Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has issued several waivers to provisions
in its Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook in acknowledgement of the
financial impact on some of its borrowers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The
provisions affected are those that would normally require in-person contact
between borrowers and their mortgage services, including seniors who have Home
Equity Conversion (HECM) reverse mortgages. The agency said the waivers allow important
mortgage servicing activities to continue, but in a manner that allows for safe
social distancing to help combat the pandemic.
of the waivers are specific to HECMs. The first waives the $5,000 property
charge payment arrearages cap on recalculated repayment plans. This will allow servicers
to help more HECM borrowers who are behind on their property charge payments.
The second eliminates the requirement for servicers to obtain a signature on an
occupancy certification from a HECM borrower.
third waiver applies to both FHA-insured forward and HECM mortgages. It allows
servicers to use alternative methods to conduct borrower interviews when performing
early default interventions for borrowers in danger of foreclosure.
accommodations are in addition to those announced by FHA last week when the
agency extended its foreclosure and eviction moratorium for borrowers with single
family mortgages through March 31, 2021. It also extended the deadline for
borrowers impacted by COVID-19 to request a new forbearance through March 31,