On June 25, Maxine Waters, chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), chair of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA), sent a letter to Ben Carson, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Mark Calabria, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), calling on the agencies to amend their policies, which penalize loans that go into forbearance prior to being insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) issued the following response:
“C.A.R. thanks Chairwoman Maxine Waters and Representatives Vargas and Clay for calling out HUD’s and the FHFA’s policies of penalizing lenders for loans that have gone into forbearance due to COVID-related circumstances, which negatively impacts the Black and Latinx communities,” said C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick. “These harmful policies have forced lenders to make loans more restrictive, reducing access to mortgages for minority and underserved borrowers.”
C.A.R. sent its own letters to HUD and the FHFA earlier asking the agencies to amend their policies so that protecting the financial health of the FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac does not prevent underserved families—the very homebuyers these agencies should be helping during this pandemic—from an opportunity to benefit from historically low interest rates and become homeowners.