The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) on Thursday released the following statement in response to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) announcement of a 60-day moratorium on foreclosure activities against a subset of struggling Americans.
From NCRC President and CEO Jesse Van Tol:
“Thousands of struggling families will be saved from unjustly losing their homes during a crippling economic catastrophe by FHFA’s 60-day moratorium on foreclosures. The agency’s worthy action is also an important reminder that the government does possess the power to help people, including through its oversight of the housing market. We applaud the agency for affirming that the government can compel private-sector actors to serve the public interest rather than chasing short-term profit.
“But at the same time, the details of this broadly positive news provide troubling reminders of the Homeowner Assistance Fund’s (HAF) shortcomings in assisting hardworking Americans. The only people who can access this relief are those who file applications for help through HAF. That vital system is simply not available in many, many states and metro areas. The federal government – including the Treasury Department – must also ensure that HAF is working well nationwide before we can fully celebrate. In the meantime we look forward to helping the responsible agencies provide the concise and consumer-friendly information homeowners need to access this relief.
“Further, a brief 60-day moratorium will not go far enough to address the stress and fear homeowners are feeling. A longer-term prohibition on cynical foreclosure actions would ward off the economic harm and inhumane impact of kicking someone out of their home during a global pandemic – and also provide a real and lasting boost to both homeowners and the broader economy.
“It is very good to see FHFA helping thousands avoid destitution for the crime of not making enough money in a time when it’s gotten very hard to make money. But that number could and should be far higher – if the states fully and properly implemented HAF.”
Homeowners seeking assistance can find housing counselors here.
To arrange a conversation with an NCRC expert, email email@example.com.