expensive, and unlike a master renters’ insurance policy, it doesn’t include renters insurance for the tenant. For that reason, this might be better suited to a more established business, or those who don’t believe a capped payout of $1,000 per tenant per year is going to be worth it.

The more extensive loss of rents policy tends to come with some caveats for coverage to occur, so please make sure to read the specifics and ask questions about any quotes you obtain so you know exactly what you’re paying for.

The pandemic has affected people all over the globe, and it has led many business owners to wonder how they could be covered for such situations. For landlords, it’s important to examine the business income (a.k.a. loss of rent) insurance they have and take a look at including coverage for a tenant’s inability to pay rent. Insurance is a complicated thing, but here at InsuranceHub we would be more than happy to help you find the insurance solution that suits your business and coverage needs during this difficult time.”

American Apartment Owners Association: “This is the big question: As a landlord, are you covered for loss of rent due to coronavirus? Business income is a coverage that is most likely included in your property policy (you may refer to it as “loss of rents”, but typically it is listed as “business interruption” or “business income” or in your insurance policy. These three terms are interchangeable for the purpose of this article). Business income provides coverage to the landlord from lost rental income due to an underlying covered cause of loss to the property.

For example, a tenant causes a kitchen fire that spreads to the two units beside it, in turn making their current unit and the two neighboring units uninhabitable, thus creating a loss of income due to the inability to lease out the damaged units. The key is that due to property damage, the units cannot be occupied for an extended period of time, while remediation is occurring. Therefore, you will typically see business income deductibles in the form of time (0 hours, 24 hours, 72 hours), instead of a standard monetary deductible. While it does depend on the specific language in the policy, most business income coverage provisions state that business income coverage must be triggered by a covered cause of loss to the property. The scenario in which a tenant is unable to pay rent (due, perhaps, to a pandemic) is not covered by business income since there is no underlying property damage triggering the coverage.

That being said, there has been some talk of Congress attempting to force insurance companies to cover lost income due to the pandemic, but thus far the attempts have not been successful for a myriad of reasons. Just on Tuesday, April 14th, the Insurance Commissioner of California mandated that insurance companies must look at and consider all business income claims. The argument is that acts of “Civil Authority” is a covered cause of loss for many insurance companies. But, the counterargument is that property policies also typically carry an “Exclusion of Loss Due to Virus or Bacteria”, and COVID-19 is a virus. So, it remains to be seen as to what insurance carriers will end up doing with the current coronavirus pandemic.

Insurance coverages evolve with the times, so it is highly likely that business income losses due to pandemics will also be an optional coverage in the future. Terrorism coverage came about shortly after 9/11, and Cyber coverage came about after the technology boom. While this won’t help many in the current predicament, it may provide a sense of relief that insurance carriers do respond to catastrophes by tailoring coverages to fit the needs of their clients.

To answer the question simply: No, your typical business income insurance would not cover your loss of rent if your tenants are unable to pay due to the coronavirus. But, there may still be options out there…”

HUD: “Residents may experience significant stress about their safety related to COVID-19 transmission, and may ask for temporary relocation out of multi-unit properties. PHAs can request additional information from the resident to verify the need for relocation. PHAs are not required to grant these requests in advance of a specific health department directive. PHAs can request verification from a medical health professional or the state or local health department as part of reviewing special requests related to COVID-19.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “PHAs may be asked by the health department to assist in response to COVID-19. If the PHA needs to perform specialized cleaning of a unit and temporary relocation of that family to another unit while it is performed, HUD considers the cleaning and temporary relocation of that family an operating expense, therefore they may use operating funds. If there is a need to do a larger scale cleaning of multiple units and common areas, HUD considers the cleaning of multiple units and temporary relocation of multiple families a capital expense, therefore they may use their capital funds for the cleaning services and for temporary relocation of families. If residents request specialized services in the absence of a specific health department recommendation, PHAs can request additional information from the resident as verification. Verification could include written communication from a medical health professional or the state or local health department. PHAs may use electronic and telephonic communication to perform verification.”

Source | HUD

National Multifamily Housing Council: “The CDC Guidelines recommend that someone who has been exposed to, shown symptoms of, or has tested positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate in their homes.  Therefore, in most situations, property operators should allow individuals to self-isolate in their units and respect their privacy.


However, if an individual with a medical diagnosis of COVID-19 is not following the CDC Guidelines about home isolation, a property operator can consider taking steps to protect other residents and the property.  These steps should not be taken lightly and should only be undertaken after consulting with your legal teams. Specifically, the federal Fair Housing Act does not protect an individual whose tenancy constitutes a “direct threat” to the health or safety of other individuals.


Although the Fair Housing Act does not protect an individual whose tenancy would constitute a “direct threat” to the health or safety of other individuals, the determination of what constitutes a “direct threat” cannot be based upon generalized fear, speculation, or stereotypes.


Instead, a determination that an individual poses a “direct threat” must rely on an individualized assessment that is based on reliable objective evidence (e.g., current conduct, or a recent history of overt acts).  Specifically, the assessment is to consider: (1) the nature, duration, and severity of the risk of injury; (2) the probability that injury will actually occur; and (3) whether there are any reasonable accommodations that will eliminate the direct threat.


In very limited situations, based on specific and serious circumstances relating to an individual behavior, a property operator may consider asking a resident to vacate their unit or to consider eviction proceedings.  However, given the eviction moratoriums and due to the urgency if one believes an individual is a “direct threat,” an operator should consider contacting the public officials.”

National Multifamily Housing Council: “Many property operators have determined that, at this time, in order to ensure the health and safety of their staff and other residents, they can only respond to emergency maintenance requests from residents.

As long as individual dwelling units remain safe and habitable, this type of across-the-board determination about what maintenance requests property operators will respond to is reasonable given state-ordered restrictions limiting available on-site staff and concerns regarding transmission of the COVID-19 virus.  It is advisable to make those decisions across all properties to the extent possible to ensure that determinations about responding to maintenance requests are uniformly applied at the property level to avoid claims of discrimination on the basis of color, disability, familial status, national origin, race, religion, sex, or any other class of individuals protected under state or local law.

Prior to sending an employee into a dwelling unit to respond to a maintenance request, in order to protect the health and safety of that employee, a property operator may request information about whether anyone in the unit has been knowingly exposed to, shown symptoms of, or has tested positive for COVID-19.  Because, at this time, there is no obligation on residents to affirmatively provide this information and residents may not have knowledge of their exposure, it may be most prudent to treat every unit as one that has a COVID-19 positive resident in it and proceed accordingly.”

HUD: “No, there is no HUD prohibition against a resident returning to their unit until a negative test is received. HUD encourages owners and agents to coordinate and cooperate with local health care professionals and officials to ensure a safe transition from one location to another.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Effective March 27, 2020, the CARES Act requires that property owners cease starting new actions against tenants of covered dwellings for 120 days on both FHA-insured Multifamily properties and Multifamily-assisted properties. Further, they must waive late payment fees and charges during this time for nonpayment of rent. Therefore, the temporary moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent, as well as a moratorium on charging fees and penalties related to nonpayment of rent apply regardless if employment was directly or indirectly linked to COVID-19.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “MFH suggests property owners and agents follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and the direction of local health officials, especially in the event of property quarantine. 

HUD recommends that owners/agents create communication plans for distributing timely and accurate information during an outbreak. First, they should identify everyone in their chain of communication (for example, staff, volunteers, key community partners and stakeholders, and clients) and establish systems for sharing information. After identifying this information, they should maintain up-to-date contact information for everyone in the chain of communication as well as identify platforms, such as a hotline, automated text messaging, and a website to help disseminate information to those inside and outside of their organizations. 

Owners/agents can provide notification of positive COVID-19 cases without giving the name/apartment number/other personally-identifiable information to their residents and staff. HUD reminds them that they continue to remain subject to HIPAA and other privacy laws.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “See these links from the CDC for recommendations on cleaning and disinfecting:

In addition, HUD has recently published relevant guidance on best practices in medical waste disposal on the HUD Exchange site. Medical Waste Disposal: Best Practices for Owners of Multifamily Properties, provides owners of multifamily properties with a short summary of best practices and links to state and federal websites providing guidance on safe disposal of medical waste.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Owners and agents should generally follow CDC guidelines and the directions given by local health officials for emergency preparedness. Chapter 38 of Handbook 4350.1, Emergency and Disaster Guidance, should also be consulted.”

Source | HUD

Human Rights Watch: “The CDC’s moratorium is just a national baseline. States are free to enact stronger tenant protections. However, many states do not currently have active eviction moratoriums. Among the states that do, the actual protections vary greatly. Some provide fairly robust protection, but other moratoriums have flaws similar to those in the CDC’s.”

Human Rights Watch: “The most obvious risk is homelessness, but the risks do not stop there. Eviction is always a public health problem, and this issue is especially relevant during a pandemic. Those facing homelessness often resort to sleeping outdoors or staying in overcrowded shelters. Others move in with family or friends, leading to more crowded dwellings, and consequently, a greater risk of transmitting or catching Covid-19.

Previous failures to adequately protect tenants have already had deadly consequences. According to a recent UCLA study, expiring state eviction moratoriums between March and September, when the national moratorium was issued, led to over 400,000 Covid-19 cases and nearly 11,000 excess deaths in the 27 states studied that allowed their protections to lapse.”

Congressional Research Service: “The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to affect states’ ability to meet their work participation standards. Employment losses, disruptions in education, and the inability of states to engage recipients in group activities could all result in lower participation in work or job preparation activities. Additionally, if the economic dislocation results in higher assistance caseloads, a state’s caseload reduction credit would be reduced, resulting in a higher effective (after-credit) participation standard for the state to meet. 

The rules governing the TANF work participation standards cannot be waived, other than through new legislation. However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has the ability to reduce or waive the penalty on states for failing to meet the TANF work participation standard. HHS has said that it would exercise its authority to provide states with relief from the penalty for not meeting participation standards to the maximum extent possible.”

HUD: “Yes, those can be eligible expenses for preventing and responding to COVID-19, per PIH Notice 2020-07.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “For the HCV Program, in the recently published PIH Notice 2020-18, HUD has expanded the use of CARES Act HCV Administrative Fees to include as an eligible use of these funds: 

Costs to facilitate and coordinate with local schools and local governments receiving funds from the U.S. Department of Education for the education of students in the program. 

Costs for the technological needs of program participants with school aged children being homeschooled as a result of the pandemic that are not and will not be provided through other Federal, state, or local governments. 

For the public housing program, as provided in PIH Notice 2020-07, the PHA can use federal funds authorized under the CARES Act to facilitate and coordinate with local schools and local governments receiving funds from the Department of Education for the education of students in public housing households including internet connection infrastructure and tablets or other low- cost computers for students.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “If a resident has zero income but did not report the decrease of income in a timely manner due to COVID-19, HUD strongly encourages PHAs to consider extenuating circumstances in their interim reexamination policy to allow for retroactive adjustments. This PHA policy may reduce the potential hardship on families and eliminate or significantly reduce the amount a family may owe for back rent. See FAQ OC16 for further detail. 

PHAs have discretion to establish local policies for repayment agreements (e.g., the term of the monthly payment amount and length of agreements), including instances where a resident’s income may become zero. When setting the monthly repayment amount, PIH Notice-2018-18 recommends that the monthly retroactive rent payment plus the amount of rent the tenant pays at the time the agreement is executed should be affordable and not exceed 40 percent of the family’s monthly adjusted income. Per this Notice, the PHA has discretion to establish a different threshold in their policy. For example, if a family’s income decreased to zero income, the PHA would still execute a repayment agreement for both parties agreeing to the retroactive rent amount owed, but the PHA could (1) suspend the agreement for a set period of time, (2) schedule quarterly check-ins with the family to reevaluate circumstances, or (3) wait until the family reports an increase in income. The PHA could also execute a repayment agreement for an amount that does not exceed the PHA’s minimum rent or an amount that is determined affordable to the family per the 24 CFR Part 5. 

PHAs are reminded that the terms of the agreement may be renegotiated and the monthly payment amount for existing repayment agreements can be restructured if there are changes (decrease or increase) in the family’s income.” 

Source | HUD

HUD: “As described in PIH Notice 2020-07, supplemental Operating Funds may be used to pay for regular operations of the public housing program. They can cover unexpected increases in operating costs or cover normal operating costs, whether or not there are unplanned reductions in revenues related to increased unemployment. 

For residents that experience a loss in income, the PHA is required to process requests for interim reexaminations commensurate with such lost income; therefore, PHAs should not have significant Tenant Accounts Receivable due to COVID-19. However, residents are still responsible for all rent charges. If residents still do not pay their rent, PHAs can set up repayment agreements to catch up on unpaid rent. The CARES Act eviction moratorium prohibited pursuing evictions or assessing fees for unpaid rent until July 24, 2020. 

Write-offs of tenant account receivables as bad debt is a separate issue. The allowance method is the prevailing method for writing off receivables pursuant to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Using the allowance method, as long as there is still a possibility that a receivable could be collected, it would remain on the Balance Sheet. PHAs would normally write off the receivable only when the tenant moved and was no longer reachable.” 

Source | HUD

HUD: “HUD is working on a CARES Act web portal that will be used for the required quarterly reporting to HUD based on Section 15011. Further guidance is in PIH Notice 2020-24. 

As described in PIH Notice 2020-07 and PIH Notice 2020-08 (later superseded by PIH Notice 2020-18), the CARES Act requires that recipients of $150,000 or more of CARES Act funding submit certain information regarding the use of CARES Act funds. Additional information is in PIH Notice 2020-24. 

This reporting is required for “covered recipients,” defined as any entity that receives covered funds that amount to more than $150,000. PHAs that receive CARES Act funds that amount to more than $150,000 will be subject to this additional reporting requirement based on the total amounts awarded, not each individual grant award. 

As outlined in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memorandum, M-20-21, existing reporting requirements are anticipated to meet the requirements of Section 15011, but the content and format for this reporting is still under development and will need to be reviewed against current program practices. The Department will work in coordination with OMB to ensure that this requirement can be fulfilled by recipients of CARES Act funding in a manner that utilizes to the greatest extent possible existing reporting streams, providing the necessary transparency and accountability with minimal additional burden.” 

Source | HUD

HUD: “While this software would help the PHA maintain social distance, which prevents transmission of COVID-19, it also improves the operational efficiency of the Public Housing and HCV management and operations. As such, it is a normal Operating Fund and HCV Administrative fee expense, and eligible for CARES Act funds. See PIH Notice 2020-07 for public housing and PIH Notice 2020-18 for HCV Administrative fees.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Yes, as long as the funds are used by the applicable expiration dates. For public housing, funds must be expended by December 31, 2021 as described in PIH Notice 2020-24. For HCV Administrative fees, PIH Notice 2020-18 extends the period of availability for the CARES Act HCV Administrative fees through June 30 , 2021; and the CARES Act HAP funding for per unit cost (PUC) increases is likewise available through June 30 , 2021. The period of availability for supplemental HAP funding for shortfalls is December 31 , 2020, and for funds awarded for per unit cost increases is June 30 , 2021. This option is available for all PHAs, not just small PHAs. 

Source | HUD

HUD: “There is no requirement that PHAs target those who are directly affected by COVID-19. The funding is intended to support new Mainstream vouchers for eligible families— those that include a non-elderly person with a disability. PHAs will use their regular waiting list for these additional Mainstream vouchers just as PHAs do with their existing Mainstream vouchers. PHAs may add or modify preferences based on the needs in their community but it is not required. 

Source | HUD

BDO: “Even during times of significant uncertainty, nonprofit organizations must keep their mission as the North Star guiding their response. Many organizations may face interruptions to programming as a result of reduced travel and social distancing—but that doesn’t mean furthering your mission should take a backseat.

Organizations must be prepared for an extended crisis environment as a pandemic fuels significant threats including cyberattacks, fraud, regulatory changes, supply chain disruptions and bankruptcies. Organizations need to take a step back and put together a crisis management team and a response program that includes executive leaders, investment advisors and communications and program staff. This team should assess how to maintain as much normalcy as possible while limiting exposure risks to both their own employees and the constituencies they serve. With cashflows for many nonprofits significantly disrupted, liquidity and sustainability must also be a driving force of decision-making. Nonprofits should also view the crisis as a catalyst for needed change, as the sense of urgency, cooperation, need for innovation and decisiveness that emerges in crisis can also help secure viability for the organization. As organizations look to the future, they should apply lessons learned and update their risk program.”

 

Source | BDO

BerryDunn: “Many nonprofits with endowments are considering ways to balance an increased reliance on their investment portfolios with the responsibility to protect and preserve the spending power of donor-restricted gifts. Some things to think about include the existence (or absence) of true restrictions, spending variations under the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) applicable in your state, borrowing from an endowment, or requesting from the donor the release of restrictions. All need to be balanced with the intended duration and preservation of the endowment fund.” 

Source | BerryDunn

Michigan State University: “The first consideration regarding when employees can reasonably expect to go back to work is a scientific one. Not all employees will be willing to receive the vaccine, even though some employers may attempt to compel employees to take them. Also, two current vaccines approved in the U.S. require two doses and protection against COVID-19 is not immediate. Furthermore, no vaccine has been found to be 100% effective. Thus, even if every employee were to be vaccinated, there is no guarantee that they will all have immunity from the vaccine, particularly in light of the fact the coronavirus mutates.

 

What does it all mean? This means that the previous way of housing employees, doing work and interacting with customers may not return to how organizations conducted business pre-COVID-19 — if ever at all. 

 

Even if contagion from COVID-19 weren’t a concern, many employees have gotten accustomed to working from home. While working from home has its downsides, such as challenges surrounding separating work from home, working from home offers many conveniences, including eliminating the daily commute to and from work, not having to buy or dry clean work clothes and the ability to engage in family and personal demands like helping a child with schoolwork. Many employees may be reluctant to readily give up those cost savings and conveniences, and may feel as though it is a violation of the psychological contract (that is, the unspoken agreement between an employer and employee regarding how the employee will be treated) and resent or protest having to return to work on a full-time basis.

National Low Income Housing Coalition: “The EIDL program offers states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans through the SBA. These loans are distributed to small businesses and private, nonprofit organizations that have experienced a substantial economic impact due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Currently, small businesses and private, nonprofit organizations in all states and territories are eligible to apply for assistance through the EIDL program because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Typically, a state or territory’s governor must first work with SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance to submit a request for EIDL assistance. SBA has the authority to approve the request and issue an EIDL declaration for the state or territory. Once an EIDL declaration is issued, EIDL loan applications are made available for small businesses and private, nonprofit organizations throughout the state or territory.”

FEMA: To be eligible for Public Assistance, a PNP applicant must show that it has:

  • A ruling letter from the Internal Revenue Service granting tax exemption under sections 501(c), (d), or (e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954; or
  • Documentation from the state substantiating that the non-revenue producing organization or entity is a nonprofit entity organized or doing business under state law.

Eligible PNPs must also own or operate an eligible facility.2 For PNPs, an eligible facility is one that provides an eligible service, which includes education, utilities, emergency, medical, custodial care, and other essential social services.

Private entities, including for profit hospitals or restaurants, are not eligible for assistance from FEMA under Public Assistance. However, state, local, tribal, and territorial government entities may contract with private entities to carry out eligible emergency protective measures. In these cases, FEMA will reimburse the eligible applicant for the cost of eligible work, and the applicant will then pay the private entity for the provision of services.

Source | FEMA

Community Foundation Public Awareness Initiative: “More than 325 U.S. community foundations in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, have created relief funds to support those affected by COVID-19 — directing critical relief to local nonprofits and partnering with local governments and health organizations to help contain its spread.

To date, these efforts have already mobilized $536.6 million to help those in need in every corner of the country. Announced grant making to date totals $175 million. (See the latest update.)

A full listing of verified funds, by state, is provided below.

CLICK HERE

HUD: “Temporary use of property common areas, parking lots, and vacant offices by providers of healthcare services to provide flu shots and/or COVID-19 testing and vaccines to residents is allowable. The services must not affect property operating costs beyond budgeted and approved supportive services funds. Owners and agents should ensure that their testing site has a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certificate of waiver or is covered by another facility’s CLIA certificate. Owners and agents are encouraged to consult with their legal counsel before hosting healthcare services on site and to visit the CDC’s vaccine web page for further information.”

Source | HUD

FHA: “CARES Act Forbearance: During the CARES Act forbearance period, HUD does not consider the eligible FHA-insured multifamily borrower to be delinquent or in default. While HUD views loans subject to the CARES Act forbearance to be current during the forbearance period, for MDDR reporting purposes, lenders have the option to request an extension of the election to assign. Multifamily Housing may also grant extensions on filing the notices of default in MDDR until the CARES Act forbearance period expires. Consistent with the guidance provided in ML 2020-09, HUD asks that lenders submit executed and implemented forbearance agreements to the HUD Multifamily field office with property oversight. For extended forbearance, prior HUD approval is required as referenced in Notice H 20-07. 

Extended Forbearance or Repayment Post-CARES Act: Pursuant to ML 2020-09, lenders should report the loan as delinquent or in default in MDDR after the CARES Act forbearance period ends if the multifamily borrower does not immediately make the loan current, including when the loan is subject to a forbearance and/or repayment agreement extending beyond the expiration of the CARES Act forbearance period. Lenders are advised to follow MDDR reporting guidelines at the time of such default. Lenders must inform HUD if the loan is subject to an extended forbearance and/or repayment agreement and should request an extension to assign the loan to HUD in order to permit the borrower to perform under extended forbearance and/or repayment agreements. 

Notwithstanding the above, lenders should use MDDR to record delinquencies and defaults if there is a default under the Loan Documents not related to nonpayment.”

Source | FHFA

HUD: “No, the funds can cover normal operating and capital funds expenses in addition to the extraordinary uses that arise as PHAs prevent, prepare, and respond to the pandemic. The relevant language is on page 1 of PIH Notice 2020-07 (emphasis added): 

“The funds may be used for eligible activities under the Operating Fund and the Capital Fund (Subsections (d)(1) and I(1) of Section 9 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (1937 Act)) during the period the program is impacted by coronavirus, and other expenses related to preventing, preparing for, and responding to coronavirus….” 

PIH Notice 2020-07 provides examples of various activities that a PHA may undertake in order to prepare for, prevent or respond to COVID-19, however the notice is not a comprehensive list, and PHAs may use the funding to pay for other reasonable expenses that fall under the umbrella of “preventing, preparing for, and responding to coronavirus.” PHAs should maintain documentation to support uses. If the PHA is still unsure of what expenses are ineligible, PHAs may contact HUD via email to PIH-COVID@hud.gov for public housing.” 

Source | HUD

HUD: “Yes, the funds can be used for COVID-19 testing for public housing staff and residents participating in the public housing or Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs per PIH Notices 2020-07 and 2020-18.” 

Source | HUD

HUD: “Public hearings/meetings required as part of the Capital Fund 5 Year Action Plan process must still occur. PHAs are permitted to hold such meetings remotely or online provided they can accept and post answers to questions submitted during the meeting. In selecting a streaming service, PHAs must ensure they can comply with effective communications requirements. See 24 CFR 8.6. . PHAs that continue with public meetings should follow the latest CDC, state, or local health department guidance.

See FAQs Section 4.6 Administrative Hearings on technology considerations, Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and reasonable accommodations.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Public hearings/meetings required as part of the annual planning process must still occur. The statement, “HUD is waiving these requirements,” on page 7 of PIH Notice 2020-33, REV-2 in reference to waiver PH and HCV-1 refers to waiver of the provisions affecting the timing of the PHA’s Plan submission. As an alternative requirement, HUD established new submission dates to accommodate potential postponement of public hearings due to limitations on large gatherings but is not waiving the public comment requirements in 24 CFR 903.17. PHAs are permitted to hold such meetings remotely or online provided they can accept and post answers to questions submitted during the meeting. In selecting a streaming service, PHAs must ensure they can comply with effective communications requirements. See 24 CFR 8.6. PHAs that continue with public meetings should follow the latest CDC, state, or local health department guidance.

See FAQs Section 4.6 Administrative Hearings on technology considerations, Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and reasonable accommodations.” 

Source | HUD

HUD: “During the COVID-19 National Emergency, HUD will allow owners who prefer not to adopt the flexibility provided by Notice H 20-4 to continue to accept alternate signatures (e.g., copies or images of signatures sent by email, fax, or other electronic means) as long as original, “wet” signatures are obtained within 90 days from the termination of national, state, or local orders restricting movement to essential activities, whichever comes later.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Unless advised otherwise by the providing party, FHA lenders and their counsel should assume any PII provided by a HUD closing attorney was intended for the sole purpose of facilitating the timely and efficient completion of a real estate transaction during a nationally declared pandemic.  The PII should not be used for any other purpose, including redisclosure to other parties, without the express consent of the individual providing the PII.  If the real estate transaction has concluded, please immediately delete the PII from all systems and records.  If the real estate transaction has yet to conclude, please ensure the information is deleted upon completion or, if earlier, at the request of the HUD employee.”

Source | HUD

FDIC: “The definition of a statutory multifamily mortgage requires a DSC of at least 120 percent for a fixed-rate loan, or 115 percent for an adjustable rate loan. The DSC ratio is based on the property’s annual net operating income (NOI) for the most recent fiscal year and the loan’s annual debt service. Because there typically is a lag before a financial institution receives a property’s financial statements, the DSC ratio usually is based on the prior year’s operating results. Therefore, any accommodation provided to a statutory multifamily mortgage borrower affected by COVID-19 in 2020 will generally not affect eligibility as a statutory multifamily mortgage until 2021. For determining whether the DSC ratio meets the eligibility criteria in 2021, financial institutions can use the property’s NOI from 2020, taking into account any accommodations that modify, extend, suspend, or defer the payments to borrowers affected by COVID-19.”

Source | FDIC

FDIC: “Yes. The Loan Modification Statement states that financial institutions’ efforts to work with borrowers with prudently underwritten one-to-four family mortgages whose loans are not past due or carried in nonaccrual status will not be considered restructured or modified for the purposes of the agencies’ respective risk-based capital rules. This approach applies to  multifamily loans of $1 million or less that qualify as residential mortgage exposures.

For other multifamily loans, the criteria to “not be restructured or modified” is not included within the requirements for a statutory multifamily mortgage to receive a 50 percent risk weight under the risk-based capital rules. However, a statutory multifamily loan will receive a 150 percent risk weight if it is 90 days past due or on nonaccrual status. Institutions should refer to the Interagency Statement for additional information on when a loan is considered past due or on nonaccrual status.”

Source | FDIC

USDA: “Late fees on Section 515 mortgages will be waived, subject to waiver authority in 7 CFR 3560.403 (c)(3).” 

Source | USDA

USDA: “The CARES Act allows Multi-family borrowers to request forbearance if they are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Multi-family Housing has existing authority in 7 CFR §3560.453to take special servicing actions as part of a workout plan on Section 514 and 515 loans to prevent a default, and under that authority will approve a deferral of up to 3 monthly loan payments. For your convenience, attached is a sample streamlined workout agreement proposal that MFH considers to be in compliance with the requirements of 7 CFR §3560.453(c). Borrowers are welcome to use that sample or submit your requests orally or in another written format to your assigned Multi-family Servicing Official.”  

Source | USDA

HUD: “Stakeholders are reminded to ensure that their responses remain faithful to obligations under the Constitution, Fair Housing Act and related regulations. Exigencies associated with important and timely response to issues surrounding COVID-19 are not the basis for unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability or familial status.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Owners and agents should contact their field MFH Account Executive or Resolution Specialist for property specific inquiries. Jeff Little, the Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for MFH Programs, is the main point of contact for Multifamily stakeholders.” 

 

Source | HUD

HUD: “During the COVID-19 National Emergency, HUD will temporarily permit the deferral of the submission of the capital needs assessment (CNA) for Section 223(a)(7) projects until the earlier of the following: when a capital needs assessment can be safely completed or one year after endorsement of the loan. The current reserve for replacement balance must be transferred in full at time of endorsement, and the lender must continue existing monthly payments into the reserve for replacement account until a CNA has been completed.

All distributions from surplus cash will be temporarily suspended from time of endorsement of the loan up to the submission, review and approval of the updated needs assessment. Once the CNA has been prepared, reviewed and approved by HUD, the borrower must first use surplus cash funds to offset repairs and/or to increase reserves. Depending on the financial analysis included as part of the CNA, the annual deposit to the reserve for replacement account may also be revised downward.

This flexibility to delay submission of the CNA is only available to the existing servicing lender and for projects with a REAC score of 80 or better. The lender must also certify in its narrative that to the best of the lender’s knowledge, there are no physical needs that would otherwise exceed the repair limitations permitted by the Section 223(a)(7)

 

Source | HUD

HUD: “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the postponement of regular 10-year PCNA updates (as outlined in Section 10.10 of the Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) Guide) is further extended until May 31, 2021 for properties with PCNA reports that are due between March 15, 2020 and May 31, 2021. This postponement will allow for additional time for the scheduling, conducting, and submitting of the 10-year PCNA.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Certain State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs), Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs) and federally recognized tribes have indicated that they are unable to participate in the standard 30-day consultation period during an office closure. The National Conference of State Historic Preservation Offices maintains a database https://www.achp.gov/coronavirus with the operating status of each SHPO office and whether or not it can accept electronic submissions. There is no equivalent database for THPOs or for federally recognized tribes; therefore, federal agencies must reach out directly to assess their status.

According to the ACHP, the Section 106 deadlines for a SHPO and/or THPO response will be considered paused while an office is closed or work conditions are such that the SHPOs and/or THPOs are unable to carry out their Section 106 duties due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This pause would also apply to consultation with federally recognized tribes for projects that involve ground disturbance.

HUD will not issue a Firm Commitment (for FHA-insured loans), the RAD Conversion Commitment (RCC) (for public housing conversions), RAD Conversion Agreement (for Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC) conversions)), or RAD Approval Letter (for Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation/Single Room Occupancy (Mod Rehab/SRO) conversions until it has met its obligations under Section 106.

HUD can generally accommodate a consultation process that requires more than 30 days. However, HUD will be monitoring this situation closely to minimize or avoid any adverse effect that office closures may have on applications. Please alert HUD if a project has an urgent time frame.”

 

Source | HUD

HUD:  “Mortgagee Letter (ML) 2020-09, dated April 10, 2020, provides guidelines to assist all FHA Approved Multifamily Mortgagees in developing forbearance agreements.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Prior to the passage of the CARES Act on March 27, 2020, Operating and Capital Funds could be used to support the costs of certain planning and prevention activities, supplies, software, and modification of PHA workspaces. See FAQs published March 13, 2020 under “Eligible Uses.”

The CARES Act provides Supplemental Public Housing Operating Funds and permits PHAs to use previously appropriated Capital Funds and Operating Funds flexibly until December 31, 2021, per PIH Notice 2020-24. PHAs can use CARES Act supplemental public housing Operating Funds for all standard eligible uses for these funds during the limited period of availability of these funds. PHAs can also use these supplemental funds for “expenses related to preventing, preparing for, and responding to coronavirus, including activities to support or maintain the health and safety of assisted individuals and families, and activities to support education and childcare for impacted families.” HUD issued detailed guidance on eligible uses of the funds on April 28, 2020. PIH Notice 2020-07 provides examples of eligible expenses. PHAs should refer first to that notice for guidance.

Source | HUD

HUD:  “If a lender is uncertain as to the market, then the appropriate response is to delay submission of the application. Should an unforeseeable event occur at the time of submission of the application (plant/office closings in the market directly impacting the project) which would void or alter the underwriting conclusions, then any refund would depend upon the time that HUD spent in review. The application fee is earned at time of submission, per requirements in the MAP Guide.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “No, outside of HUD’s use of the ‘stop the clock’ option to respond to deficiencies, there is no mechanism to pause the process. There can be no assurance that previously submitted due diligence reports will remain acceptable. If a lender is uncertain as to the market, then the appropriate response is to delay submission of the application. The alternative is to incorporate mitigants to offset the impact of current market challenges. The lender may also choose to withdraw the application and resubmit at a later date with updated reports, as further discussed in Question #18 in this section.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Owners, general contractors, and lenders should proactively assure that Surety Bonds and Builder’s Risk insurance policies will remain in place and will not be impaired by any job slow- down, temporary cessation of work, or any failure to report or communicate emergency conditions or consequences.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “HUD requires that lender or third-party appraisers inspect the property and the subject comparables in accordance with MAP Guide requirements to insure the credibility of the resulting valuation conclusion. To the extent that the contracted appraiser cannot physically inspect the site, the appraiser should contract with a local, appropriately credentialed appraiser to perform the site inspection in his/her stead. In this situation, the report must identify the appraiser conducting the site visit, their credentials, and a certification regarding the limit of their inspection, if any.

When appraisers are unable to inspect units on-site due to COVID-19 concerns, they should consider the following options:

  • Conduct inspections of vacant units. If vacant units are the only ones inspected, the appraiser should make an extraordinary assumption that the sample units viewed are representative of all the units. The inspector should provide a detailed review of the differences between these units and the others considered for the valuation.
  • Use of construction drawings and other available documentation to supplement their physical inspections
  • Use of information from CoStar or other reporting services and other available documentation to supplement their physical inspections.
  • Note any previous inspections, if applicable. 

Any/all sources of information used for valuation purposes must be documented, and multiple sources of information on interior site conditions are preferable to enhance the reliability and credibility of the valuation, in lieu of an actual physical inspection.

Appraisers and lenders should contact the HUD field office that will be processing the application for additional guidance.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “Yes, lenders may perform lease audits electronically if the information is available and verifiable.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “If the lender’s travel is restricted (thereby limiting the lender from inspecting the site), the capital needs inspection report may be accepted for underwriting purposes on the condition that the lender inspects the property prior to the issuance of the insurance commitment. Therefore, to the extent that a lender is not able to physically inspect the property due to COVID-19 concerns, the conclusions of the report must be included without modification as part of the application.

HUD’s appraisers and market analysts, as necessary, must inspect the property and subject comparables in accordance with Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) requirements to insure a credible valuation conclusion.”

Source | HUD

HUD: “If a third-party capital needs inspector cannot physically inspect the required sample of units due to COVID-19 concerns, the Regional Production Director may waive the sampling requirements in favor of inspecting only vacant and model units on a case-by-case basis for recently built insured properties (within 10 years of submission) or non-insured properties built within the past five years. All other properties will require a complete inspection prior to issuance of the firm commitment.”

Source | HUD

HUD: 

  • “Production: For FHA insured transactions, please see the section on Office of General Counsel-MFH Closings below for specific information. 
  • Asset Management: Electronic signatures are allowed for all subsidy administration, including contract renewals, rent schedules, and HAP Assignments, and all other Multifamily Housing submissions. 
  • Recapitalization: For RAD and other real estate transactions, the recorded documents typically have “wet” signatures that are notarized. The HUD closing attorney will have to advise if electronic signatures are acceptable in the recording offices in their jurisdictions. Documents that will not be recorded may be signed electronically. 

For all transactions, electronic signatures must conform to applicable federal, state, and local requirements.” 

Source | HUD

HUD: “Yes MFH authorizes the use of guidance in this chapter for program participants under the Emergency Declaration for COVID-19. Note, however, the statutory and regulatory displaced person/family occupancy preference for properties with insured mortgages under Sections 221(d) and 236 and the refinance of Sections 221(d) and 236 mortgages under Section 223(a)7 of the National Housing Act as amended, only applies to states that are subject to a presidential Major Disaster declaration.”

Source | HUD

Fannie Mae: “Leases for the current school year are already in place. Typically, these leases are paid on a monthly basis and very few leases are pre-paid for the semester or year. Most of the leases carry some form of parental guarantee that should help counteract any short-term destabilization of occupancy.”

Source | Fannie Mae

HUD: “HUD encourages borrowers and lenders to access any available Federal assistance or other resources, as may be necessary, to assist in meeting project operations and debt service. It is important to note that some forms of Federal assistance may come with requirements for recipients to ensure that they do not receive multiple forms of Federal assistance that serve duplicative purposes, as required under the Stafford Act.”

Source | HUD

CDC: Homeless shelters can screen clients for symptoms of respiratory infections. Clients who have symptoms may or may not have COVID-19. Make sure they have a separate place they can safely stay within the shelter or at an alternate site in coordination with local health authorities.  An on-site nurse or other clinical staff can help with clinical assessments.

  • Provide anyone who presents with symptoms with a mask.
  • Facilitate access to non-urgent medical care as needed.
  • Use standard facility procedures to determine whether a client needs immediate medical attention. Emergency signs include:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

Notify the designated medical facility and personnel to transfer clients that the client might have COVID-19.

Source | CDC

VA: “Know if your community has an eviction moratorium and when it expires and if there might be an extension. Prepare for a potential influx of homeless prevention cases. Coordinate with key partners (legal aid, tenant rights groups, courts, etc.) and fellow SSVF grantees in your area, legal aid and other groups that work on homelessness prevention. 

Do not wait until eviction moratoriums are lifted to identify and enroll at-risk Veterans. By enrolling Veterans who are severely debt burdened by their rent before an eviction moratorium lifts, SSVF is better positioned to intervene and coordinate a resolution to the housing crisis with the Veteran and landlord. While grantees should still do their best to document – via the landlord or problem solving conversations with the Veteran – that the household will become homeless once the moratorium is lifted, they do not need to wait until the eviction notice is formally offered to make that enrollment. 

Understand your local tenant laws related to eviction. Eviction means different things in different communities. Make sure you understand the timelines associated with housing loss from eviction and how that impacts the SSVF intervention.”

 

Source | VA

CDC: “Health departments and administrators of homeless service sites, in partnership with healthcare providers, should decide whether and how to implement these testing considerations to identify cases among people who are asymptomatic, including both those with and without known exposure to COVID-19.

Those providing services for people experiencing homelessness should continue to follow guidance for basic COVID-19 prevention among people who are staying in homeless shelters or experiencing unsheltered homelessness.

 Facility-wide (universal) testing involves offering viral testing for SARS-CoV-2 to all clients and staff who were affiliated with the site or encampment any time from 2 days before the individual began experiencing symptoms, or 2 days before a positive test in an asymptomatic individual, until they were isolated.

Any client who tests positive should be connected to a place where they can safely isolate and access necessary services until they meet criteria to discontinue isolation.

Staff who test positive should be advised to seek medical care as needed and to stay home until they meet criteria to discontinue isolation.

Repeat testing of all previously negative or untested clients, staff, and volunteers (e.g., once a week) is recommended until the testing identifies no new cases of COVID-19 for at least 14 days since the most recent positive result.

It will not always be possible to provide testing to every individual who would qualify, but the intent is to broadly offer testing to anyone who might have been exposed. 

Community transmission categories: The transmission categories included in Table 1 are described in the CDC Community Mitigation Framework. Health departments should consider setting precise incidence indicators that reflect these categories and are suitable to the local context.”

Source | CDC

FEMA: “Sheltering solutions should be determined by the Applicant requesting assistance, such as hotels, motels, dormitories, or other forms of non-congregate sheltering.  The solutions should meet the criteria of non-congregate sheltering for the COVID-19 emergency, including what is necessary to protect public health and safety, be in accordance with guidance provided by appropriate health officials, and be reasonable and necessary to address the threat to public health and safety.”

Source | FEMA

FEMA: “Examples of target populations include those who test positive for COVID-19 who do not require hospitalization but need isolation (including those exiting from hospitals); those who have been exposed to COVID-19 who do not require hospitalization; and asymptomatic high-risk individuals needing social distancing as a precautionary measure, such as people over 65 or with certain underlying health conditions (respiratory, compromised immunities, chronic disease).  Sheltering specific populations in non-congregate shelters should be determined by a public health official’s direction or in accordance with the direction or guidance of health officials by the appropriate state or local entities.  The request should specify the populations to be sheltered.  Non-congregate sheltering of healthcare workers and first responders who require isolation may be eligible when determined necessary by the appropriate state, local, tribal, or territorial public health officials and when assistance is not duplicated by another federal agency.”

Source | FEMA

FEMA: “The term “medical sheltering” is meant to address the specific needs directly resulting from this Public Health Emergency.  For purposes of eligibility under the COVID-19 declarations, FEMA will consider non-congregate sheltering for health and medical-related needs, such as isolation and quarantine resulting from the public health emergency.  Alternate care sites and temporary hospitals are not considered non-congregate sheltering and such requests should be routed through the proper channels.”

Source | FEMA

CDC:

Avoid moving those at higher risk for severe illness into shared settings.”

Source | CDC

CDC: Homeless service providers should: 

  • “Plan to maintain regular operations to the extent possible.
  • Limit visitors who are not clients, staff, or volunteers.
  • Do not require a negative COVID-19 viral test for entry to a homeless services site unless otherwise directed by local or state health authorities.
  • Identify clients who could be at high risk for complications from COVID-19, or from other chronic or acute illnesses, and encourage them to take extra precautions.
  • Arrange for continuity of and surge support for mental health, substance use treatment services, and general medical care.
  • Identify a designated medical facility to refer clients who might have COVID-19.
  • Keep in mind that clients and staff might be infected without showing symptoms.
    • Create a way to make physical distancing between clients and staff easier, such as staggering meal services or having maximum occupancy limits for common rooms and bathrooms.
    • All clients should wear cloth face coverings any time they are not in their room or on their bed/mat (in shared sleeping areas). Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Regularly assess clients and staff for symptoms.
    • Clients who have symptoms may or may not have COVID-19. Make sure they have a place they can safely stay within the shelter or at an alternate site in coordination with local health authorities.
    • An on-site nurse or other clinical staff can help with clinical assessments.
    • Provide anyone who presents with symptoms with a cloth face covering.
    • Facilitate access to non-urgent medical care as needed.
    • Use standard facility procedures to determine whether a client needs immediate medical attention. Emergency signs include:
      • Trouble breathing
      • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
      • New confusion or inability to arouse
      • Bluish lips or face
    • Notify the designated medical facility and personnel to transfer clients that the client might have COVID-19.
  • Prepare healthcare clinic staff to care for patients with COVID-19, if your facility provides healthcare services, and make sure your facility has a supply of personal protective equipment.
  • Provide links to respite (temporary) care for clients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 but have been discharged.
    • Some of these clients will still require isolation to prevent transmission.
    • Some of these clients will no longer require isolation and can use normal facility resources.
  • Make sure bathrooms and other sinks are consistently stocked with soap and drying materials for handwashing. Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol at key points within the facility, including registration desks, entrances/exits, and eating areas.
  • Cloth face coverings used by clients and staff should be laundered regularly. Staff involved in laundering client face coverings should do the following:
    • Face coverings should be collected in a sealable container (like a trash bag).
    • Staff should wear disposable gloves and a face mask. Use of a disposable gown is also recommended, if available.
    • Gloves should be properly removed and disposed of after laundering face coverings; clean hands immediately after removal of gloves by washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects between use using an EPA- registered disinfectant external icon.”
Source | CDC

CDC: Homeless service providers should: 

  • “Use physical barriers to protect staff who will have interactions with clients with unknown infection status (e.g., check-in staff). For example, install a sneeze guard at the check-in desk or place an additional table between staff and clients to increase the distance between them to at least 6 feet.
  • In meal service areas, create at least 6 feet of space between seats, and/or allow either for food to be delivered to clients or for clients to take food away.
  • In general sleeping areas (for those who are not experiencing respiratory symptoms), try to make sure client’s faces are at least 6 feet apart.
    • Align mats/beds so clients sleep head-to-toe.
  • For clients with mild respiratory symptoms consistent with COVID-19:
    • Prioritize these clients for individual rooms.
    • If individual rooms are not available, consider using a large, well-ventilated room.
    • Keep mats/beds at least 6 feet apart.
    • Use temporary barriers between mats/beds, such as curtains.
    • Align mats/beds so clients sleep head-to-toe.
    • If possible, designate a separate bathroom for these clients.
    • If areas where these clients can stay are not available in the facility, facilitate transfer to a quarantine site.
  • For clients with confirmed COVID-19, regardless of symptoms:
    • Prioritize these clients for individual rooms.
    • If more than one person has tested positive, these clients can stay in the same area.
    • Designate a separate bathroom for these clients.
    • Follow CDC recommendations for how to prevent further spread in your facility.
    • If areas where these clients can stay are not available in the facility, assist with transfer to an isolation site.”
Source | CDC

CDC: “Have supplies on hand for staff, volunteers, and those you serve, such as:

  • Soap
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol
  • Tissues
  • Trash baskets
  • Cloth face coverings
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Personal protective equipment.”
Source | CDC

CDC: Homeless service providers should: 

  • “Provide training and educational materials related to COVID-19 for staff and volunteers.
  • Minimize the number of staff members who have face-to-face interactions with clients with respiratory symptoms.
  • Develop and use contingency plans for increased absenteeism caused by employee illness or by illness in employees’ family members. These plans might include extending hours, cross-training current employees, or hiring temporary employees.
  • Staff and volunteers who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should not be designated as caregivers for sick clients who are staying in the shelter. Identify flexible job duties for these higher risk staff and volunteers so they can continue working while minimizing direct contact with clients.
  • Put in place plans on how to maintain social distancing (remaining at least 6 feet apart) between all clients and staff while still providing necessary services.
  • All staff should wear a cloth face covering for source control (when someone wears a covering over their mouth and nose to contain respiratory droplets), consistent with the guidance for the general public. See below for information on laundering cloth face coverings.
  • Staff who do not interact closely (e.g., within 6 feet) with sick clients and do not clean client environments do not need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Staff should avoid handling client belongings. If staff are handling client belongings, they should use disposable gloves, if available. Make sure to train any staff using gloves to ensure proper use and ensure they perform hand hygiene before and after use. If gloves are unavailable, staff should perform hand hygiene immediately after handling client belongings.
  • Staff who are checking client temperatures should use a system that creates a physical barrier between the client and the screener as described here.
    • Screeners should stand behind a physical barrier, such as a glass or plastic window or partition that can protect the staff member’s face from respiratory droplets that may be produced if the client sneezes, coughs, or talks.
    • If social distancing or barrier/partition controls cannot be put in place during screening, PPE (i.e., facemask, eye protection [goggles or disposable face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face], and a single pair of disposable gloves)  can be used when within 6 feet of a client.
    • However, given PPE shortages, training requirements, and because PPE alone is less effective than a barrier, try to use a barrier whenever you can.
  • For situations where staff are providing medical care to clients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and close contact (within 6 feet) cannot be avoided, staff should at a minimum, wear eye protection (goggles or face shield), an N95 or higher level respirator (or a facemask if respirators are not available or staff are not fit tested), disposable gown, and disposable gloves. Cloth face coverings are not PPE and should not be used when a respirator or facemask is indicated. If staff have direct contact with the client, they should also wear gloves. Infection control guidelines for healthcare providers are outlined here.
  • Staff should launder work uniforms or clothes after use using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely.
  • Provide resources for stress and coping to staff. Learn more about mental health and coping during COVID-19.”
Source | CDC

CDC: “Planning and response to COVID-19 transmission among people experiencing homelessness requires a “whole community” approach, which means that you are involving partners in the development of your response planning, and that everyone’s roles and responsibilities are clear.”

A whole-community approach will connect key partners and build a community coalition that includes: 

  • “Local and state health departments
  • Homeless service providers and Continuum of Care leadership
  • Emergency management
  • Law enforcement
  • Healthcare providers
  • Housing authorities
  • Local government leadership
  • Other support services like outreach, case management and behavioral health support”
Source | CDC

CDC: “Across the United States, some states and local areas are preparing to reopen businesses and community centers after closing. Even if COVID-19 cases have decreased in your area, quick spread of this disease in homeless shelters or encampments is possible. Protection of clients and staff remains necessary. During this time, continue to refer to the guidance for homeless service providers and unsheltered homelessness.”

Refer to the CDC’s Homeless Service Providers Re-Opening Checklist

 

Source | CDC

 

HHS: RHY grantees are encouraged to work closely with their state and local public health authorities on issues related to addressing COVID-19 within their organizations and communities.

If you identify any youth with severe symptoms, notify your public health authority and arrange for the youth to receive immediate medical care. If this is a youth with suspected COVID-19, notify the transfer team and medical facility before transfer.

RHY grantees are encouraged to review the “Interim Guidance for Homeless Service Providers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” available at the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/homeless- shelters/plan-prepare-respond.html.

Additionally, pursuant to the RHY Rule (45 CFR §1351.22), RHY grantees may adopt criteria “to determine eligibility for the program, or any activity or service, [that] may include an assessment of the needs of each applicant, and the health and safety of other beneficiaries, among other factors.”

HHS: “RHY grantees are encouraged to work closely with their state and local public health authorities on issues related to addressing COVID-19 in their organizations and communities. A list of state and territorial health departments and links to their websites can be found at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Public Health Professionals Gateway: https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/healthdepartments.html. Additional information is also available at the Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center website: https://www.rhyttac.net/covid-19”

HHS: “For youth under the age of 18, pursuant to the RHY Act (34 USC §11212(b)(2)(A-B)), BCPs must have “a maximum capacity of not more than 20 youth, except where the applicant assures that the State where the center or locally controlled facility is located has a State or local law or regulation that requires a higher maximum to comply with licensure requirements for child and youth serving facilities; and (B) a ratio of staff to youth that is sufficient to ensure adequate supervision and treatment.” As such, RHY grantees should consult with the appropriate State authority or local regulatory/licensing agencies to determine if it has increased its required maximum capacity for child and youth serving facilities as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.

Specific to TLPs/MGHs, pursuant to the RHY Act (34 U.S.C §11222(a)(4)), the “shelter facility used to carry out such project shall have the capacity to accommodate not more than 20 individuals.” The RHY Rule provides further clarification, at 45 CFR §1351.18(c), by stating that the capacity to accommodate not more than 20 individuals must be “within a single floor of a structure in the case of apartment buildings, with a number of staff sufficient to assure adequate supervision and treatment for the number of clients to be served and the guidelines followed for determining the appropriate staff ratio.”

CDC: “Homeless shelters serve a critical function in our communities. Shelters should stay open unless homeless service providers, health departments, and housing authorities have determined together that a shelter needs to close.”

Source | CDC

CDC: “Connecting people to stable housing should continue to be a priority. However, if individual housing options are not available, allow people who are living in encampments to remain where they are.  Encourage people living in encampments to increase space between people and provide hygiene resources in accordance with the Interim Guidance for People Experiencing Unsheltered Homelessness.”

Source | CDC

CDC: “Homeless service providers can accept donations during community spread of COVID-19, but general infection control precautions should be taken. Request that donors not donate if they are sick. Set up donation drop-off points to encourage social distancing between shelter workers and those donating. According to usual procedures, launder donated clothing, sheets, towels, or other fabrics on high heat settings, and disinfect items that are nonporous, such as items made of plastic. Food donations should be shelf-stable, and shelter staff should take usual food-related infection prevention precautions. For more information about COVID-19 and food, see the Food and Drug Administration’s website on Food Safety and COVID-19. For further information on cleaning and disinfection, see here.”

Source | CDC

CDC: “Those with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should stay in a place where they can best be isolated from other people to prevent spreading the infection. Local health departments, housing authorities, homeless service systems and healthcare facilities should plan to identify locations to isolate those with known or suspected COVID-19 until they meet the criteria to end isolation. Isolation housing could be units designated by local authorities or shelters determined to have capacity to sufficiently isolate these people. If no other options are available, homeless service providers  should plan for how they can help people isolate themselves while efforts are underway to provide additional support. Please see the Interim Guidance for Homeless Service Providers and Interim Guidance for People Experiencing Unsheltered Homelessness for more information.”

Source | CDC

CDC: “If they meet criteria for testing, people experiencing homelessness will access COVID-19 testing through a healthcare provider. Local public health and healthcare facilities need to determine the best location for this testing in coordination with homeless healthcare clinics and street medicine clinics.”

Source | CDC

CDC: “Many of the recommendations to prevent COVID-19 may be difficult for a person experiencing homelessness to do. Although it may not be possible to avoid certain crowded locations (such as shelters), people who are homeless should try to avoid other crowded public settings and public transportation. If possible, they should use take-away options for food. As is true for everyone, they should maintain a distance of about 6 feet (two arms’ length) from other people. They also should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as often as possible, and cover their coughs and sneezes.”

Source | CDC

CDC: “Any person experiencing homelessness with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should alert their service providers (such as case managers, shelter staff, and other care providers). These staff will help the individual understand how to isolate themselves and identify options for medical care as needed.”

Source | CDC

CDC: “People who are homeless are at risk of COVID-19. Homeless services are often provided in congregate settings, which could facilitate the spread of infection. Because many people who are homeless are older adults or have underlying medical conditions, they may also be at higher risk for severe disease than the general population. Health departments and healthcare facilities should be aware that people who are homeless are a particularly vulnerable group. If possible, identifying non-congregate settings where those at highest risk can stay may help protect them from COVID-19.”

Source | CDC

Fannie Mae: “Amounts included in a COVID-19 payment deferral are not considered a subordinate lien. When a borrower refinances a loan that has a COVID-19 payment deferral and the amount of the COVID-19 payment deferral is included in the new loan, the new loan is eligible to be sold as an LCOR if it otherwise meets all of the requirements for an LCOR in our Selling Guide. The existence of a COVID-19 payment deferral on an existing loan does not indicate that the new loan must be delivered as a cash-out refinance. Funds applied to paying off the prior loan, including the deferred portion, are not considered cash out.”

Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: ”

After a forbearance plan is completed the mortgage loan must be brought current if the borrower intends to retain the property. The servicer must begin attempts to contact the borrower no later than 30 days prior to the expiration of the forbearance plan term and must continue outreach attempts until either QRPC is achieved or the forbearance plan term has expired. Per Lender Letter LL-2021-02, Impact of COVID-19 on Servicing, for COVID-19 impacted borrowers, we are eliminating the requirement that the servicer determine the occupancy status of the property. A loan may be brought current through: • reinstatement, which is the repayment of past due amounts in a single payment; or • approval of the borrower for another workout option, such as a: o repayment plan, which may be appropriate if the hardship has been resolved but the borrower does not have the ability to reinstate the mortgage loan, but can afford a monthly repayment plan payment in addition to their monthly mortgage payment1 ; o COVID-19 payment deferral, a workout option specifically designed to help borrowers impacted by a hardship related to COVID-19 and whose financial hardship is resolved return their mortgage to a current status after up to 18 months of missed payments (refer to LL 2021-07); or o The Fannie Mae Flex Modification mortgage loan modification option, as described in LL 2021-07 and in Fannie Mae’s Servicing Guide, D2-3.2-07, Fannie Mae Flex Modification. The borrower may also pay off the mortgage loan in full.

 

If the borrower is unable to or does not intend to retain the property with a retention workout option after forbearance, options available include a short sale, or a Mortgage Release™ (Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure); or the servicer refers the mortgage loan to foreclosure in accordance with applicable law.”

Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: “The servicer must follow the requirements in Servicing Guide D2-3.2-01, Forbearance Plan, when evaluating the borrower for and offering a forbearance plan. At the request of the borrower, the servicer is authorized to provide an initial forbearance plan term of up to 6 months, and grant an extension of the initial forbearance term of up to an additional 6 months at the request of the borrower. The servicer is authorized to offer the 6-month terms in separate, shorter increments. In accordance with LL-2021-02, Impact of COVID-19 on Servicing, for a borrower with a financial hardship relating to COVID-19, the servicer is authorized to permit a cumulative forbearance plan term of up to 12 months as measured from the start date of the initial forbearance plan, regardless of the delinquency status of the mortgage loan. For a borrower actively performing on a COVID-19 related forbearance plan as of February 28, 2021, the servicer is authorized to grant an extension of the forbearance plan term of up to 3 months, and grant one or more forbearance plan term extensions of up to 3 months, if upon reaching a cumulative forbearance plan term of 12 months as measured from the start date of the initial forbearance plan, the servicer determines that the borrower’s hardship has not been resolved. The servicer’s determination to extend the forbearance plan beyond 12 months must be as a result of achieving QRPC. As noted above, in the event that the servicer is unable to achieve full QRPC and offers a forbearance plan to a borrower impacted by COVID-19 in compliance with applicable law, the servicer is considered to be in compliance with our Servicing Guide, D2-2-01, Achieving Quality Right Party Contact with a Borrower. For mortgage loans actively performing on a COVID-19 forbearance plan as of February 28, 2021, the servicer must receive Fannie Mae’s prior written approval for a forbearance plan to exceed a cumulative term of 18 months as measured from the start date of the initial forbearance plan, or result in the mortgage loan becoming greater than 18 months delinquent.”

Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: “As described in Servicing Guide, D2-2-01, Achieving Quality Right Party Contact with a Borrower, QRPC is a uniform standard for communicating with the borrower, co-borrower, or a trusted advisor, about resolution of the mortgage loan delinquency. We reaffirm the applicability of QRPC when working with a borrower impacted by

COVID-19 to ensure the servicer understands the borrower’s circumstances and determines the best possible workout option for resolving the borrower’s delinquency. In the event that the servicer is unable to achieve full QRPC and offers a forbearance plan to a borrower impacted by COVID-19 in compliance with applicable law, the servicer is considered to be in compliance with our Servicing Guide. Note that all contact attempts must be documented in the mortgage loan servicer file, and that the servicer is

authorized to use various outreach methods to contact the borrower as permitted by applicable law, including but not limited to:

  • mail
  • email
  • texting, and
  • voice response unit technology

 

Since the above list is not exhaustive, methods may also include use of technology platforms and websites if those are permitted by applicable law. See Servicing Guide A4-2.1-04, Establishing Contact with the Borrower, for the servicer’s responsibilities in its attempts to contact a borrower.”

Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: “Examples of permanent hardships may include permanent loss of income due to death, disability, divorce, illness, permanent increase in expenses such as on-going medical costs, or permanent depletion of cash reserves due to uninsured losses.”

Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: “Examples of temporary hardships may include temporary loss of income due to unemployment, reduction in working hours, illness, or an increase in expenses such as a large medical bill, which has impacted the borrower’s ability to make their monthly mortgage loan payment.”

Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: “As the world’s largest manager of mortgage credit risk, Fannie Mae has comprehensive loss mitigation policies and procedures in place to address temporary and permanent hardships. These transparent industry standards for borrower assistance help Fannie Mae ensure efficiency and consistency in loss mitigation. Fannie Mae also

makes proprietary tools such as Servicing Management Default Underwriter™ (SMDU™) available to servicers to simplify and automate loss mitigation decisioning.

One of the most effective tools available to provide rapid relief to borrowers is temporary payment forbearance (a period in which borrowers may make no payments or partial payments). Our forbearance plan is designed in alignment with Freddie Mac and at the direction of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). A forbearance plan (also known as payment forbearance) is appropriate if the temporary hardship has not been

resolved but may reasonably be expected to be resolved within a short period of time. It is not the same as principal forbearance (i.e., deferral of a portion of the unpaid principal balance (UPB) until the loan’s maturity date or early payoff of the mortgage loan), which can be utilized in certain circumstances, such as in connection with a loan modification in cases of permanent hardship.”

Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: “In accordance with Lender Letter LL-2021-02, Impact of COVID-19 on Servicing, servicers are authorized to provide a forbearance plan to any borrower who requests a forbearance as a result of a financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 emergency. A complete borrower response package is not required. In addition, Fannie Mae’s workout option hierarchy provides several options for resolving the delinquency after the forbearance plan ends. For example, if the borrower is unable to reinstate the loan or afford a repayment plan to bring the loan current, Lender Letter LL-2021-07, COVID-19 Payment Deferral, provides guidelines for servicers to evaluate a borrower for a COVID-19 payment deferral or loan modification.”

Source | Fannie Mae

National Association of REALTORS®: “No. If your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and you take forbearance you can refinance or get a new mortgage immediately, if you are current on your payments. If you took forbearance and stopped making payments, but are on a repayment plan and make 3 consecutive payments on that plan, you are eligible for credit to refinance or purchase another home. 

FHA has not clarified its position on this issue, but has indicated that it will come to a decision in the near future. Private lenders may or may not allow a homeowner who took forbearance to get mortgage credit in the future. You should check with your lender. 

While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do allow for owners who took forbearance to get credit, a lender can place their own restrictions and choose not to refinance the loan or provide a mortgage. In such a case, the consumer can work with a different lender.” 

National Association of REALTORS®: “No. The CFPB’s guidance indicates that forbearance should only be used by homeowners who are genuinely in distress and cannot afford to make payments. The program is not intended as a stimulus or incentive to buy a home. Missed payments are not forgiven, but delayed and will need to be made up. 

Furthermore, widespread forbearance is causing lenders to raise requirements on new home buyers. If new homebuyers use forbearance unnecessarily, this will cause lenders to pull back further, making it even more difficult to buy and sell homes.” 

National Association of REALTORS®: “FHA and RHS are allowing verbal verification of employment. Specifically, your employer can provide this by phone. RHS is also allowing email verification. If you cannot get either of these, the lender will require higher reserves to cover risk. 

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will allow verbal verification when available and an email verification under certain conditions. They have also made other forms of temporary verification available in order to help with verification while social distancing.” 

CFPB

  • “What options are available to help temporarily reduce or suspend my payments?
  • Are there forbearance, loan modification, or other options applicable to my situation?
  • When will you waive the late fees on my mortgage account?
  • What should I do at the end of my forbearance period? When should I contact or expect to hear from my servicer prior to the end of the forbearance period?
  • What are my payment options at the end of the forbearance period?
  • If your loan is not federally backed or is not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, ask: What restrictions and requirements will apply at the end of the forbearance period?
  • Will interest be charged on my unpaid mortgage payments during forbearance?
  • What are my rights if I disagree with your determination?”
Source | CFPB

Housingwire: “Your servicer should contact you prior to the end of your forbearance plan to discuss options for bringing the mortgage current. However, you can contact them to begin this discussion and determine the best option for you, based on your individual circumstances.”

Source | HousingWire

Housingwire: “Yes, if you have experienced job loss, reduced income, illness or other issues related to COVID-19 you could be eligible for forbearance.”

 

Source | HousingWire

Housingwire: “You may be eligible for another loan modification, pending no eligibility restrictions. Your servicer will confirm your eligibility.”

Source | Housingwire

Housingwire: “Home retention options may include payment deferral or a loan modification. For COVID-19 related hardships, there are additional flexibilities for these options. If homeownership is no longer affordable, there are options to exit the home without facing the costly impacts of foreclosure, including a short sale or deed-in-lieu.”

Source | Housingwire

Housingwire: “Yes.”

Source | Housingwire

Housingwire: “An option for homeowners who can no longer afford their pre-forbearance payment. For example, a Freddie Mac Flex Modification, targets a 20% payment reduction by extending the mortgage term to 40 years, reducing the interest rate (if applicable) and creating a forborne balance (if applicable).”

Source | Housingwire

Housingwire: “If you have the financial capacity, the most desirable option is to do a reinstatement or repayment plan. Reinstatement is the act of restoring a delinquent mortgage to current status. A repayment plan is when the homeowner pays the regular monthly payments plus an additional agreed upon amount in repayment of the delinquency for a period of time. However, there are additional options, including deferring missed payments until the end of the loan (payment deferral), payment relief options if needed (loan modification) or other alternatives.”

Source | Housingwire

Fannie Mae: “The update to record retention requirements applies to all loans delivered with remote online notarizations in accordance with the requirements set forth in LL-2020-03. For loans delivered prior to Aug. 27, 2020, lenders will not be required to store the notarial ceremony for the life of the loan and instead must maintain the notarial ceremony per the updated requirements of LL-2020-03.”

Freddie Mac: “The update to record retention requirements applies to all mortgages delivered with remote online notarizations in accordance with the requirements in Bulletin 2020-8.  For mortgages delivered prior to August 27, 2020, Sellers will not be required to store the notarial ceremony for the life of loan and instead must maintain the notarial ceremony in compliance with the updated requirements of Bulletin 2020-35.”

 

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

Washington Post: “How much your score will drop depends on a lot of factors. Generally, the impact will be more noticeable on a credit report with no history of missed payments vs. a credit report that already shows a history of missed payments, said Tom Quinn, vice president of scores at FICO.

In an example provided by FICO, a homeowner who has never missed a payment has a FICO score of 793. But a 30-day late payment could drop her score by as much as 83 points. But the drop to the low 700s on a scale that runs from a low of 300 to a high of 850 is still a good score.”

 

Source | Washington Post

ICBA: “For GSE loans, interest continues to accrue and then the bank adds those deferred payments onto the end of the loan, maintaining the same amortization. Any taxes or insurance the bank must advance that was not collected during the forbearance period can be capitalized into the balance.”

Source | ICBA

Housingwire: “Yes, under the CARES Act, if you have a federally backed mortgage, you can request an extension of the forbearance for up to an additional 180 days.” 

 

Source | Housingwire

Housingwire: “Yes, borrowers impacted by COVID-19 are eligible for forbearance regardless of whether their property is owner-occupied, a second home or an investment property.” 

 

Source | Housingwire

“Before the end of your forbearance period, your servicer should reach out to you to negotiate end of forbearance terms for repayment and possible extensions in certain situations, or a relief or workout option following forbearance.”

 

Source | Housingwire

Housingwire: “If your servicer approves your request, you will be provided a forbearance agreement outlining the terms. During the forbearance period, the servicer must not initiate or continue with foreclosure proceedings.

Source | Housingwire

Fannie Mae: “You may be eligible for a refinance or a new mortgage loan if you are in forbearance but have continued to make timely payments. You may also be eligible for a refinance or a new mortgage loan if you were previously in forbearance but have resolved any missed payments through a reinstatement or have made three timely payments either in accordance with a repayment plan or following a payment deferral, or completed the trial period plan payments in connection with a modification. Contact your mortgage lender to discuss your options as other eligibility requirements may apply.”

Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: “If your mortgage is covered by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), you do not have to provide extensive documentation to show your financial circumstances have been impacted by COVID-19. Before reaching out to your mortgage servicer, check the company’s website to see what information they provide about forbearance plans and if you can apply online. Before you speak with a representative, have your account number available and be prepared to ask questions about your mortgage payment assistance options, including your ability to obtain a forbearance plan.”

Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: “The forbearance plan process involves four simple steps. However, millions of people are seeking financial assistance for their mortgages right now, so contact centers at mortgage servicing companies may have longer than usual wait times. In some cases, you may be able to request assistance online.”

Source | Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae: “If you are experiencing a financial hardship related to COVID-19, don’t wait. Contact your mortgage servicer (the company that receives your mortgage payments) today to learn about the temporary mortgage assistance options available to you. You can discuss options that allow you to either pause or lower your payments, so you have time to regain your financial footing. Start seeking assistance options while you are still making your mortgage payments, so you can avoid negative impacts like delinquent credit reporting or late fees.”

Source | Fannie Mae

National Association of REALTORS®: “FEMA is extending the grace period to renew flood insurance policies from 30 to 120 days. If a policy has an expiration date between February 13, 2020 and June 15, 2020, then the NFIP insurer must receive the appropriate renewal premium within 120 days of the expiration date to avoid a lapse in coverage. Likewise, if a policyholder receives an underpayment notice dated between February 13, 2020, and June 15, 2020, then the NFIP insurer must receive the additional premium amount requested within 120 days of the date of the notice.”

AARP: “Yes, on a case-by-case basis. Bank of America, for one, says that mortgage borrowers can request to defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan. Wells Fargo is suspending residential property foreclosure sales and evictions.  Wells Fargo is telling its mortgage customers, “If you’re unable to make your payment due to COVID-19 related hardships, we’re offering a 90-day payment suspension.” And Chase bank asks worried mortgage holders to call to work out a plan. If you need help, be proactive and give your bank a call.”

Source | AARP

AARP: “The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.50 percent the week ended March 19, according to Freddie Mac. The rule of thumb is that you should consider refinancing only if the new mortgage rate would be 1 percentage point lower than your current rate.

But there are plenty of variables, such as fees and points. (A point is an upfront fee equal to 1 percent of the loan; the more points you agree to pay, the lower your rate.) Will you stay in your home long enough for the lower rate to offset the cost of fees and points? You can crunch the numbers using mortgage calculators such as those offered by Bankrate, NerdWallet, HSH, SmartAsset and others.

Refinancing demand is high, and it may take longer than usual to get appraisals and title searches as government offices shut down because of the coronavirus epidemic. You may also have to do a virtual closing via videoconference, to maintain social distancing safety guidelines. Ask your bank how long their refinancing process takes, and whether they are reasonably sure that they can close the deal in a reasonable amount of time.”

 

Source | AARP

National Association of REALTORS©: FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have not made any changes to credit scoring or down payment requirements. The only change they have made for borrowers is to allow MORE flexibility in how a lender can verify employment. 

Many individual lenders are adding their own, higher standards on these products. The rational is that the cost of servicing these loans has surged due to the widespread forbearance that is taxing servicers’ resources. Under forbearance, the servicer must continue to pay PITI to the investor, but the sheer volume of forbearance to deal with the COVID-19 response is unprecedented. Since lower-credit borrowers are more likely to take forbearance and servicing is harder to get, lenders are less willing to extend this credit regardless of the FHA or GSEs’ standards.”

 

CFPB: “After your forbearance period ends, you will have to make arrangements with your servicer to repay any amount suspended or paused.

Under the CARES Act, if you have a federally backed mortgage, you also can request an extension of the forbearance for up to an additional 180 days.

The method of repayment varies depending on your loan and the options offered. Not all borrowers will be eligible for all options. You should take steps to be aware of how these programs work and what you can expect in terms of repaying these amounts.

Generally, repayment of forbearance occurs by the amount being repaid:

  • In one lump sum at the end of the forbearance period;
  • Added onto your existing monthly payments over a set number of months;
  • Added to the end of your loan as additional payments or as a lump sum.

 
Just as forbearance may differ between the federally backed agencies or entities, so does the repayment of the forbearances. 

Please check back for updated information as well as check with your loan servicer and the website of the agency or entity that owns or guarantees your loan. The following information provides some of the options to repay your forbearance.

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac loans:

  • Borrowers allowed to repay past due amount within 12 months after forbearance ends;
  • Extend the term of the mortgage by the exact number of months in forbearance;
  • Add past due amounts into loan balance and extend the term of the loan by the number of months necessary to make the monthly payment the same as the previous payment;
  • Add past due amounts into loan balance and extend term of loan for 40 years (480 months).

 FHA loans:

  • Borrowers may enter into a repayment plan to repay past due amounts within 6 months after forbearance ends;
  • Extend term of mortgage to 30 years (360 months) by adding the past due amounts into the previous monthly payment;
  • Past due amounts paid off at the end of the loan in a lump sum.

 VA loans:

  • Borrowers may enter into a repayment plan to repay past due amount within 6 months after forbearance ends;
  • Add past due amount into loan balance and extend term to 30 years (360 months);
  • Targets lower payment of 31% of borrower’s gross income by extending loan term to 30 years (360 months) with option to forbear principal.

 USDA loans:

  • Borrowers may enter into a repayment plan to repay past due amounts within 6 months;
  • Add past due amount into loan balance and extend term to 30 years (360 months) as long as payment less than or equal to payment prior to forbearance;
  • Lump sum repayment at loan payoff.
Source | CFPB

CFPB: “Before entering into a forbearance, homeowners may want to ask: 

  • What options are available to help temporarily reduce or suspend my payments?
  • Are there forbearance, loan modification, or other options applicable to my situation?
  • Can you waive late fees on my mortgage account?”
Source | CFBP

CFPB: “If you need help working with your servicer or understanding your options you may want to reach out to a professional to help you with your specific situation.

  • HUD-Approved Housing Counselors: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved housing counselors can discuss options with you if you’re having trouble paying your mortgage loan or reverse mortgage loan. This may also include forbearance or a modified payment program.
  • Credit Counselors: Reputable credit counseling organizations are generally non-profit organizations that can advise you on your money and debts, and help you with a budget. Some may also help you negotiate with creditors. There are specific questions to ask to help you find a credit counseling organization to work with.
  • Lawyers: If you need a lawyer, there may be resources to assist you through your local bar association, legal aid, or if you are a servicemember, your local Legal Assistance Office. 
  • State-specific support: Your state may also offer additional mortgage relief options. Many states are implementing or considering various mortgage relief options that are in addition to federal initiatives, including the suspension of foreclosures, as well as additional assistance for homeowners. Check your state’s government website for details.” 
Source | CFPB

OCC: “You should contact your loan servicer as soon as possible to let them know of your circumstances. The OCC has encouraged banks to work with customers who have been adversely affected by COVID-19.

If your loan is owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) and your ability to pay your mortgage is affected, you may be eligible to delay making your monthly mortgage payments temporarily. Additionally, on March 18, 2020, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) directed the Enterprises to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days due to the COVID-19 national emergency. More information is available on the FHFA website

The OCC generally does not have the authority to stop a foreclosure, but you can file a “Customer Complaint Form” with the OCC if you are having problems with your bank’s handling of your mortgage loan. The OCC can facilitate communications between you and the bank once your written complaint is received. 

We advise you to contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to review information and understand your options. This service is free and available 24/7. You can visit the OCC’s Help With My Bank website and review the general information under the Mortgages category for more details. You may also want to seek legal assistance to protect your rights.”

Source | OCC

TransUnion: After talking to your lenders about your situation, you may learn that they will place your accounts in forbearance/hardship or deferral. These are common methods lenders use to report accounts to the credit reporting agencies.

Having an account in forbearance usually means your lender has agreed that you can temporarily stop making payments on that account for a certain amount of time.

A deferred account means the lender has agreed that you can delay payment for a certain amount of time. Usually, this will show up on your credit report in the Remarks field with a comment that says “Payment Deferred.”

If you’re curious how your credit score will be impacted by an account in forbearance/deferral, check out the VantageScore or FICO websites for more information.  It’s important to note, a credit score is based on many factors in your credit report and different scoring models use different methods to calculate credit scores.”

Equifax: “While forbearance may allow you to deal with your short-term financial challenges and help you get back on your feet without jeopardizing your credit rating or credit scores, it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. If you enter into a forbearance agreement, you’re not getting “free money.” Depending on the repayment plan you agree to with your lender or creditor, you may need to repay the interest that accrues during your approved deferral period, and late fees may still apply. Ask your lender if you’ll still be charged late fees, how and when those fees will be applied and how your forbearance agreement will be reported to the national credit bureaus.”

Experian: “Without a forbearance or deferral agreement, skipping or making partial loan payments is considered delinquency. Delinquencies are recorded on your credit report and can have a major negative impact on your credit score.

How suspended or reduced payments are handled under forbearance agreements differs by loan type. Their consequences for mortgages and student loans have different potential impacts on your credit. 

With the exception of special circumstances during emergencies such as the COVID-19 crisis (more on that below), mortgage payments missed or underpaid as part of a deferral or forbearance arrangement are technically delinquencies, since they don’t conform to the repayment terms spelled out in your original loan agreement. Mortgage lenders have the right to report them as such to the credit bureaus, but they’re not required to do so. Ask your lender about their policy before accepting a forbearance agreement so you know what to expect.

Under mortgage forbearance agreements, lenders agree to refrain from pursuing foreclosure proceedings, which can do lasting damage to your credit over and above the harm caused by missed payments. A foreclosure stays on your credit report for seven years from the date of the first delinquency that led to foreclosure, so if forbearance allows you to avoid foreclosure, taking a near-term credit score hit might be a worthwhile trade-off.”

House Finance Services Committee: “If you are approved for a forbearance, a payment delay, or other payment arrangement with your creditor or servicer, and you are current on your accounts, then the creditor or servicer will continue to report you to the credit rating agencies (or CRAs) as current or up-to-date. In this case, your credit report and score would not be negatively impacted by these non- or delayed payments during the covered period of the arrangement. Unfortunately, if you were already reported to be behind on payments prior to the payment arrangement, the creditor or servicer can continue to report you as late to the CRAs, meaning continued non-payments may be treated negatively on your credit report and score.”

National Association of REALTORS®: “The CARES Act implemented provisions to protect credit scores from January 30, 2020 through 120 days after enactment of the national emergency. If customers are making payments, or made arrangement to not make payments, customers must be reported as being current. If a customer was delinquent, but was able to make an arrangement with the servicer and is now current, then their account must be reported as current. The important thing is to reach out to your servicer, bank or credit card company if you are having trouble making your payments.”

Fannie Mae: “No, a borrower may make payments during the forbearance plan without any impact to the length of the forbearance plan. If a borrower requests a shorter forbearance plan, the servicer must shorten the forbearance plan and, at the completion of the forbearance plan, evaluate the borrower for post-forbearance options.”

Freddie Mac: “No, a borrower may make payments during the forbearance period. The forbearance plan will continue to term and the payment must be applied as usual in accordance with Guide Section 8103.4.”

Source | Fannie Mae
Source | Freddie Mac

The first thing is call your servicer. Communication is critical and there are a lot of options available if you need help. Second, document every conversation and follow up in a letter or email noting what was discussed in your phone call. This will help you and the next person you talk to when you call back or they call you. And finally, don’t freak out if they tell you paying back all of the money at one time is an option. It is an option but it is not a requirement. Obviously, if you can’t pay one mortgage payment this month, you’re not going to be able to pay six of them six months from now. The gold standard of forbearance is mortgage deferral, where your missed payments are applied to the end of your loan. That means you don’t pay it back until you sell your house or at the end of your mortgage term. The tricky part is that they can’t offer it to you until you are able to pay your mortgage again, so stay in touch while you are out of work, and be assertive about deferral when you are ready to resume your mortgage payments.

HUD: “Yes. Even if you received an FHA COVID-19 Forbearance, you are not required to use the full six months. It is more beneficial for you to begin making your regular mortgage payments as soon as you can reasonably do so. If you are able to begin making your payments prior to the expiration of your forbearance, contact your mortgage servicer and let them know you are ready to resume making your regular monthly mortgage payment. Your servicer will assist you in doing so. 

Federal and state governments have announced plans to help struggling homeowners during this time. For more information, visit: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/guide-coronavirus-mortgage-relief-options/ 

Additional information is available in the following video: VIDEO: CARES Act Mortgage Forbearance: What You Need to Know

Benefits.gov is an online resource to help you find federal benefits you may be eligible for in the United States. Visit https://www.benefits.gov/  for more information and a link to the Benefit Finder, to find information on government benefits you may be eligible to receive.”

 

Source | HUD

HUD: “FHA servicers will ask you to confirm that you are having a financial hardship, either directly or indirectly, due to the COVID-19 National Emergency in order to qualify for a COVID-19 Forbearance, but will not require that you supply any documents. 

Your mortgage servicer can further explain the COVID-19 Forbearance and help you figure out other options for repaying the suspended mortgage payments or the balance of reduced mortgage payments.

Federal and state governments have announced plans to help struggling homeowners during this time. For more information, visit: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/guide-coronavirus-mortgage-relief-options/ 

Additional information is available in the following video: VIDEO: CARES Act Mortgage Forbearance: What You Need to Know 

Benefits.gov is an online resource to help you find federal benefits you may be eligible for in the United States. Visit https://www.benefits.gov/ for more information and a link to the Benefit Finder, to find information on government benefits you may be eligible to receive.”

 

Source | HUD

CFPB: “To help keep Americans connected during the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has temporarily waived Lifeline usage requirements and general de-enrollment procedures until May 29, 2020. An FCC order , released on March 30, 2020, will help ensure that no current Lifeline subscribers are involuntarily removed from the Lifeline program during this time of national crisis.”

Source | CFPB

CFPB: “Many states have suspended public utility disconnections. Check with your state utility commission  or your local utility to see what protections or relief may be available. Municipal utilities and Rural Electric Cooperatives (REC) may be covered by your state’s emergency proclamation. They may also have their own COVID-19 disconnection policy. Check with your municipal utility or REC for details.”

Source | CFPB

CFPB: “While you’re in the forbearance period, or working under another mortgage relief option, there are a number of things to do to continue to protect yourself. This advice applies to both a CARES Act forbearance and other mortgage relief that you might receive.

  • Keep written documentation on hand. You want to make sure that you have this documentation available in case there are any errors on your monthly mortgage statements to ensure that your statement reflects the assistance provided.
  • Pay attention to your monthly mortgage statement. Continue monitoring your monthly mortgage statements to make sure you don’t see any errors. Stop or change auto-payments for your mortgage. If you are having your mortgage payment deducted automatically from your bank account, make sure you make any necessary adjustment to avoid any fees or charges.
  • Keep an eye on your credit. It’s a good idea to routinely check your credit reports in order to make sure there are no errors or inaccuracies. If you stop making mortgage payments without a forbearance agreement, the servicer will report this information to the credit reporting companies, and it can have a lasting negative impact on your credit history. If an error has been made, however, you can work to dispute it.
  • Get more information about protecting your credit during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Once your income is restored, contact your servicer and resume your payments. With forbearance, you still owe the payments that you missed, but fewer missed payments mean you’ll owe less down the road.
  • If you’re continuing to receive some income that turns out to be more than you need for your bills and expenses (including anything you keep paying on your mortgage), consider putting the extra money away so you can use it to pay off what’s needed later. If you can save any money now, it’ll be helpful when payments are due later.
  • Your property taxes and insurance should continue to be paid if your mortgage has an escrow account, but you may want to confirm with your servicer. If your mortgage does not have an escrow account, you will be responsible for these payments.”
Source | CFPB

Department of Veterans Affairs: “If you’re having difficulty making your mortgage payment, contact your loan servicer right away. This is your chance to find a solution that might work for your scenario.

If you’re nervous about contacting your servicer, or if you’d like our help and advice, please contact a VA loan technician at 877-827-3702.

Be careful about offers to help you make up back payments

If you’re behind on your mortgage payments and you get this type of offer from someone you don’t know, contact the servicer of your mortgage or your nearest VA regional loan center for advice. They can let you know if it’s an honest offer.”

Department of Veterans Affairs: “There are 6 general ways you can try to avoid a foreclosure:

  1. Repayment plan: If you’ve missed a few mortgage payments, this plan lets you go back to making your regular payments, with an added amount each month to cover the ones you’ve missed.
  2. Special forbearance: This plan gives you some extra time to repay the missed mortgage payments.
  3. Loan modification: Sometimes you need a fresh start. This plan lets you add the missed mortgage payments and any related legal costs to your total loan balance. You and your servicer then come up with a new mortgage payment schedule.
  4. Extra time to arrange a private sale: If you need to sell your home, this plan lets you delay a foreclosure so you have time to sell.
  5. Short sale: If you owe more money than your house is worth, your servicer might agree to a short sale. This means the servicer will accept the total proceeds from the home sale (even if it’s less than the full amount you owe on the mortgage) as full payment of the debt you owe.
  6. Deed in lieu of foreclosure: This plan lets you avoid the foreclosure process by signing over the deed to the home to your servicer. The home will then belong to the servicer.

Our VA loan technicians can help you figure out which option is best for you. Contact a VA loan technician at 877-827-3702.”

FHFA: “Homeowners can use Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac’s “loan lookup” tools on their respective websites – https://www.knowyouroptions.com/loanlookup for Fannie Mae or https://ww3.freddiemac.com/loanlookup/ for Freddie Mac.”

Source | FHFA

FHFA: “Homeowners must contact their servicer to let them know they are impacted and having difficulty making their mortgage payment. Servicers will review the homeowner’s situation to determine whether forbearance is appropriate. Homeowners do not need to provide extensive documentation to be placed in a forbearance plan.”

Source | FHFA

FHFA: “Forbearance is for homeowners in need of assistance, so only those unable to make their mortgage payment should request it. The first step homeowners should take is to determine whether they are able to make their next mortgage payment. Those homeowners still able to pay their mortgage, should continue to do so. Homeowners unable to make their next mortgage payment due to a decline in income resulting from the impact of COVID-19, should call their servicer immediately upon making that determination.”

Source | FHFA

FHFA: “At the end of the forbearance period, homeowners are still required to eventually fully repay the forbearance, but they will not have to repay it all at once unless they are able to do so. Servicers will reach out to homeowners in forbearance about 30 days before the scheduled end of forbearance to determine which assistance program works best for the homeowner at that point – a repayment plan, loan modification, or an extension of the forbearance period if needed.”

CFPB: “After your forbearance period ends, you will have to make arrangements with your servicer to repay any amount suspended or paused.

Under the CARES Act, if you have a federally backed mortgage, you also can request an extension of the forbearance for up to an additional 180 days.

The method of repayment varies depending on your loan and the options offered. Not all borrowers will be eligible for all options. You should take steps to be aware of how these programs work and what you can expect in terms of repaying these amounts.

Generally, repayment of forbearance occurs by the amount being repaid: in one lump sum at the end of the forbearance period; added onto your existing monthly payments over a set number of months; or added to the end of your loan as additional payments or as a lump sum.

Just as forbearance may differ between the federally backed agencies or entities, so does the repayment of the forbearances.

Please check back for updated information as well as check with your loan servicer and the website of the agency or entity that owns or guarantees your loan. The following information provides some of the options to repay your forbearance.

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac loans:

  • Borrowers allowed to repay past due amount within 12 months after forbearance ends;
  • Extend the term of the mortgage by the exact number of months in forbearance;
  • Add past due amounts into loan balance and extend the term of the loan by the number of months necessary to make the monthly payment the same as the previous payment;
  • Add past due amounts into loan balance and extend term of loan for 40 years (480 months).

FHA loans:

  • Borrowers may enter into a repayment plan to repay past due amounts within 6 months after forbearance ends;
  • Extend term of mortgage to 30 years (360 months) by adding the past due amounts into the previous monthly payment;
  • Past due amounts paid off at the end of the loan in a lump sum.

VA loans:

  • Borrowers may enter into a repayment plan to repay past due amount within 6 months after forbearance ends;
  • Add past due amount into loan balance and extend term to 30 years (360 months);
  • Targets lower payment of 31% of borrower’s gross income by extending loan term to 30 years (360 months) with option to forbear principal.

USDA loans:

  • Borrowers may enter into a repayment plan to repay past due amounts within 6 months;
  • Add past due amount into loan balance and extend term to 30 years (360 months) as long as payment less than or equal to payment prior to forbearance;
  • Lump sum repayment at loan payoff.

For non-federally backed loans: Check with your lender and your loan servicer for the forbearance repayment options that they offer. You may be able to find information about forbearance programs by checking the websites of your lender and servicer for more detailed information.”

Source | FHFA
Source | CFPB

FHFA: “While in forbearance, homeowners do not incur late fees or other penalties. However, the terms of the mortgage are unchanged, and arrangements will need to be made with the servicer to make up missed payments.”

Source | FHFA

FHFA: “A forbearance plan is an agreement between a homeowner and their mortgage servicer (the company they send their monthly mortgage payments to) that establishes an alternative payment schedule to reduce or suspend payments for a period of time. Importantly, mortgage forbearance plans do not reduce the principal amount owed on a mortgage, and interest continues to accrue for the duration of the plan. Homeowners who can afford to make partial payments should do so in order to lessen the amount due at the end of the forbearance.”

Source | FHFA

FHFA: “Homeowners unable to make their mortgage payments resulting from the impact of COVID-19 (regardless of whether they have contracted the virus) may be eligible for a mortgage forbearance plan to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months. This assistance is available to homeowners with single family or condominium mortgages owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) regardless of whether their property is owner occupied, a second home, or an investment property.”

Source | FHFA

House Financial Services Committee

Beware on anyone seeking to charge you for accessing the relief provided under the bill. The bill provides eligible borrowers the right to request and receive forbearance on their mortgage payments for up to 6 months, with the option to extend for an additional 6 months (total max of 1 year), as well as the option to discontinue the forbearance at any time. Contact your mortgage servicer to determine whether your mortgage is eligible for forbearance under the bill. You do not need to pay any fees if you are eligible to receive these benefits. Eligible homeowners, however, do need to contact their servicer to request a forbearance.

Beware of anyone charging you in advance for assistance in modifying the terms of your mortgage. In most circumstances, it is unlawful to charge fees in advance for a mortgage modification. Contact your servicer to inquire about options for modifying the terms of your mortgage.”

House Financial Services Committee: “Homeowners who are suffering financial hardship, directly or indirectly related to COVID-19 should contact their servicer to request a forbearance. Homeowners will have to attest to financial hardship caused directly or indirectly by COVID-19 to receive a forbearance but are not required to provide any further documentation to prove such financial hardship.

Homeowners who are facing foreclosure should not have to do anything further and should immediately benefit from the foreclosure moratorium. If a homeowner is subject to an initiation of foreclosure proceedings, a continuation of foreclosure proceedings, or a foreclosure related eviction [during the federal moratorium], they should contact their servicer immediately to receive an explanation as to why this activity has not been halted. If servicers are unresponsive and/or continue to be noncompliant, homeowners can contact the relevant federal agency or entity that is backing their mortgage or seek out legal assistance. You may want to submit a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau through their complaints webpage, available here. You can also contact the CFPB via telephone by calling (855) 411-2372.”

House Financial Services Committee: “Although homeowners with mortgages that are not federally backed are not technically covered under the CARES Act, some lenders are voluntarily aligning the relief they are providing with the relief provided for federally backed mortgages, so it is still possible that homeowners without federally backed mortgages will have access to similar relief. Reaching out to your servicer is the best way to find out what relief is available to you.”

 

House Financial Services Committee: “Homeowners with “federally backed mortgages” are eligible for assistance under this bill. Federally backed mortgages are defined as mortgages for single-family homes that are:

  • purchased or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac;
  • insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), including reverse mortgages or Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs);
  • guaranteed, directly provided by, or insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA);
  • guaranteed, directly provided by, or insured by the Department of Agriculture (USDA); or
  • guaranteed under HUD’s Native American or Native Hawaiian Home Loan Guarantee programs.

 

Homeowners that do not know whether their mortgage fits this definition, should reach out to their mortgage servicer to find out. Your mortgage servicer is the company that you send your mortgage payments to each month. For context, 70 percent of mortgages in the current market are federally backed. Homeowners with mortgages that are not federally backed are unfortunately not covered under the CARES Act.”

CDC: “Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.  Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible—although rare—that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. The possibility of getting COVID-19 again is lowest in the months after initial infection. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

If you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Experts are still learning more about natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. For example, we won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have more data on how the vaccines work in real-world conditions. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.”

Source | CDC

Mayo Clinic: “Experts want to learn more about the protection that a COVID-19 vaccine provides and how long immunity lasts before changing safety recommendations. Factors such as how many people get vaccinated and how the virus is spreading in communities will also affect these recommendations.

In the meantime, the CDC recommends following these precautions for avoiding infection with the COVID-19 virus:

  • Avoid close contact. This means avoiding close contact (within about 6 feet, or 2 meters) with anyone who is sick or has symptoms. Also, keep distance between yourself and others. This is especially important if you have a higher risk of serious illness.
  • Wear cloth face coverings in public places. Cloth face coverings offer extra protection in places such as the grocery store, where it’s difficult to avoid close contact with others. Surgical masks may be used if available. N95 respirators should be reserved for health care providers.
  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw away the used tissue. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding and other household items if you’re sick. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily.
  • Stay home if you’re sick. Stay home from work, school and public areas if you’re sick, unless you’re going to get medical care. Avoid public transportation, taxis and ride-sharing if you’re sick.

If you have a chronic medical condition and may have a higher risk of serious illness, check with your doctor about other ways to protect yourself.”

Source | Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic: “A COVID-19 vaccine might:

  • Prevent you from getting COVID-19 or from becoming seriously ill or dying due to COVID-19;
  • Prevent you from spreading the COVID-19 virus to others;
  • Add to the number of people in the community who are protected from getting COVID-19 — making it harder for the disease to spread and contributing to herd immunity; and
  • Prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading and replicating, which allows it to mutate and possibly become more resistant to vaccines.”
Source | Mayo Clinic

CDC: “This partnership involves 21 national pharmacy partners and independent pharmacy networks, representing more than 40,000 retail and long-term care pharmacy locations nationwide. It is important to know that early on, when vaccine supply is still limited, many pharmacies may not have vaccine or may have very limited supply. 

Pharmacy partner enrollment for the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program has closed. Pharmacy partners were enrolled based on their (1) population served and community reach, (2) capability to store vaccines and ensure cold chain management, (3) ability to meet data reporting requirements, and (4) capacity to vaccinate (estimated daily number of doses each facility is able to administer).

This program was not designed to cover every pharmacy in the United States. Chain pharmacies and network administrators not included in the federal program can enroll with states directly to become COVID-19 vaccination providers. Independent pharmacies that wish to participate in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program may sign up with an existing network administrator partner to provide COVID-19 vaccination as part of the program.”

Source | CDC

CDC: “The eligibility criteria for vaccination is determined by each state and territory. Pharmacy partners will focus on vaccinating individuals who are eligible for vaccination based on these state-selected criteria. These population groups may include healthcare workers, other essential workers, and elderly people. Specific population groups will vary by state or territory.”

Source | CDC

CDC: “Individuals who are eligible for vaccination in their state and are interested in getting vaccinated at their local pharmacy should call or check the pharmacy’s website to find out if vaccine is available. CDC has created a webpage that lists the pharmacy partners currently participating in the program in your state.  Some jurisdictions have also launched websites that show where COVID-19 vaccine is available for eligible individuals.

Most pharmacy partners are using online scheduling systems to schedule vaccination visits for eligible individuals based on their limited available vaccine supply.”

Source | CDC

AARP: “Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two doses and following through with both doses is necessary to ensure effectiveness. (Other COVID-19 vaccines being tested in clinical trials require only one dose.)

According to the CDC, the first shot starts building protection, while the second shot “is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer.”

Source | AARP

Treasury: “Assess your financial needs over the coming several months and prioritize necessary expenses. If possible, use your tax refund and Economic Impact Payments for food, medicines, and other items for your family’s well-being, such as:

  • Medical care
  • Housing and utilities 
  • Caregiving for children or other family members. 
  • Telephone and internet to help you stay in contact
  • Transportation”
Source | Treasury

AARP: “The second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine may be scheduled for up to six weeks after the first shot, according to an update posted Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the two vaccines for emergency use late last year, it said that the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine should be administered in 21 days while the Moderna protocol is for the second shot to be given in 28 days. CDC still says that while the “second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible,” if that is not feasible the second dose can be received up to 42 days after the first one.”

Source | AARP

Washington Post: “No. “People who wear the masks underneath their nose really are doing very little good for anybody,” says Mark Rupp, chief of the infectious diseases division at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

The nose is also one of the prime entry points for the novel coronavirus, says Poland. He notes that a key protein, called the ACE2 receptor, which the coronavirus uses to enter and infect cells, is found in higher densities in the nasal membrane than the trachea, or windpipe.

“Wearing a mask over your mouth but not your nose is akin to holding the seat belt in your hand but not clicking it,” he says.”

Source | Washington Post

Washington Post: “In recent months, a growing number of public figures including football coaches and politicians have been spotted wearing two masks — usually a cloth covering over a medical-grade mask. “If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective,” said Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, during a January appearance on the “Today” show.

Not everyone, however, needs to start wearing two masks all the time, says Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine and an infectious-disease expert at the University of California at San Francisco. Gandhi, who recently co-authored a commentary on the science behind mask-wearing, suggests doubling up on face coverings if you are spending time indoors in crowded spaces or in areas where transmission rates are high. People who are medically vulnerable should also consider layering their masks, she says.

“We do actually have to tailor our recommendations,” Gandhi says. Otherwise, “it will just cut down on acceptability.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not updated its mask guidance to recommend layering masks.”

Source | Washington Post

Human Rights Watch: “The CDC’s moratorium is just a national baseline. States are free to enact stronger tenant protections. However, many states do not currently have active eviction moratoriums. Among the states that do, the actual protections vary greatly. Some provide fairly robust protection, but other moratoriums have flaws similar to those in the CDC’s.”

Human Rights Watch: “The most obvious risk is homelessness, but the risks do not stop there. Eviction is always a public health problem, and this issue is especially relevant during a pandemic. Those facing homelessness often resort to sleeping outdoors or staying in overcrowded shelters. Others move in with family or friends, leading to more crowded dwellings, and consequently, a greater risk of transmitting or catching Covid-19.

Previous failures to adequately protect tenants have already had deadly consequences. According to a recent UCLA study, expiring state eviction moratoriums between March and September, when the national moratorium was issued, led to over 400,000 Covid-19 cases and nearly 11,000 excess deaths in the 27 states studied that allowed their protections to lapse.”

Yahoo: “Everyone should be receiving a vaccine card on the day of their shot that indicates what vaccine they receive,” explains Lee.

After getting the first dose, the health care provider will advise patients on when they’ll need to return for the second dose, “as it’s important everyone gets both doses,” says Parikh. The second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine needs to be given 21 days after the first dose, while the second Moderna vaccine needs to be administered 28 days later.

Adds Lee: “Also, I would encourage people to sign up for V-safe, which is a text messaging monitoring program you can enroll in after vaccination.” The tool, which needs to be downloaded to a smartphone, helps remind patients to return for their second dose and allows them to report any side effects they may experience from the vaccine, which can include arm soreness, fatigue, body aches and, in some cases, fever.”

Source | Yahoo

Yahoo: “Like hospitals, “pharmacies will also be following state and county guidance on vaccine eligibility,” says Lee. While some pharmacies, such as Publix pharmacies in Florida, are already starting to offer COVID-19 vaccines to eligible groups, Parikh says that the vaccines will “likely” be available more widely at pharmacies across the country “in the next month or two.”

Adds Adalja: “You will see the drugstore chains being engaged even before primary care physicians are because they’ve been involved a lot in Operation Warp Speed.”

Source | Yahoo

Yahoo: “The short answer is not yet. Part of the challenge is that COVID-19 vaccines require cold storage, particularly the Pfizer vaccine, which needs to be stored at minus 70°C. (That’s colder than winter in Antarctica, reports NPR.) “I think eventually that will be the case,” says Adalja. “Right now, that’s not the case. As we get further into phase 1b and 1c, there may be some primary care physicians who have the ability to do that.”

Lee says the hope is that the number of vaccinators will begin to expand relatively soon. “Some of the limitations are due to the cold chain requirements and the short shelf life of vaccines — i.e., it must be used within six to 12 hours,” Lee explains. “We certainly want to be sure we’re not wasting any doses; hence, many vaccine clinics have been more centralized. As additional vaccines become available, the pool of vaccinators will continue to expand, which is much needed to help us get everyone vaccinated.”

Currently, the vaccines are mainly being administered at hospitals and clinics, as well as at long-term care facilities. But Purikh says that there eventually will be “large public vaccination sites … set up through the department of health” in different states. For example, California plans to open massive public vaccination sites for eligible Americans at Disneyland in Anaheim and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.”

Source | Yahoo

AARP: “Public health officials have identified new strains of the coronavirus that are more contagious, worrying experts who say they could lead to a surge in COVID-19 cases as vaccinations are getting underway.

The first strain, known as B.1.1.7., was discovered in the United Kingdom but is now circulating in more than 45 countries, including the United States. Another variant was discovered in South Africa and is mostly circulating in Africa.

Experts say early data indicate the current COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be effective against the variants. There is no evidence that the new strains cause more severe illness or increased risk of death, the CDC said.”

Source | AARP

New York Times: “The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine is delivered as a shot in the arm, like other typical vaccines. The injection won’t be any different from ones you’ve gotten before. Tens of thousands of people have already received the vaccines, and none of them have reported any serious side effects. But some of them have felt short-lived discomfort, including aches and flu-like symptoms that last less than a day. It’s possible that people may need to plan to take a day off work or school after the second shot.

While these experiences aren’t pleasant, they are a good sign: they are the result of your own immune system encountering the vaccine and mounting a potent response that will provide long-lasting immunity.”

Source | New York Times

New York Times: “Yes, but not forever. The two vaccines that will potentially get authorized this month clearly protect people from getting sick with Covid-19. But the clinical trials that delivered these results were not designed to determine whether vaccinated people could still spread the coronavirus without developing symptoms. That remains a possibility. We know that people who are naturally infected by the coronavirus can spread it while they’re not experiencing any cough or other symptoms.

Researchers will be intensely studying this question as the vaccines roll out. In the meantime, even vaccinated people will need to think of themselves as possible spreaders.”

Source | New York Times

FCC: “Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.

Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.

Be cautious if you’re being pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.

Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding. Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.

Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren’t hacked.

Always check on a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating. (Learn more about charity scams.)

If you think you’ve been a victim of a coronavirus scam, contact law enforcement immediately.

For more information about scam calls and texts, visit the FCC Consumer Help Center and the FCC Scam Glossary. You can also file a complaint about such scams at fcc.gov/complaints.

The FCC has continued to process informal consumer complaints throughout the pandemic. View data, by category, for informal consumer complaints related to COVID-19 and the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. Learn more about the FCC response to the pandemic at fcc.gov/coronavirus.

Source | FCC