Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough joined three cabinet counterparts in urging the companies that service federally backed mortgages to take any steps necessary to reduce hardship or foreclosure while assistance is available.
Joining McDonough were Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen. They collectively asked that mortgage providers hold off on taking action against those who are behind on their mortgage payments while help could be provided through the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) – a federal program that has a pool of $10 billion it can draw from to provide financial help to families in need.
The four secretaries went public with their request as a reaction to the difficulties many mortgage holders are experiencing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are strongly urging all servicers of federally backed mortgages to pause foreclosure proceedings when they are notified by a HAF program administration of a pending HAF application to avoid unnecessary harm to vulnerable homeowners,” they wrote. “During any such pause we encourage homeowners and servicers to continue working together on loss mitigation options to ensure vulnerable homeowners eligible for assistance are able to choose the best path to staying in their homes and fully utilize available resources.”