Letters to Regulators: Letter Urging HUD, VA, and USDA to Extend the Deadline for Borrowers to Start Forbearance Plans

View or download a PDF of the letter here.

September 23, 2021  

The Honorable Marcia Fudge
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th St S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20410  

The Honorable Denis McDonough
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20420  

The Honorable Tom Vilsack
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250  

Dear Secretaries Fudge, McDonough, and Vilsack:  

On behalf of the clients and communities we represent, we urge HUD, VA, and USDA to extend  the September 30, 2021 deadline for borrowers to start forbearance plans due to COVID-19  hardships. The agencies should not prematurely end access to forbearance as the Delta variant  rages across the nation.  

When the federal agencies announced their current deadline for accessing forbearance in June of  2021, COVID-19 case counts were very low. COVID-19 cases are now over ten times higher  than they were in June without signs of slowing. The Labor Department’s August employment  report also reflects a slowdown in job creation.  

Given the current state of COVID-19 cases, HUD, VA, and USDA borrowers must continue to  have access to forbearance to address pandemic-related hardships. Borrowers who face COVID 19 hardships now should not be in a worse position than those who faced hardship earlier in the  pandemic.  

Notably, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not imposing a September 30, 2021 deadline for  borrowers to access COVID-19 forbearance. Instead, they allow borrowers to access twelve  months of forbearance whenever they face COVID-19 hardships. 

We urge HUD, USDA, and VA to respond to the current state of the pandemic and extend the  deadline for borrowers to access initial forbearance plans beyond September 30, 2021.