The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently announced new flexibilities to help senior homeowners with FHA-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs) who are behind on required property charge payments due to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new COVID-19 HECM Property Charge Repayment Plan allows mortgage servicers to offer eligible homeowners up to five years to repay property charges, such as taxes and homeowners insurance, that the servicer advances on the homeowner’s behalf when the homeowner is unable to make these payments.
“For senior homeowners, recovering from the financial effects of the pandemic may be especially challenging,” said Federal Housing Commissioner Julia Gordon. “The new repayment plan option announced today will give more seniors behind on their property charges the opportunity to fulfill the obligations of their HECM and remain in their homes.”
With the new COVID-19 HECM Property Charge Repayment Plan:
- Borrowers may receive a repayment plan regardless of the dollar amount of property charge payments owed.
- Borrowers can benefit from the use of jurisdictional Homeowner Assistance Funds.
- Servicers can offer homeowners a repayment plan of up to five full years (60 months) regardless of any prior repayment plan usage.
- Servicers can offer the COVID-19 HECM Property Charge Repayment Plan for up to one year after the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency.
To be eligible, borrowers must attest that they have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be a verbal statement to the servicer.
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