September 02, 2020

CDC bans evictions through end of year

housing marketAs federal housing agencies have extended moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions through the end of the year following an executive order from the president last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order under the Public Health Service Act to halt residential evictions through Dec. 31, 2020, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Under the order, tenants facing eviction can invoke the CDC's order by completing a declaration – included in the order or a similar one under penalty of perjury – that they:

  • have used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
  • expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income (or $198,000 for joint filers) in 2020, or was not required to report any income in 2019, or received an economic impact payment (EIP) under the CARES Act;
  • are unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket-medical expenses;
  • are using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the fully payment as the individual's circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses; and
  • would likely be rendered homeless by an eviction, or would be forced to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting, because the individual has no other available housing options.

Read the full order here. It is set to take effect once published in the Federal Register.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told lawmakers of the impending announcement during a coronavirus-focused hearing Tuesday afternoon. In addition to discussing housing issues, Mnuchin indicated support for streamlining the forgiveness process for paycheck protection program (PPP) loans – for which NAFCU continues to advocate – and the possibility of additional PPP loans to hardest hit industries. He also offered support for NAFCU-backed legislation from Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer related to extending relief for troubled debt restructurings (TDRs) and eliminating compliance requirements with the current expected credit loss (CECL) standard.

As federal housing agencies have worked to support borrowers amid the coronavirus pandemic, NAFCU has urged relief be provided to mortgage servicers as well. The FHFA heeded NAFCU's call to provide mortgage servicers with some relief and provided a four-month limit on advances of principal and interest payments for loans in forbearance sold to the GSEs. It has also allowed the GSEs to purchase certain-single family mortgage loans in forbearance and earlier this week extended that policy for loans originated through Sept. 30.

NAFCU also has cautioned the FHFA against pursuing a 0.5 percent adverse market refinance fee, which the agency said is intended to mitigate risks brought on by the pandemic. As a result of NAFCU's advocacy, the FHFA delayed the implementation of the fee to Dec. 1.

Housing issues will be featured at NAFCU's upcoming Virtual Congressional Caucus, at which FHFA Director Dr. Mark Calabria is slated to speakLearn more about Caucus and register now.