February 10, 2021

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced it would allow borrowers with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-backed loans to request an additional three months of forbearance.

Originally, borrowers with federally backed mortgages could request up to 12 months of forbearance if experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But FHFA is now allowing those still struggling to make their mortgage payments to prolong their current forbearance.

Eligibility for the three-month extension is limited to borrowers who are on a current COVID-19 forbearance plan as of Feb. 28. If granted, that means a borrower who has a government loan could now have up to 15 months total of missed and delayed mortgage payments.

FHFA also announced on Tuesday that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were extending the moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) evictions until March 31. The moratoriums were originally set to expire on Feb. 28.

The foreclosure moratorium applies to government-backed, single-family mortgages only. The REO moratorium applies to properties that Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae have acquired through foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure transactions.

“To keep families in their home during the pandemic, FHFA is allowing borrowers to be in COVID-19 forbearance for up to 15 months and extending [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s] foreclosure and eviction extension,” says Mark Calabria, director of FHFA.