AFR joined a letter urging President-Elect Biden to expand assistance to homeowners in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package. The letter called on the Biden administration to support the establishment of a Housing Assistance Fund, provide funding for HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and legal assistance, and to support several legislative measures to prevent the coming tsunami of foreclosures that likely will be concentrated in low-income communities and communities of color.
AFR Education Fund signed onto a letter opposing the VA’s Proposed COVID-19 Veterans Assistance Partial Claim Payment Program. The letter stated that the proposal cannot achieve its goal of providing a solution for veteran borrowers’ COVID hardships, and urged the VA to revise the proposal to align with existing programs at FHA, USDA, and the Government Sponsored Enterprises. Specifically, the letter stated that the VA should not require monthly payments, funds should not accrue interest, access to the program should be streamlined, and the program should not have a limited time window for relief.
It is deeply disappointing that Congress did not act to extend the federal student loan suspension in the COVID relief bill. This increases the urgency for President-Elect Biden to act, both by extending the pause on student loan payments and by cancelling federal student loan debt.
Kathleen Kraninger, the current director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, told an audience of bankers at a November 2019 industry gathering that “you are really helping drive the agenda.” Unfortunately for the public and for consumer financial protection, the Kraninger agenda and the Wall Street lobby’s priorities are indeed all too similar, and that has proved true even during the COVID-19 pandemic and massive economic distress it has produced.
AFR Ed Fund and 59 other organizations sent a letter to FHFA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac asking them to provide ways for tenants to be able to determine whether their homes qualify for additional protections as a result of their landlord’s forbearance so that they can plan accordingly and protect themselves from eviction and other consequences.