WASHINGTON - The White House is extending mortgage relief and a ban on home foreclosures for government-backed mortgages through the end of June 2021, part of an effort to help tackle the housing affordability crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Biden administration issued a statement Tuesday announcing that the mortgage forbearance and foreclosure protection programs will be extended through June 30. The protections were due to expire on March 31.
The White House said it will also extend the enrollment window to request mortgage payment forbearance until June 30. Forbearance allows homeowners to pause mortgage payments for a designated period of time. The payments aren’t forgiven; they must be repaid later. Some servicers may also offer a reduced payment during this period instead.
Borrowers who entered forbearance on or before June 30 will also be allowed to defer mortgage payments for an additional six months, the White House said.
FILE - An aerial view from a drone shows homes in a neighborhood on Jan. 26, 2021 in Miramar, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The actions are an extension of an order that was originally enacted under the Trump administration in March 2020 at the onset of the outbreak. President Joe Biden initially extended the moratorium on federally-backed foreclosures through March 31 as part of a number of orders he signed on his first day in office.
"Today’s actions directly benefit the 2.7 million homeowners currently in COVID forbearance and extend the availability of forbearance options for nearly 11 million government-backed mortgages nationwide," the White House said in a statement.
It added that 1 in 5 renters is behind on rent and more than 10 million homeowners are behind on mortgage payments.
"People of color face even greater hardship and are more likely to have deferred or missed payments, putting them at greater risk of eviction and foreclosure," the statement said.
The coronavirus pandemic decimated the U.S. and global economies, resulting in record job loss and suppressed home loan rates.
This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.