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FHA Suspends Foreclosures and Evictions Amid COVID-19 National Emergency

Today, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) published Mortgagee Letter 2020-04, "Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium in Connection with the Presidentially-Declared COVID-19 National Emergency," which announces an immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for all FHA-insured single family mortgages for a 60-day period. Read today's Press Release from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on the subject.

The Secretary of HUD authorized these moratoriums as a result of the national emergency declared by the President of the United States. They are part of a broader federal government effort to address impacts to the financial well-being of individuals, families, and businesses, and to ensure families are not displaced during this critical period.

Updates to Single Family's COVID-19 Q&A Available: FHA has developed and is maintaining a Q&A document to provide stakeholders with the latest information about FHA's response to the Presidentially-declared COVID-19 national emergency. An updated version of the FHA Single Family COVID-19 Q&A is now posted.

View Mortgagee Letter 2020-04

Access the HUD Press Room

View FHA COVID-19 Q&A

Please direct all COVID-19 housing counseling questions to: housing.counseling@hud.gov or to your housing counseling agency's HUD Point Of Contact (POC).


Whitmer bans tax foreclosures statewide during coronavirus threat

Watch replay: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer press conference on COVID-19 Detroit Free Press

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Wednesday, extending the deadline for Michigan residents to pay back taxes and avoid foreclosure on their property during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

It's an action that the treasurers in Wayne and Oakland counties have already said they would do, but Whitmer's order extends the deadline to pay back property taxes statewide.

The tax foreclosure deadline has been extended from March 31 to May 29, or 30 days after the state of emergency ends, whichever comes first.

More: Wayne County: No foreclosures in 2020 for coronavirus outbreak

More: Whitmer bans gatherings with more than 50 people

"This executive order will give families struggling to make ends meet real and immediate relief from the pressure of having their home foreclosed on while trying to focus on the health and safety of their loved ones," Whitmer said. "This order is the latest in a series of steps to protect the public, slow the spread of COVID-19 and give families comfort during these uncertain times."

In Wayne County, Treasurer Eric Sabree announced Monday that he would suspend foreclosures for the rest of 2020. This year, about 3,200 occupied homes - about 10,000 properties in total - were likely headed to the tax foreclosure auction, a spokesman for Sabree said.

County records say 32,000 Detroit properties are tax delinquent, suggest that 25,500 are occupied and that roughly 8,300 are designated occupied and likely to be foreclosed.

In Oakland County, Treasurer Andy Meisner said anyone facing a financial hardship because of the coronavirus will not be subject to property foreclosure this year.

Whitmer order allows boards to meet electronically

Whitmer also signed another executive order Wednesday allowing municipal and school boards to hold their meetings electronically in an effort to avoid the spread of coronavirus.

Under the order, public bodies that are subject to the Open Meetings Act, can use telephone- or video- conferencing methods to continue meeting and conducting business during the coronavirus crisis, so long as they follow certain procedures to ensure access and participation by members of the public body and the general public.

Public bodies must meet the following criteria when holding a public meeting electronically:

  • Ensure two-way communication for members and the public to hear and address each other.
  • Provide adequate notice to the public of the meeting.
  • Post a public meeting notice on their website.
  • Permit participants to record or broadcast the public meeting.
  • Allow participants to address the public body during a public comment period.

The Michigan Municipal League applauded the order.

"While many public meetings are being cancelled, it is imperative that local governing bodies continue meeting for the purposes of passing budgets, authorizing emergency spending, and taking other action necessary to conduct essential government business," said Dan Gilmarten, executive director of the organization. "Given the conflicts between traditional meetings of elected officials and the public health recommendations to limit face-to-face gatherings, we are pleased that Gov. Whitmer has provided us with the clear ability to use remote-access-technology for necessary community meetings."

Contact Kathleen Gray: 313-223-4430, kgray99@freepress.com or on Twitter @michpoligal.


Trump Orders HUD to Suspend all Foreclosures, Evictions

President Trump announced on Wednesday that the Department of Housing and Urban Development will suspend foreclosures and evictions through April.

"We understand that people may not make their full rent payment the next several months because they might need money for groceries, food or other vital supplies," says Traverse City Housing Commission Executive Director, Tony Lentych.

The Traverse City Housing Commission offers low-income housing.

They say most of their tenants work in industries that are taking a big hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

Lentych said, "A lot of people that live there work in the service sector and we knew that. That's what it was designed for, so we do have an expected impact there. We plan to make that work with everybody."

It's important to note this suspension only applies to financial evictions.Img 1739

"This will be when we're trying to work with somebody who hasn't paid rent for losing their job or has a severe cutback in the hours that they've been working on or something to that effect," Lentych says.

And the owner of Traverse Real Estate, Tom Cronin, says for people facing foreclosure, this relief could give them the time they need.

Cronin says, "The biggest advantage would be to the person living in the home or the homeowner or the tenant. Where it gives them time to catch up on payment, maybe stop the foreclosure process or find other housing options."

To qualify for this you must have a single family home backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

This page last updated on 3/27/2020.