April 20, 2020

NAFCU discusses forbearances, CU concerns with FHFA

HOUSEMembers of NAFCU's Regulatory Affairs team Friday shared credit union concerns and issues related to mortgage forbearances with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), and asked for additional guidance on some provisions of the CARES Act.

Under the CARES Act, borrowers experiencing financial hardship during the coronavirus crisis may request forbearance on single-family and multifamily loans sold to the GSEs, and in response mortgage servicers must provide a forbearance that allows borrowers to defer their mortgage payments up to 180 days with an option for an additional 180-day extension. However, the CARES act does not provide relief for mortgage servicers, such as credit unions.

NAFCU has previously shared concerns about increased forbearance requests negatively impacting credit unions with FHFA Director Mark Calabria and has urged for swift assistance, similar to what has been granted by Ginnie Mae for servicers, in order to avoid negative impacts on credit union net worth and operations.

NAFCU will continue to advocate for protection and relief for credit union mortgage servicers facing an increase in forbearance requests. Additionally, the association's Regulatory Compliance team has more information on the related CARES Act provisions and previous guidance from Freddie Mac that could help credit unions address mortgage loan modifications after forbearance.

The association also has a dedicated coronavirus resource page, and has a developed a chart specifically on regulator actions (including the FHFA) and the CARES Act.

Additionally, earlier this week, the FHFA and CFPB announced a new program designed to be an information sharing initiative. Through the Borrower Protection Program, the agencies will share information about complaints, data, forbearances, modifications, and other loss mitigation efforts.