June 22, 2012 – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has teamed up with NCUA and other agencies to issue guidance that addresses risks relating to military homeowners that must relocate.
The group of agencies, which also include the Federal Reserve, the FDIC and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, are issuing the guidance as part of their supervisory programs.
The guidance looks at how mortgage servicers should work with military homeowners who have informed their loan servicer that they have received Permanent Change of Station orders. Many homeowners who receive PCOS orders end up seeking assistance with their mortgage loans because relocating to a new duty station can present a number of mortgage-debt-related challenges.
Mortgage loan servicers are reminded in the guidance that their employees should be adequately trained about the options available for assisting military homeowners with PCS orders. The agencies recommend that these homeowners be provided accurate, clear and readily understandable information about available options for which they may qualify. Decisions about assistance requests should be communicated to the homeowner in a timely manner.
The guidance is consistent with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act and with guidance and examination procedures previously issued by the Federal Reserve that relate to assisting struggling homeowners.
In related news, Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward DeMarco on Thursday announced changes to short sale policies that will make it easier for military homeowners with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans to honor their financial commitments when they receive PCOS orders.
The financial regulators' joint guidance is online.