Foreclosure due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Dated: August 20 2020

Views: 869

For many across the nation, these uncertain times during the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have caused stress levels to rise as financial woes burden Americans more than ever. One such financial worry is a foreclosure due to the coronavirus pandemic, when so many have taken a major hit in the pocketbook, due to being laid off or having hours cut significantly at work. It has become exceedingly difficult for many people to make their home mortgage payments, which has led to an uptick in foreclosed homes.

Foreclosure is a process during which a home is seized by the real estate lender (the financial institution that provides access to funds, expecting scheduled repayment) and sold to a new buyer when the original borrower is unable to remit the contracted mortgage payments; this process is a tool that allows the lender to recoup at least a portion of the mortgage balance. The threat looms over countless Americans, as foreclosure procedures are impacted by the pandemic. In Texas the decision of whether to suspend foreclosure sales is left to local county governments; some have not issued any guidance or decisions, while others (such as Houston’s Harris County) have suspended recent sales. Future foreclosure decisions will have to made, but for now are simply considered to be fluid; and that leaves more questions. What can be done right now by those in danger of losing their homes due to delinquent mortgages? Can they avoid foreclosure, even as the pandemic swells and surges, continuing to impact employment status and income?

Because the possibility of foreclosure due to the coronavirus pandemic is weighing heavily on homeowners, the federal government has stepped in to assist homeowners worried about foreclosure during this unprecedented time of financial vulnerability due to the current pandemic. As the coronavirus continues to spread and cases of COVID-19 increase, the Trump Administration has said that it will take whatever lawful measures are available to prevent residential evictions and foreclosures during this time, and has put in place some temporary mortgage relief options for qualifying homeowners. The CARES Act includes protections for those with federally funded mortgages or Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) funded mortgages. And mortgage forbearance is also an available option. President Trump’s Executive Order 13945 issued on August 8, 2020 addresses this: “Prior to passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (Public Law 116-136), the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development implemented a foreclosure and eviction moratorium for all single-family mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Furthermore, prior to passage of the CARES Act, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that it had instructed the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (the Enterprises) to suspend foreclosures for at least 60 days. FHFA has since announced that the Enterprises will extend the foreclosure suspension until at least August 31, 2020. (Visit US Government Services and Information website for more information on the disaster financial assistance available.)

According to RealtyTrac, the most up-to-date data shows that in Houston, Texas, there are close to 650 homes in some stage of foreclosure. WEICHERT, REALTORS® – Wayne Murray Properties is a real estate company that serves Houston, Texas and the surrounding area. Contact the licensed real estate experts at WEICHERT, REALTORS® – Wayne Murray Properties to have your concerns about foreclosure addressed and your questions about home selling or buying answered. The professional real estate team is ready and waiting to help homeowners and homebuyers navigate the current real estate market.

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