Reed Smith In-depth

With the year 2020 behind us, the outlook on the battle against COVID-19 is promising and there are several reasons to feel optimistic about 2021. First, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved multiple COVID-19 vaccines, with initial rounds already being distributed. The gradual recovery of the economy since its initial fallout in the early spring has also been a source of optimism for many Americans. However, while we are hopeful for a return to normalcy in 2021, certain COVID-19 consumer legislative protections will remain in effect – at least for the near future.

Authors: Diane A. Bettino Greyson K. Van Dyke

On December 2, 2020, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) extended the foreclosure and eviction moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned evictions until at least January 31, 2021. Weeks after the FHFA’s extension, the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) similarly announced an extension of foreclosure and eviction moratoriums on properties subject to federally-backed mortgage loans through February 28, 2021. In addition to the moratorium extension, the FHA extended the deadline for mortgagors with federally backed mortgages to request an initial COVID-19 forbearance for up to a year through February 28, 2021. Under the FHA’s extension, borrowers may be eligible to receive a COVID-19 forbearance until February 2022.

Additionally, on December 21, 2020, Congress passed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package, which includes $25 billion in rental assistance and extends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (“CDC”) ban on residential evictions through January 31, 2021. Accordingly, while there are obvious reasons to feel optimistic about the turn of the calendar, the continued extension of consumer protections and COVID-19 relief aid is a stark reminder that we are still going to see court and other delays.

Similar to their federal counterparts as we previously reported, individual states continue to issue their own protections to homeowners and tenants. Download the comprehensive spreadsheet capturing the current orders, legislation and policies on foreclosures and evictions. Specifically, the following states have issued additional orders and/or proposed legislation that restrict foreclosures and evictions in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: