How to Hit Pause on Your Mortgage Payments

Posted by Written with love by the Livable Content Team on Apr 1, 2021 9:00:00 AM

With eviction moratoriums extended in many states, countless multifamily owners have been left at a loss about how to keep up with their own financial commitments. Luckily, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has extended multifamily property forbearance until Ju...

After a long, hard winter, spring is most definitely in the air. Just as the first blossoms recently began appearing on the trees, it finally started to feel as though the country was emerging from its year-long COVID-imposed slumber. 

New vaccine availability has added to the sense that we may have turned a page on the pandemic. The new $1.9-trillion COVID relief legislation will also help bring hope to struggling tenants and owners. There’s $30 billion included for low-income and unemployed individuals who need help paying their rents and utilities, not to mention an extension of unemployment benefits and direct stimulus checks for most Americans. An additional $10 billion was included so that states can assist homeowners having difficulties paying their mortgages and property taxes. 

For these reasons and others, I continue to be optimistic about what lies ahead, for the industry, the country and the world. 

 

Live Well, 

Daniel Sharabi

CEO of Livable

 

Federal Multifamily Forbearance Now Extended to June 30 

With eviction moratoriums extended in many states, countless multifamily owners have been left at a loss about how to keep up with their own financial commitments. Luckily, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has extended multifamily property forbearance until June 30. Until recently, the program had been set to expire March 31. The extension is good for both new and modified forbearance agreements as long as owners can show they have been negatively impacted by COVID-related non-payments. 

“COVID-19 continues to financially impact Americans across the country, thereby hindering many tenants’ ability to pay their rent. To help tenants in financial distress and property owners, FHFA is extending the multifamily COVID-19 forbearance and tenant protections through the end of June 2021,” said FHFA Director Mark Calabria.

As part of the forbearance agreement, multifamily owners are allowed to essentially “hit pause” on their mortgage payments as long as they agree to a few key elements. The primary rule is that owners cannot evict residents for nonpayment while in forbearance, though evictions for violating other lease terms are permitted with a 30-day notice. Late fees for overdue rent are also disallowed. Owners must inform tenants of these additional protections in writing and allow them flexibility in how they repay their back rent. 

The extension will be much appreciated by owners and tenants, many of whom have had trouble keeping up with rental payments over the last year. According to a National Multifamily Housing Council survey of 11.6-million professionally managed units, only 79.2 percent of households had made a full or partial rent payment by February 6, 2021. That’s better than the 76.6 percent who paid by January 6, 2021, but still well below the 81 percent of households who paid their rents one year earlier, just before the pandemic hit. “Estimates of 2020 lost rent alone range from $27 billion to nearly $60 billion, despite the impact of previous federal COVID relief efforts,” said NMHC President Doug Bibby. “In the coming days and weeks, we urge members of Congress to pass legislation that directly meets renters’ basic financial hardships, protects the nation’s rental housing industry and efficiently provides funds to those who need it most.”

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