• Attorney Arna D. Cortazzo

Does the CARES Act help me- Is my Florida Mortgage Federally Backed?Determining if a Mortgage Loan i

In yesterday’s post, I addressed mortgages and evictions under the CARES Act. As I explained, the CARES Act foreclosure and forbearance provisions apply only to “federally backed mortgages.” In addition, prior to CARES Act enactment different federally backed mortgage investors had announced different foreclosure policies.

So, it’s necessary to know if a loan is federally backed. It’s also necessary to know what investor the backer is: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Affairs (VA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Home Service (RHS).

The following tools provided by National Consumer Law Center, will allow you to quickly determine which investor backs a particular homeowner’s mortgage loan.

· Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have easy loan look-up websites to determine if they own a mortgage. See https://ww3.freddiemac.com/loanlookup/ and https://www.knowyouroptions.com/loanlookup#.

To determine if a loan is FHA-insured, look for an FHA case number on the mortgage document, specific language in the mortgage and note forms, or through the payment of an FHA premium on the mortgage statement. In some cases, unfortunately, loans may have been stripped of their FHA-insured status; call HUD’s National Servicing Center at 877-622-8525 if there are questions.

· A VA-guaranteed loan also has specific language in the note and mortgage identifying it as a VA loan, and there are fees paid to the VA noted in closing documents.

· While a borrower with a mortgage directly extended by the RHS will be very familiar with the agency, homeowners with privately serviced RHS-guaranteed loans often do not know the loan’s status. If an RHS-guaranteed loan is suspected, directly ask the servicer to review the homeowners’ closing documents.

Links to Foreclosure Suspensions by Federally Backed Mortgage Investors in Effect Prior to the CARE Act:

FHA — https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/OCHCO/documents/20-04hsgml.pdf

VA — https://www.benefits.va.gov/HOMELOANS/documents/circulars/26_20_8.pdf

USDA Direct (bottom of page 1) — https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/USDA_SA_COVID19_SFHContinuity03202020.pdf

USDA Guaranteed — https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/USDA_RD_SA_Foreclosure_and_Eviction_Relief_COVID19_NationalEmergency.pdf

Fannie Mae — https://singlefamily.fanniemae.com/media/22261/display

Freddie Mac — https://guide.freddiemac.com/app/guide/bulletin/2020-4

Banking Agency Guidance on Mortgage Servicing and Loan Modifications

Federal Reserve, FDIC, NCUA, OCC, CFPB, and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors have issued an Interagency Statement on Loan Modifications and Reporting for Financial Institutions Working with Customers Affected by the Coronavirus (March 22, 2020) .

State Limitations on Foreclosures and Evictions

A state-by-state list of eviction moratoria is now published by the National Housing Law Project, researched by students at Columbia and University of Pennsylvania. It includes 24 categories of information concerning eviction for each state.

Self-help and advocate eviction pleadings and forms: go to lawhelpinteractive.org, click on the state on the map and search for self-represented or advocate materials. If there are forms available, you will be referred to the LSC-approved or court-approved websites where all forms are listed. Some states also have eviction expungement forms.

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       Arna D. Cortazzo

Protecting Floridians' Rights for over 30 years.

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