With many people in the US asking forbearance on their home loans thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rules for mortgage servicers are being relaxed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

According to a story published on MarketWatch, about 6% of mortgages in the country were in forbearance.  This number translates to about 3 million homeowners.  In these agreements, which we covered in our March 23rd blog post, a borrower can either skin a payment altogether or make a reduced payment.  (Each situation is dealt with differently and based on circumstances.)

Also, Fannie Mac and Freddie Mae are able to buy the loans in forbearance, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

We are focused on keeping the mortgage market working for current and future homeowners during these challenging times,

-FHFA Director Mark Calabria. “

Purchases of these previously ineligible loans will help provide liquidity to mortgage markets and allow originators to keep lending.

In the past, the delinquent mortgages weren't able to be bought up by the two government-sponsored mortgage giants.  This policy has been changed because in certain cases, borrowers have closed on a property and looked for forbearance shortly after the close.

The CARES Act stimulus package provided a guarantee that federally-backed mortgages could get a forbearance of up to one yet if they are failing to make mortgage payments because of a loss of income due to the pandemic that has affected the entire world.  It's also worth noting that the article did suggest that forbearance inquiries will most likely rise again as the May 1 payment due dates come up and people who are still out of work are looking for ways to save money.