Obama Forces Mortgage Companies to Give Unemployed 12 Months’ Free Rent

Jim Hoft

It’s an Obama world…

The Obama Administration will require mortgage companies to offer 12 months of forbearance for qualified unemployed borrowers.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

The Obama administration will require mortgage companies to extend more generous mortgage relief to help certain unemployed borrowers from losing their homes to foreclosure.

Under policy changes announced Thursday, mortgage companies that collect payments on loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration will be required to offer 12 months of forbearance for qualified unemployed borrowers. Currently, out-of-work borrowers with these loans can receive a minimum of four months without mortgage payments.

Firms that participate in the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program will also be pressed to offer up to 12 months of forbearance for unemployed borrowers, though that effort could be stymied by regulatory or contractual rules.

Housing officials said the changes could help tens of thousands of borrowers. Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan said he hoped it would “push the mortgage industry” to amend their offerings.

The foreclosure crisis was initially driven by adjustable-rate mortgages that were resetting to sharply higher payments, but over the past three years, far more homeowners have faced foreclosure because they have lost their jobs or seen their income fall. Many of those borrowers can’t easily sell their homes if they get in trouble because they owe more than the properties are now worth.

Officials said the change was prompted by a slow economic recovery that has seen longer stretches of unemployment than in past downturns.

Comments are closed.