FHFA Extends COVID-19 Multifamily Forbearance Options

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The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue to offer COVID-19 forbearance to qualifying multifamily property owners as needed, subject to the continued tenant protections FHFA has imposed during the pandemic.

This is the fourth extension of the programs, which were set to expire September 30, 2021. On October 1, 2021, FHFA will allow the GSEs to continue offering COVID-19 forbearance to qualified multifamily owners, unless otherwise instructed by FHFA.

“Given the uncertain nature of this pandemic, FHFA is taking further action to protect renters, property owners, and the mortgage market,” states Acting Director Sandra L. Thompson.

Property owners with GSE-backed multifamily mortgages can enter a new or, if qualified, modified forbearance if they experience a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. Property owners who enter into a new or modified forbearance agreement must inform tenants in writing about tenant protections available during the property owner’s forbearance and repayment periods. In addition, they agree not to evict tenants solely for the nonpayment of rent while the property is in forbearance.

Additional tenant protections apply during the repayment periods. These protections include giving tenants at least a 30-day notice to vacate, not charging tenants late fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent, and allowing tenant flexibility in the repayment of back-rent over time.

FHFA may extend or sunset its policies based on updated data and the impacts of COVID-19.

Image by Sightline Institute is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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