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  • Writer's picturePayton Legal Group

Millions of homeowners at risk of foreclosure get a longer reprieve.

Many homeowners at risk of foreclosure can breathe a little easier — for another month, at least.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator that oversees federally-backed mortgages, said on Wednesday that single-family homeowners with loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac will be protected from foreclosure through at least Jan. 31, 2021. The moratorium had been scheduled to expire at the end of this month.

People living in properties that either Fannie or Freddie has taken over because the owner couldn’t pay the mortgage also received relief: The regulator extended its moratorium on evictions as well.

“This extension gives peace of mind to the more than 28 million homeowners with an enterprise-backed mortgage,” said Mark Calabria, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, referring to the two so-called government-sponsored enterprises.

Fannie and Freddie, which buy many loans from lenders and package them into investments, are not the only government affiliated organizations that have enacted moratoriums for loans associated with their work. The Federal Housing Administration, which often insures loans to borrowers who put less money down, has a foreclosure and eviction moratorium through Dec. 31. A spokeswoman for the agency said it is assessing its next steps.

The regulator overseeing Fannie and Freddie said providing the pandemic-related relief to both borrowers and renters was already expected to cost $6 billion because of loan defaults, foreclosures and related losses. The one-month extension will add to that.

Homeowners can find out who owns their mortgage by entering their address on various government websites.

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