The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors issued joint guidance
to mortgage servicers to assist in complying with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provisions granting a right to forbearance to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Servicers of federally-backed mortgages, such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, Department of Housing & Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, or Department of Agriculture loans, must grant forbearance to borrowers with pandemic-related hardships that may last as long as two consecutive 180-day periods. Furthermore, additional interest, fees, or penalties beyond the amounts scheduled or calculated should be waived with no negative impact to the borrower’s mortgage contract during the forbearance.
Mortgage servicers could violate the CARES Act
or other applicable law and potentially cause consumer harm if they were to require documentation from borrowers to prove financial hardship, if they did not grant the forbearance once properly requested, or if they steered borrowers away from forbearance or misled them.