The end of tolerance programs can overwhelm your loans


The tolerance programs that allowed homeowners with government-backed mortgages to suspend monthly payments during the pandemic will end abruptly in the coming months, limiting the ability of lending services tasked with helping borrowers avoid foreclosures.

That’s according to a new analysis of data compiled by the Black Knight, which found that 65 percent of active abstinence plans, representing 1.2 million homeowners, are due to expire this year. September and October will be particularly challenging as 18,000 plans expire each workday during these months.

“The operational challenge that this presents is staggering,” especially given the overly high proportion of FHA and VA borrowers who may find it harder to resume payments than homeowners with loans secured by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said Ben Graboske of Black Knight. statement

Patience programs that allowed homeowners to end their monthly mortgage payments have become one of the success stories of the pandemic. The Black Knight estimates that around 7.3 million homeowners relied on patience at some point during the pandemic, but only 1.86 million remained on track as of July 20.

The programs were so successful that the federal regulator Fannie and Freddie, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), allowed them refuse to refinance by 50 basis points A levy was instituted on August 1 to help mortgage giants cover at least $ 6 billion of expected losses from the pandemic.

But now that the FHFA and the agencies that administer the FHA, VA and USDA mortgage programs have updated their completion dates for their respective pandemic abstinence programs, it is clear that they are all expiring within a short period. The plans, which started seven months apart, “must now expire at the same time, which means that the abstinence plans are expiring earlier than anticipated,” Graboske said.

This does not mean there will be a corresponding surge in foreclosures. As noted by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist at Windermere Real Estate, in a recent Inman guest columnRising home prices mean that if homeowners are unable to resume payments, many will have enough capital to sell, but will still walk away with cash.

Foreclosure moratoriums on loans secured by Fannie, Freddie, FHA, VA and VA expired July 31… But before initiating foreclosure on borrowers who are 120 days late in payments, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau expects loan servicers to contact borrowers and give them the opportunity to ask for help, such as changing a loan.

Bureau finalized new rules in Junewarning loan officers that they can only initiate foreclosure against borrowers who have been given the opportunity to apply for assistance but who do not qualify, or if the home has been abandoned or the borrower is unavailable.

“With these changes to the rules, homeowners out of tolerance will have the time and support to make the decision that best suits their individual and family needs,” the bureau said at the time.

The Bureau offers a number of Online resources for homeowners in need, including information on how to contact housing counselors, lawyers, and access federal and state remedies.

“If you are late on your mortgage, the sooner you contact your mortgage agent, the more options you will have,” the bureau said. Blog post of July 22nd… “Even if you cannot afford the current mortgage payment, you can avoid foreclosure.”

Black Knight data show that in June, loan officers initiated foreclosure on only 4,401 homes and that only 145,360 homes were at some stage in the foreclosure process. This compares to a peak of 323,000 foreclosures that began in March 2009, in the midst of the latest housing downturn. Black Knight data show there were 2.3 million active foreclosures in December 2010.

However, outstanding mortgage principal, interest, taxes and insurance reached $ 64 billion in February, a figure that has only slightly decreased since then. Congress has set aside more than $ 9 billion in the American Bailout Plan Act to help borrowers catch up on late payments, but Black Knight estimates that this is enough to cover about 30 percent of the pandemic-related mortgage delinquencies.

Email Matt Carter

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