February 16, 2021

Brown Applauds Federal Agencies’ Expansion, Extension of COVID-19 Homeowner Relief

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – released the following statement after the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced they would extend foreclosure and forbearance protections and improve options available to help borrowers exit forbearance and stay in their homes:

“The pandemic isn’t over, and our response can’t be either,” said Senator Brown. “I applaud the Biden Administration for taking action to ensure that millions of homeowners who are struggling financially as a result of this virus can stay in their homes and will have an opportunity to get back on track, and I hope that all lenders will do the same to protect homeowners.”

On background attributable to Senator Brown’s office:

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Senator Brown has advocated for strong forbearance and foreclosure protections to help families stay in their homes. In March 2020, Senator  Brown introduced legislation to provide forbearance for any homeowner facing financial hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included a foreclosure moratorium and forbearance protections for borrowers with loans backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, VA, or USDA. While the foreclosure moratorium provided in the CARES Act has expired, each of the federal agencies has continued to extend that moratorium. Today’s announcement extends HUD’s, VA’s, and USDA’s foreclosure moratorium through June 30, 2021, and allows borrowers with loans backed by these agencies who entered forbearance before June 30, 2020, to extend their forbearance up to an additional six months, for a total of 18 months. Senator Brown has also supported legislation, led by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), to create a Homeowner Assistance Fund to provide direct financial assistance to homeowners through states.

Last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would extend their foreclosure moratorium through March 31, 2021, and offer borrowers up to 15 months of forbearance.