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Multifamily property owners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac can continue to receive COVID-19-related forbearance through Sept. 30, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in a statement today.

The FHFA’s COVID-19 forbearance program was set to expire at the end of this month. The extension applies to multifamily property owners currently receiving forbearance and those looking to enter the program, the FHFA said. Property owners receiving forbearance must continue to provide certain tenant protections that the FHFA established during the pandemic. This marks the third time the FHFA has extended the program.

“While COVID-19 cases are declining and many homeowners continue to emerge from forbearance, many renters, who are unable benefit from rising home prices, have not financially recovered from the pandemic,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria said in a statement. “To help those families still struggling to pay their rent and to help multifamily property owners maintain their properties, FHFA is extending the multifamily COVID-19 forbearance and tenant protections through the end of September 2021.”

If property owners with a multifamily mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac encounter a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 emergency, they can enter a new forbearance plan or, if they qualify, a modified forbearance plan, the FHFA said.

Property owners entering into a new or modified forbearance agreement must inform tenants in writing about tenant protections available during both the forbearance and repayment periods. They also must agree not to evict tenants solely for the not paying rent while the property is in forbearance.

When property owners are in the repayment period, tenant protections include:

  • Giving tenants at least a 30-day notice to vacate;
  • Not charging tenants late fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent;
  • Allowing tenant flexibility in the repayment of back-rent over time, and not necessarily in a lump sum.

“These actions are just the latest steps FHFA has taken to benefit renters, property owners and the mortgage market during the pandemic,” the FHFA said. “FHFA will continue to monitor the data and the coronavirus’ impact on tenants, borrowers, and the mortgage market and update policies as needed. FHFA may extend or sunset its policies based on updated data and health risks.”

FHFA Extends Multifamily Forbearance Again

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min