Homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac won’t have to worry about foreclosures or evictions during the coronavirus crisis.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced earlier today that it was directing the two government-sponsored enterprises to suspend both foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days for homeowners with a single-family mortgage backed by either entity.

“This foreclosure and eviction suspension allows homeowners with an enterprise-backed mortgage to stay in their homes during this national emergency,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria said in a statement. “As a reminder, borrowers affected by the coronavirus who are having difficulty paying their mortgage, should reach out to their mortgage servicers as soon as possible. The Enterprises are working with mortgage servicers to ensure that borrowers facing hardship because of the coronavirus can get assistance.”

President Donald Trump had announced at a midday press conference Wednesday that the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development would be suspending evictions and foreclosures during the crisis, but did not elaborate. The department later issued a statement clarifying it was suspending all eviction and foreclosure proceedings on FHA-backed mortgages for 60 days.

“Today’s actions will allow households who have an FHA-insured mortgage to meet the challenges of COVID-19 without fear of losing their homes, and help steady market concerns,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey and Bernie Sanders, along with Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley and other leading Democrats, had been calling for a suspension of evictions of renters. With retail businesses, restaurants, bars and other businesses effectively shut down across large swaths of the country in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, millions of Americans are expected to lose their jobs temporarily or permanently.

Earlier this month, FHFA announced that both Fannie and Freddie would allow borrowers impacted by the crisis to put their mortgages into forbearance for up to 12 months.

UPDATED 2:23 p.m., March 18, 2020: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized calls by leading Democratic politicians. They have called for a moratorium on evictions of renters.

FHFA Suspends Foreclosures and Evictions for GSE-Backed Mortgages

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min